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Histamine in Foods: Its Possible Role in Non-Allergic Adverse Reactions to Ingestants

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Histamine is well recognized as a product of both mast cells and basophils. Its release from these sources in IgE-mediated reactions unquestionably contributes to the allergic response. It is often stated that ingestion of foods rich in histamine can result in absorption of sufficient histamine to provoke signs and symptoms reminiscent of an allergic reaction. A review of literature relevant to this issue suggests that certain foods do indeed contain histamine as measured by current methodology. Further, histamine ingestion in excess of 36 to 250 mg mayor may not result in a clinical response which includes abdominal complaints, feelings of warmth, flushing and headache. Taken together, this evidence supports the hypothesis that ingestion of large amounts of histamine-containing foods or foods which contain the histamine precursor, histidine, under some circumstances can result in adverse reactions.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 1986

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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