Are underestimated the amounts of biogenic amines in diets low in histamine ?

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Diets low in histamine are currently used to reduce symptoms of intolerance to histamine, a disorder in the homeostasis of this molecule that increases its blood levels, due mainly to the reduction of the activity of the diamine oxidase (DAO) enzyme. In fact, these diets low in histamine exclude foods, many of them of plant origin, that patients associate with the appearance of the symptoms of this syndrome.


Researchers at the University of Barcelona and of the Xarxa de Referència in Technology dels Aliments of the Generalitat de Catalunya (XaRTA) have recently published a scientific article in the magazine Foods in which provides new data. The objective of this study was to review existing data on the histamine and other biogenic amines in fermented foods of plant origin, as well as on its origin and evolution during storage or the process of cooking.

The results of the study have shown significant differences in which the only products of plant origin with significant levels of histamine were eggplant, spinach, tomato and avocado, each displaying a great variability in the content.

Biogenic amines such as putrescine has been found in virtually all foods of plant origin, probably due to its physiological origin. The high content of putrescine in certain products may also be related to the activation of the symptomatology by enzymatic competition with the histamine. In addition, the high content of the molecule spermine, present in some foods, they must also be taken into account in these diets, it can also be metabolized by DAO, although with less affinity.

In this way, as a conclusion it is recommended to consume foods of plant origin boiled, or if they are from the maximum freshness, to reduce intake of biogenic amines and their symptomatological effects.


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