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How You Can Improve DAO Enzyme Activity When Dealing with Histamine Intolerance

How You Can Improve DAO Enzyme Activity.

Diamine oxidase (DAO) is an important enzyme that plays a role in breaking down and maintaining healthy levels of histamine within the body. Low levels of DAO can cause histamine levels to rise and potentially lead to histamine intolerance, chronic inflammation, and mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS). High levels of Histamine can cause anaphylaxis—allergic symptoms such as hives, swelling, low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, and severe diarrhea. In today’ article we want to break down some of the nutritional requirements needed for healthy DAO enzyme activity. By understanding some of the vitamin cofactors that are required for healthy DAO function- we can improve DAO enzyme activity which in turn, will assist our bodies in the degradation of excess histamine.

If you take a look at this illustration, you will notice that at the very top we have histamine, histamine is broken down by HNMT on the left and DAO on the right.

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In green letters you are going to see SAMe on the left and Iron, B6, B12, copper and vitamin C on the right. What this means is that if you are deficient in any of these vitamin cofactors, the DAO enzyme or HNMT enzyme won’t work properly, in turn, histamine will not be broken down and ultimately, you will experience excess histamine. Think you might have a  problem with histamine? take the Histamine intolerance quiz.

So things I want you to consider, if you are woman, and you have a heavy menstrual cycle for whatever reason, you have fibroids, you have endometriosis, there is a good change you are iron anemic.

If you have hemorrhoids, Ulcers, H.pylori infection, you have been on proton pump inhibitors, you are taking birth control pills, then the chances are very high that you are deficient in B12, B6, vitamin C. If you have been pounding down zinc (more than 30-60mg per day) like many patients do when they have gut issues, you might also be low in copper.

So, if any of these sound like you, consider supplementing with everything I just mentioned. To support the HNMT enzyme pathway, you need to support your methylation pathways. SAMe and other sulfur based donors can help with that.

Supplements That Helps With DAO enzymes activity and Histamine Intolerance

Let’s talk about some other strategies or supplements that can help with DAO activity and in turn reduce high histamine levels

Quercetin: When you intake Quercetin, you’re helping your body to calm the inflammation. It also blocks the releases of histamine from your mast cells. Quercetin has strong antioxidant activity and has been shown to support immune health by mediating the release of inflammatory compounds including leukotrienes and prostaglandins. Quercetin is known for its ability to stabilize mast cells, diminishing the release of histamine, the compound known to cause hypersensitivity reactions during seasonal changes

DAO™ is a patented enzyme formula containing diamine oxidase (DAO)—the main enzyme responsible for the degradation of ingested histamine. This enzyme has been clinically tested and found to break down food-derived histamine in the digestive tract. DAO is not absorbed and does not have systemic activity.

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Stinging Nettles Leaf ExtractStinging nettles leaf is a plant that has been shown to balance immune response, specifically in the airways and nasal passages. Studies have shown that the extract of stinging nettles leaf balances a variety of inflammatory activities that affect respiratory health.

Bromelain– Bromelain is a plant enzyme naturally found on the stem and fruit of the pineapple plant. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme (protein-digesting)  that aids in in the breakdown of large protein complexes, including antigenic compounds, and has been shown to enhance the absorption of quercetin. Bromelain has been shown to reduce circulating allergenic protein complexes associated with hyper-immune sensitivity and seasonal discomfort.

Omega-3 is an important one, they have been shown to release DAO and in women.


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  2. How To Get Started on a Low Histamine Diet – Part I
  3. How to Get Started on a Low Histamine Diet-Part II
  4. Supplements to help support Histamine Intolerances 
  5. Histamine Intolerance and Gut Health
  6. Estrogen Dominance and Histamine Intolerance- Hormonal imbalances that trigger Histamine/MCAS symptoms
  7. Why Adrenal Cortisol Testing is so Important for GI Problems
  8. Natural Ways to Increase DAO enzyme activity to help break down ingested histamine
  9. Check out Dr Hagmeyer’s YouTube Channel 
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