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Histamine Intolerance & Eczema

Jan 17, 2024

Histamine intolerance is an intriguing and often misunderstood condition, significantly impacting the lives of those who suffer from it. This blog post aims to shed light on histamine intolerance, focusing on its degradation pathways and the role of specific nutrients in these processes.

Understanding Histamine Intolerance

Histamine, a compound found in various foods and also produced in the body, plays a crucial role in our immune response, digestion, and central nervous system functioning. Histamine intolerance arises when the body accumulates histamine at levels it can't effectively break down, leading to a range of symptoms like flaring eczema, headaches, hives, digestive issues, and nasal congestion.

The Pathways of Histamine Degradation

Histamine is primarily broken down by two enzymes: diamine oxidase (DAO) and histamine N-methyltransferase (HNMT).

1. Diamine Oxidase (DAO): This is the main enzyme responsible for breaking down histamines found in food. It's found in high concentrations in the intestines, acting as a frontline defense against histamine-rich foods.

2. Histamine N-methyltransferase (HNMT): HNMT operates within cells, especially in the liver and kidneys, degrading histamine produced or released within the body.


Nutrients Influencing Histamine Degradation

Certain nutrients can support these degradation pathways:

1. Vitamin B6: This vitamin is a cofactor for HNMT. Adequate B6 levels ensure optimal functioning of HNMT, aiding in the efficient breakdown of histamine.

2. Copper: Copper is essential for DAO activity. A deficiency in copper can lead to reduced DAO activity, hence a decreased capacity to break down dietary histamine.

3. Vitamin C: An antihistamine, vitamin C can help lower histamine levels in the blood and has been shown to enhance the activity of DAO.

4. Magnesium: This mineral also supports DAO activity. Low levels of magnesium might impair the histamine degradation process.

5. Vitamin D: Stabilizes mast cells and regulates the immune system

6. Vitamin B5: This supplement is one of the quickest ways to eliminate histamine by supporting an enzyme called NAT2 (N-acetyltransferase)


When I was researching this topic I watched this video which might help you as well.  


After watching that video I got really curious about what foods are the highest in each nutrient and pulled together this collage of photos which are sources from but let's not stop here. Going further let's address which foods are particularly eczema friendly. 


Eczema Friendly & Histamine Intolerance Foods

Not all of the foods in the diagram above are eczema friendly but let's dive into some that are...

Salmon: You will notice in the images that salmon often comes up. Try to get a wild-caught salmon if that's available to you. Farmed salmon isn't quite as nutritious along with several concerns about farming practices. 

Lentils/beans: Test these out in your diet to make sure you can tolerate them. If so, don't overconsume them but include them in moderation in your diet.

Sweet potato: While this might be challenging to eat if you have candida overgrowth, sweet potatoes are quite nutritious and can support you through the histamine intolerance challenge.


Managing Histamine Intolerance

While there's no cure for histamine intolerance, managing it usually involves a two-pronged approach:

1. Diet: Avoiding foods high in histamine or histamine-releasing foods is fundamental. These include aged cheeses, fermented foods, alcohol, and certain fish.

2. Nutrient Support: Ensuring adequate intake of the nutrients that support histamine degradation can be beneficial. This might involve dietary changes or supplementation under the guidance of a healthcare professional.



Histamine intolerance is a complex condition, but understanding the degradation pathways and the role of specific nutrients offers a pathway to better management. If you suspect you have histamine intolerance, it's important to consult with a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. By combining dietary strategies with targeted nutritional support, individuals with histamine intolerance can effectively manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.


Wondering what foods contain histamines?

The Ultimate Eczema Food Guide is the easiest guide to use for food & eczema!

It's a Google Sheets spreadsheet that will help you look up any whole food and its relationship to eczema. This means if you wanted to look up bananas to see if they are high or low in histamines all you do is consult this spreadsheet and you will see it's high in histamines. Learn more here.


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Ultimate Eczema Food Guide

This is a Google Sheets spreadsheet that will help you look up any whole food and its relationship to eczema like: histamines, candida, SIBO, salicylates, and more

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