Histamine in wine. Bronchoconstriction after a double-blind placebo-controlled red wine provocation test

Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 1996 Aug;110(4):397-400. doi: 10.1159/000237333.


A 38-year-old woman with a history of seasonal rhinoconjunctivitis reported repeated attacks of wheezing after drinking various alcoholic beverages. Two consecutive histamine provocations using two identical samples of red wine containing 200 micrograms histamine/l and 3,700 micrograms/l, respectively, were performed in a double-blind placebo-controlled fashion to assess a possible histamine-induced bronchoconstriction. Lung function, plasma histamine, skin temperature, pulse rate and symptoms were assessed. In 3 male controls, four consecutive wine tests were performed in a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled fashion. Drinking wine with 3,700 micrograms histamine/l caused coughing and wheezing with a decrease in lung function. Plasma histamine showed an increase at 10 and 20 min and decreased at 30 min both after histamine-rich as well as histamine-poor wine, reaching the peak increase after histamine-rich wine. Controls did not react and plasma histamine levels did not increase. Bronchoconstriction after wine or food rich in histamine seems to be caused by diminished histamine degradation on the basis of reduced activity of diamine oxidase. Histamine in wine may induce bronchoconstriction in patients suffering from histamine intolerance.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests*
  • Bronchoconstriction / drug effects*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Histamine / adverse effects*
  • Histamine / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / physiopathology
  • Wine / adverse effects*


  • Histamine