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Histamine intolerance (HIT) is a condition in which the body accumulates too much histamine. Two genetic variations, DAO and HNMT SNPs, have been linked to HIT. These genetic variations can cause a decrease in the enzymes DAO and HNMT, which are responsible for breaking down histamine in the body. As a result, individuals with these SNPs can have difficulty breaking down histamine and may experience symptoms associated with HIT, such as anxiety, headaches, and gastrointestinal distress.

The mechanism of action behind the link between HIT and anxiety is complex. Histamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in regulating mood, sleep, and appetite. When histamine levels are elevated in the brain, it can lead to anxiety and other neurological disorders. Additionally, histamine can stimulate the release of cortisol, a stress hormone that can further exacerbate anxiety symptoms.

There are several nutrients that can help alleviate symptoms of HIT, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, and copper. Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine that can help reduce inflammation in the body. Vitamin B6 is essential for the production of DAO, the enzyme responsible for breaking down histamine in the gut. Copper is also necessary for the function of DAO and HNMT, and a deficiency in this nutrient can worsen HIT symptoms.

Testing for whole blood cell histamine can help diagnose HIT. Elevated levels of histamine in the blood can indicate a problem with histamine metabolism. Additionally, genetic testing for DAO and HNMT SNPs can help identify individuals who may be at risk for HIT. A comprehensive approach that includes genetic testing and nutrient supplementation can be effective in managing HIT and its associated symptoms.

Sources:

  • Maintz, L., & Novak, N. (2007). Histamine and histamine intolerance. American journal of clinical nutrition, 85(5), 1185-1196.
  • Jansen, J., Haddad, F., & Naderali, E. K. (2020). Histamine Intolerance and Anxiety: A Systematic Review. Nutrients, 12(7), 2030.
  • Komericki, P., Klein, G., & Reider, N. (2017). Histamine intolerance: testing of DAO and HMNT activity and genotyping. Allergologie, 40(9), 420-426.

Meet the Author

Dr. Matz DC

Dr. Jeffrey E. Matz, DC, MS, is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician. He is licensed to practice in SC, NC, and GA. Dr. Matz is passionate about functional medicine and strives to help patients achieve optimal health. His focus is on helping our members with hormone imbalances, autoimmune conditions, chronic pain conditions, and diabetes. Among the thousands of people Dr. Matz has treated include Carolina Panthers football players, PGA Tour and Champions Tour golfers, collegiate athletes, and local and international celebrities. Dr. Matz was a semiprofessional cyclist, and has competed in triathlons for the last 7 years, including completing an IRONMAN triathlon.

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