Low-Histamine Diets: Is the Exclusion of Foods Justified by Their Histamine Content?

Nutrients. 2021 Apr 21;13(5):1395. doi: 10.3390/nu13051395.


A low-histamine diet is currently the most advised strategy to prevent the symptomatology of histamine intolerance. Conceptually, these diets should be founded on the exclusion of histamine-containing foods, although a certain disparity is found within the list of excluded foods in accordance with the different low-histamine diets available in the literature. This study aimed to critically review low-histamine diets reported in the scientific literature, according to the histamine and other biogenic amine contents of the excluded foods. A total of ten scientific studies that provided specific recommendations on the foods that must be avoided within the framework of a low-histamine diet were found. Overall, the comparative review brought out the great heterogenicity in the type of foods that are advised against for histamine intolerant individuals. Excluded foods were, in most cases, different depending on the considered diet. Only fermented foods were unanimously excluded. The exclusion of 32% of foods could be explained by the occurrence of high contents of histamine. The presence of putrescine, which may interfere with histamine degradation by the DAO enzyme at the intestinal level, could partly explain the reason why certain foods (i.e., citrus fruits and bananas) were also frequently reported in low-histamine diets. Finally, there was a range of excluded foods with an absence or very low levels of biogenic amines. In this case, certain foods have been tagged as histamine-liberators, although the mechanism responsible has not yet been elucidated.

PMID:33919293 | DOI:10.3390/nu13051395