Histamine is an organic compound involved in the immune system. It also acts as a neurotransmitter for the uterus and regulates physiological function in the gut. We are most familiar with the relation of histamine to the immune system. Medications for certain allergies are called “antihistamines” because histamine acts as a red flag in the immune system causing an inflammatory response, hence the allergies. There are certain foods high in histamine that should be eaten with caution. They cause the release of histamine and can trigger allergic reactions. From itching and swelling to nasal congestion and difficulty in breathing. Histamine build up can also cause headache. If the histamine is not broken down properly, we can develop histamine intolerance. Levels of histamine exceeding 50 mg/kg in foods and 2 mg/L in drinks are considered
1. Fermented Alcoholic Beverages
Alcoholic drinks which are fermented such as beer, wine and champagne are high in histamine. Red wine has up to 24 mg/L of histamine, while champagne has 670 mg/L. People, especially with histamine intolerance experience increase in heart rate, flushing when drinking these kinds of alcohol. Yeast is used in the fermentation process of these beverages to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide.