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Study: altered intestinal flora in individuals with histamine intolerance

Michael Wäger Michael Wäger
from Michael Wäger, BSc, MSc
on 27.03.2024

The intestinal flora of people who are sensitive to histamine in foods has a different composition to the intestinal flora of individuals to whom it poses no problems. This is indicated by a German study that was published in the Journal of Physiological Pharmacology in 2018.

Studies have shown that people who are sensitive to histamine may display certain shifts in their physiology. In addition to deviations in the activity of DAO (diamine oxidase), the enzyme responsible for the degradation of histamine, the composition of the intestinal flora also appears to influence sensitivity.

Schink’s team of researchers aimed to investigate the intestinal flora of individuals with histamine intolerance and compare it with the intestinal flora of a non-intolerant control group. To this end, all study participants underwent various blood and stool tests. While no significant differences in stool histamine levels were observed, a comparison of intestinal flora showed a number of differences: in contrast to the non-intolerant control group, individuals with histamine intolerance showed high levels of proteobacteria and a significantly reduced species diversity in the intestine. When the intestinal flora was examined for bacterial families, the histamine-intolerant subjects showed a significantly higher abundance of Bifidobacteriaceae compared to the control group. Significantly fewer members of the two genera Butyricimonas and Hespellia were observed, while levels of the genus Roseburia were significantly elevated in the intestinal flora of histamine-intolerant individuals.

The researchers came to the conclusion that the composition of intestinal bacterial is different in people who are sensitive to food histamine. According to researchers, this altered intestinal flora can in turn contribute to histamine intolerance.


Schink, M. et al. 2018. Microbial patterns in patients with histamine intolerance. J Physiol Pharmacol. 69(4).

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