How Our Diet Affects Diamine Oxidase

May 16, 2017  |  Blog, Histamine Intolerance

A recent study has provided important information on diamine oxidase foods and how to raise diamine oxidase naturally through our diet.

The study looked at both macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (including key minerals and vitamins) in healthy women.

The findings suggest that our diet (and not just the histamine content of food) has a profound impact on our histamine degrading enzyme diamine oxidase. Increasing our diamine oxidase may help increase our histamine tolerance.


The study reconfirmed that long-chain fatty acid (such as olive oil) significantly increase diamine oxidase activity.

These findings are consistent with earlier studies including:

A 1998 animal study that found that olive oil increases diamine oxidase in a dose-dependent manner. [4]

A 2004 human study that found that bile replacement (necessary for fat digestion and absorption) increased levels. [14]

There was no connection between carbohydrate, proteins, other types of fats, or energy intake and diamine oxidase levels. These findings were also not affected by hormone status.


The study did not find a correlation between fiber intake and diamine oxidase activity, however, the participants had a low soluble fiber intake.

In a previous human study, seven grams per day of galactomannan for 4 weeks increased serum diamine oxidase activity in elderly patients [18].

The authors, therefore, concluded that they still considered soluble fiber may improve levels.



The study found that magnesium intake is directly related to diamine oxidase activity.

Those findings were also consistent with a rat study that found that a dietary magnesium deficiency decreased levels of activity [5].

Interestingly, magnesium and calcium levels are also reduced during PMS, and oral administration of magnesium or calcium is known to relieve PMS symptoms [16, 17].

Copper and Zinc

Both copper and zinc are integrally linked to hormone production and a previous animal study found that a dietary copper deficiency or zinc intake decreased blood diamine oxidase activity [6].

The current study found that copper intake and zinc intake did not alter diamine oxidase activity. These findings suggest key differences between animal and human diamine oxidase mechanisms of action.


The current study reconfirmed that diamine oxidase activity is influenced by the menstrual cycle.

Previous studies have found that diamine oxidase activity is high during pregnancy [2, 8, 9], lower during the luteal phase (when estrogen dominates) [8], and is known to affect women more than men.

Importantly, however, the current study found that phosphorus, calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron, and vitamin B12, during the luteal phase (days 15 – 28) increased serum diamine oxidase activity.


What if rather than focusing on low histamine foods, or diamine oxidase supplements, we could raise our levels naturally?

This study suggests that by optimizing our overall dietary composition, improving our hormone status (including fat absorption necessary to produce hormones), that our diamine oxidase levels can be increased naturally.


[1] Miyoshi M, Ueno M, Matsuo M, Hamada Y, Takahashi M, Yamamoto M, Yamamoto I, Mikajiri R, Tabuchi S, Wakida K, Yamanishi M, Hirai M, Usami M, Effect of dietary fatty acid and micronutrient intake/energy ratio on serum diamine oxidase activity in healthy women, Nutrition (2017), doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2017.03.004.

[2] Wollin A, Wang X, Tso P. Nutrients regulate diamine oxidase release from intestinal mucosa. Am J Physiol 1998; 275: R969-R975.

[3] García-Martín E, Ayuso P, Martinez C, Agúndez JA. Improved analytical sensitivity reveals the occurrence of gender-related variability in diamine oxidase enzyme activity in healthy individuals. Clin Biochem 2007; 40: 1339-41.

[4] Motoori M, Yano M, Miyata H, Sugimura K, Saito T, Omori T, Fujiwara Y, Miyoshi N, Akita H, Gotoh K, Takahashi H, Kobayashi S, Noura S, Ohue M, Asahara T, Nomoto K, Ishikawa O, Sakon M. Randomized study of the effect of synbiotics during neoadjuvant chemotherapy on adverse events in esophageal cancer patients. Clin Nutr 2015.

[5] Ji Y, Sakata Y, Li X, Zhang C, Yang Q, Xu M, Wollin A, Langhans W, Tso P. Lymphatic diamine oxidase secretion stimulated by fat absorption is linked with histamine release. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 2013; 304: G732-G740.

[6] Nishio A, Ishiguro S, Miyao N. Specific change of histamine metabolism in acute magnesium-deficient young rats. Drug Nutr Interact 1987; 5: 89-96.

[7] Feillet-Coudray C, Coudray C, Bayle D, Rock E, Rayssiguier Y, Mazur A. Response of diamine oxidase and other plasma copper biomarkers to various dietary copper intakes in the rat and evaluation of copper absorption with a stable isotope. Br J Nutr 2000; 83: 561-8.

[8] Han XY, Ma YF, Lv MY, Wu ZP, Qian LC. Chitosan-zinc chelate improves intestinal structure and mucosal function and decreases apoptosis in ileal mucosal epithelial cells in weaned pigs. Br J Nutr 2014; 111: 1405-11.

[9] Hamada Y, Shinohara Y, Yano M, Yamamoto M, Yoshio M, Satake K, Toda A, Hirai M, Usami M. Effect of the menstrual cycle on serum diamine oxidase levels in healthy women. Clin Biochem 2013; 46: 99-102.

[10] Maintz L, Schwarzer V, Bieber T, van der Ven K, Novak N. Effects of histamine and diamine oxidase activities on pregnancy: a critical review. Hum Reprod Update 2008; 14:485-95.

[10] Buffenstein R, Poppitt SD, McDevitt RM, Prentice AM. Food intake and the menstrual cycle: a retrospective analysis, with implications for appetite research. Physiol Behav 1995; 58:1067-77.

[11] Takagi K, Nakao M, Ogura Y, Nabeshima T, Kunii A. Sensitive colorimetric assay of serum diamine oxidase. Clin Chim Acta 1994; 226:67-75.

[14] Kamiya S, Nagino M, Kanazawa H, Komatsu S, Mayumi T, Takagi K, Asahara T, Nomoto K, Tanaka R, Nimura Y. The value of bile replacement during external biliary drainage: an analysis of intestinal permeability, integrity, and microflora. Ann Surg 2004; 239:510-7.

[15] Mocchegiani E, Romeo J, Malavolta M, Costarelli L, Giacconi R, Diaz LE, Marcos A. Zinc: dietary intake and impact of supplementation on immune function in elderly. Age (Dordr) 2013; 35: 839-60.

[16] Facchinetti F, Borella P, Sances G, Fioroni L, Nappi RE, Genazzani AR. Oral magnesium successfully relieves premenstrual mood changes. Obstet Gynecol 1991; 78: 177-81.

[17] Thys-Jacobs S, Starkey P, Bernstein D, Tian J. Calcium carbonate and the premenstrual syndrome: Effects on premenstrual and menstrual symptoms. Premenstrual syndrome study group. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1998; 179: 444-52.

[18] Nakao M, Ogura Y, Satake S, Ito I, Iguchi A, Takagi K, Nabeshima T. Usefulness of soluble dietary fiber for the treatment of diarrhea during enteral nutrition in elderly patients. Nutrition 2002; 18: 35-9.

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  • Heather Huerta

    Alison how much olive oil would we need to consume in one day? I think my histamine issue may be more hormone related – so would I take it more during the luteal phase or begin a few days prior to that?
    Other suggestions of foods would be gladly taken. Thanks!

    • I would simply include it as a primary source of fat in your diet. Olive oil helps at any time. Hormone issues appear to be affected by the other nutrient factors listed in this article. I really recommend a DUTCH hormone test to get to root cause.

  • Yes – I do it via testing through and customize it. I will, however, be starting to share some concept via this blog that can be implemented at home to enable customization.

  • Marika Bouchon

    “what if”…, instead of focusing on specific substances and symptoms/illnesses, we restored for example higher levels of progesterone (less oestrogen dominance in women), and the function of the lipids metabolism which is the core of immune response, hormones, and nerves? That means a whole lot more ‘good fats’ (oils, not saturated fats).
    See Dr Rosedale diet for healthy longevity (more plant fibre, and much more ‘good’ oils);
    see Dr Platt on natural progesterone for both women and men – it reduces oestrogen dominance as well as many other things such as inflammation. These approaches of ‘food is medicine’ (see also dr Axe) restore the ‘foundation of health’ and then the diseases, illnesses and symptoms simply disappear, without having to worry about specific action on this, that or the other.

    My own framework requires these approaches to reduce sympathetic activation (survival mechanisms), known to be hyperactive in all the women and sensitive men with ‘syndromes’ (CFS, FM, hyperactive…) and found the core in the suppression of the lipids metabolism by modern diets, sedentarism, and ‘fast’ life/ ‘high’ function. That includes suppresssion of fundamental systems for viabilty, suppressed by survival. Examples: Acetylcholine in the vagus nerves/para-sympathetic; reactions to weakening, such as inflammation.
    One crucial element usually ignored is that it is not easy to access living conditions that do not trigger survival mechanisms; especially for people with a sensitive nervous system/hyperactive brain.
    Another elements widely dismissed is the difficulty in obtaining enough ‘EnErgo’ from ‘healthy food’ if the sympathetic and brain are hyperactive: just not enough carbs ‘to cope’, so we resort to ‘energy foods’ – medicine ignores this difficulty with food, when it does not call it ‘eating disorder’ or ‘elderly anorexia’.

    • Marika I dont propose specific substances – nor is that what I am suggesting here. I work in a functional health model where you work upstream, identify what is causing the imbalance and fix it – by fix it I mean fix the environmental issue. I don’t believe in standard protocols or approaches – having seen them be hit and miss. The DUTCH test provides so much information and has revolutionized the amount of information available to target environmental solutions. Without that degree of specificity I find the solutions can be either overwhelming or ineffective. That’s just my approach of course.