Do you suffer from headaches, itching, or hives after consuming certain foods?
If so, you may be among the millions of people suffering from histamine intolerance.
While the causes of this condition are complex, recent research has suggested that excess vitamin B12 intake may play a significant role.
In this article, we explore the link between excess vitamin B12 and histamine intolerance and what you can do to alleviate your symptoms.
Histamine Intolerance: An Overview
Histamine is a chemical substance that is vital to many bodily functions.
It is synthesized from the amino acid histidine.
It regulates our immune and nervous systems' functioning and sleep-wake cycles.
Histamine is stored in "mast cells" on our skin, lungs, and GI tract.
Many foods naturally contain histamine, especially fermented and cured foods.
However, this histamine does not enter our bloodstream as it is broken down by an enzyme called Diamine Oxidase (DAO).
When the DAO enzyme fails to function correctly, breaking down histamine naturally becomes difficult, leading to an allergic reaction called histamine intolerance.
It can manifest as headaches, itching, and stomach problems.
Some medications, such as aspirin and diclofenac, can also interfere with histamine release in the body, causing intolerance.
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Do Foods High In Vitamin B12 Cause Histamine Intolerance?
Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is an essential nutrient for the body.
It is essential for DNA synthesis and the maintenance of nerve cells.
A deficiency of vitamin B12 can cause many symptoms, such as fatigue, depression, and shortness of breath.
Severe deficiency can lead to irreversible brain and nerve damage.
However, excess vitamin B12 in the body can cause histamine intolerance symptoms.
Studies suggest that vitamin B12 can trigger histamine release in the body.
Certain bacteria or yeasts can convert histidine into histamine in the body, triggering an allergic reaction.
Fermented foods high in certain types of microorganisms can trigger a histamine allergy in the body.
However, there are differences in how each individual reacts to vitamin B12.
Therefore, in one person, it may trigger excess histamine release, causing the symptoms of histamine intolerance, while in another person, it may not cause any symptoms.
Foods To Avoid With Histamine Intolerance
A histamine diet should exclude foods rich in vitamin B12, like shellfish, fish, crustaceans, liver, and red meat.
Cheese, eggs, and fortified cereals might also trigger excess histamine release in the body.
Try avoiding fermented foods such as kombucha and kimchi.
However, low histamine diets can also result in malnutrition.
Thus, it is always important to consult your doctor before you include or exclude anything from your diet.
Summary: Vitamin B12 And Histamine Intolerance
Histamine intolerance is a condition that is caused due to under-secretion of the DAO enzyme, which metabolizes histamine in the body.
It can cause an allergic reaction and manifest as headaches and stomach problems.
Studies show that there might be a connection between histamine intolerance and vitamin B12.
Foods rich in vitamin B12 also contain high levels of histamine, which can trigger a reaction.
Fermented foods, fortified cereals, and canned fish are all rich in vitamin B12 and histamine.
It is essential to consult with your doctor before making any dietary changes, as eliminating a food group can cause various deficiencies.