Histamine intolerance and dietary management: A complete review

Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2016 Sep-Oct;44(5):475-83. doi: 10.1016/j.aller.2016.04.015. Epub 2016 Aug 31.


Background: Present in several types of food, bioactive amines are described as organic bases of low molecular weight, which constitute a potential health risk. An awareness of amine levels in foods today is therefore important in relation to food safety and patient care. This review aims to emphasise the need to unify the information on the content of biogenic amines in foods and prevent patients' misunderstanding.

Methods: Selective literature search for relevant publications in PubMed and other scientific data bases combined with further data from the World Wide Web on histamine and other amines content in foods.

Results: Available reference sources do not reflect a homogeneous consensus, and the variation between foods makes it impossible for dieticians to accurately estimate amines content to correctly advise patients.

Conclusions: To achieve the goal of collecting reliable information, all methods and tools used in analytical studies should be standardised and information exposed to patients should be verified.

Keywords: Amine; Diamine oxidase; Histamine; Intolerance; Mast cell.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amine Oxidase (Copper-Containing) / metabolism
  • Biogenic Amines*
  • Diet Therapy*
  • Food Analysis*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / prevention & control
  • Food Safety / methods
  • Histamine / immunology*
  • Humans


  • Biogenic Amines
  • Histamine
  • Amine Oxidase (Copper-Containing)