Vitamin C Increases Diamine Oxidase

March 18, 2015  |  Blog, Histamine Intolerance

The humble vitamin C increases diamine oxidase making it one of the simplest and cheapest treatments for histamine intolerance.

Here is a quick summary of current research findings:

  1. Dosage recommendations are between 1 – 3 grams a day, with 2 grams a general recommendation.
  2. Vitamin C increases diamine oxidase which then metabolises excess histamine.
  3. Vitamin C does not stop histamine degranulation from mast cells. It does not affect tryptase levels.
  4. Chewable tablets (absorbed orally) are the most rapidly absorbed (including by the brain) in an emergency.
  5. Vitamin C can also reduce nausea and sea-sickness.

Vitamin C Increases Diamine Oxidase

What does this mean in practice:

  1. Our body does not manufacture or store vitamin c. This means we need to consume vitamin c daily.
  2. It is important to commence with a low dosage and build very slowly or you will get diarrhea. Trust me!
  3. When selecting a supplement it is important to consider a supplement with the minimum number of fillers and additives. I take the Seeking Health Brand of Optimal Liposomal Vitamin C which is one of the few I tolerate.
  4. If you are particularly sensitive then you may need to start with bolstering your vitamin c through your diet first. It may however be difficult to obtain 2 grams consistently solely through your diet.
  5. Quercetin is not needed to bolster diamine oxidase.

If you want to start with food, then Vitamin C is found in reasonable quantities, in a broad range of fruit and vegetables. To boost levels further, there are three super-nutrients, which are easy to slip into a smoothie or two:

  1. Kakadu Plum (Gubinge)  – Kakadu plum is a native fruit of Australia. It has the highest concentration of Vitamin C of any food. Just 15g will provide 2g of Vitamin C. I use the Loving Earth Wild Harvested Gubinge.
  2. Camu Camu – Camu camu is a native fruit of Peru. It has a high concentration of Vitamin C (second only to Kakadu Plum). Just 17g will provide 2g of Vitamin C making it a substitute for Kakadu Plum. It has a consistency and taste similar to Kakadu Plum so I tend to just use one or the other.
  3. Rosehips – Whilst Rosehips contain less vitamin C (relative to Kakadu plum or Camu Camu) they also contain high levels of anti-oxidants and flavonoids. They are also a relative of the apple making them a perfect marriage.

Whilst these super-nutrients have a slightly bitter taste, I find slipped into a fruit smoothie, I am none the wiser.

So if you want to treat your histamine flares naturally, or are stuck trying to empty your histamine bucket, rather than reaching for an anti-histamine, think about reaching for some vitamin c instead. Its that simple.

Additional Reading

Johnston, C. S. (1996). The antihistamine action of ascorbic acid. In Sub-cellular Biochemistry (pp. 189-213). Springer US.

Jarish, R, Editor (2015). Histamine Intolerance: Histamine and Seasickness.

Ricardo Gonzalez Alvarez, Milagros Garcia Mesa, Ascorbic acid and pyridoxine in experimental anaphylaxis, Agents and Actions, April 1981, Volume 11, Issue 1-2, pp 89-93.

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  • Trine Skovlund Bentzen


    Thanks for the great post.
    I would like to know where the information about tryptase levels and vitamin c comes from (for my doctor) – thanks!

    Best regards
    Trine from Denmark

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  • Andrea Adinolfi

    hi alison, are all this fruit histamine liberator? like acerola? you use a standardizeted powder or capsule? or you just put in the smoothie 🙂

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  • Doro Rund

    Hi Alison,
    IVs of ascorbic acid did miracles for me! After around two hours my energy and mood is lifted dramatically and that day I can eat whatever I want! For me it looks like the high histamine in my body derives from allergies like dust, pollen and mold. When I was in Egypt, Dahab where it was extremely dry without any vegetation and I think no mold I could suddenly eat whatever I want and had so much energy. When I came back home it was like a switch was turned and my eczema and everything came back. Another girl who was there with me experienced the same with her acne. So this doesn´t seem to be an enzymatic problem that I have. Does DAO help degrading histamine that comes from the environment?? At the moment I´m very unwell because I had to work in a very moldy building for some weeks. But I will get another infusion next week and hope it will help me feel better again.
    I love your page, it looks like lots of work!
    Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland, Doro

    • Hi Doro lovely to hear from you. Histamine is also degraded by HNMT and I will shortly do a blog post on this and the testing for it. Thankyou!

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  • Claudia McGrath

    Hi Alison, my son has histamine issues and sibo. I thought ascorbic acid ( sodium ascorbate) form of vitamin c helpful for both but now see ascorbic acid is in your ‘avoid’ in your food list. Thanks so much

    • Yes absolutely excellent for both. With SIBO I give vitamin C at night whilst the gut is fermenting and get excellent results. There are various types of vitamin C and the question is whether he also has copper issues. Also some do better on liposomal forms.

      • Claudia McGrath

        Thank you. Yes we also use liposomal form but use the sodium ascorbate to bowel tolerance as he has the constipation type of SIBO. Was using magnesium citrate for this purpose but believe it can feed biofilm. Maybe ascorbic acid should not be in your avoid colomn? Glad you confirmed it’s ok. Thank you!

        • Claudia McGrath

          Ps my son always tests high copper. Can you tell me how the copper relates to the type of vit C please? Thanks Alison

          • Claudia you will need to make an appointment as it is too complicated to give you advice over a blog nor is it appropriate. I am surd Dr Gupta would know too.

          • Claudia McGrath

            Yes fair enough. Dr Gupta starting him on Rifaximin, neomycin and LDN this week so don’t want to make too many changes. I was worried when I saw the ascorbic acid in avoid colomn but do love sups that serve multiple purposes. Less is better with kids I think. I would love a consult when we are on top a bit better..first Lyme, than mold illness, and now SIBO- all go hand in hand with histamines..very overwhelming but lovely to know you are there, thank you Alison x