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Rich-histamine foods

There are discrepancies on the criteria that helps consider food rich in histamine or not.

Some authors suggest eliminating from diet those foods with concentrations higher than 20 mg/kg, while other authors are more demanding and consider low histamine foods those with quantities below 1mg/kg. What is clear, however, is that the symptomatic dose is much lower in histaminosis than in toxicity, 15-20mg and 150mg respectively, since the tolerable dose in both cases is 100mg/kg.

Traditionally, research on histamine contents had been focused on foods related to histamine poisoning episodes, such as oily fish, but this is a mistake since its mechanism of rising histamine levels is different. They are sporadic outbreaks which affect general population as a result of unsanitary food effects.

Even so, in Europe there are some initiatives (ALBA, Allergen dataBAnk; TNO Nutrition & Food Research) that seek to provide an exhaustive database about histamine contents in food, due to the decarboxylation of its amino acid precursor, histidine. The downside of this data is that it can vary greatly from one food to another. Histamine and other biogenic amines concentrations in food are highly variable within the same family and even among two samples of the same product.

Table of histamine content in food:

Values are not properly coincident in any food among different sources, since histamine amount varies depending on the fermentation degree. For this reason, it is difficult to define a specific value for each food product. In our diet, it is also difficult to keep only those foods with a {maximum of 20mg/kg, since every product contains histamine.

In addition to this list, we find all those food products that, without being rich-histamine, influence too. Those foods that easily get damaged microbiologically, such as meat and fish or products and drinks produced by fermentation and maturation, are likely to present high histamine values.