Histamine intolerance: a metabolic disease?

Inflamm Res. 2010 Mar:59 Suppl 2:S219-21. doi: 10.1007/s00011-009-0134-3.


Objective: To evaluate the evidence regarding the disease concept of histamine intolerance as a state of inadequate histamine inactivation.

Methods: Keyword-based systematic screening of the scientific literature and of public websites focusing on diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

Results: Histamine intolerance is commonly diagnosed based solely on subjective reporting of symptoms instead of following systematic diagnostic procedures based on objective laboratory and physical parameters. The only effective long-term therapy is avoidance of histamine-containing food.

Conclusions: The concept of histamine intolerance as a metabolic disease is in need of more experimental and clinical evidence and affected patients will benefit from a clear, evidence-based diagnostic and therapeutic regime.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet
  • Food Hypersensitivity / metabolism*
  • Histamine / metabolism*
  • Histamine / pharmacology
  • Histamine / physiology*
  • Histamine N-Methyltransferase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Diseases / diet therapy
  • Metabolic Diseases / metabolism*


  • Histamine
  • Histamine N-Methyltransferase