Histamine Block, the diamine oxidase (DAO) supplement I told you about does NOT block histamine! After my fifth loved one asked about “that histamine blocker you’re taking,” I thought I should explain the difference explicitly.
DAO is a digestive enzyme that breaks down histamine in food and histamine that’s released as part of digestion. Not everyone produces sufficient amounts of DAO. Histamine Block contains that enzyme (from pigs). This is what all DAO supplements do — they do not block histamine, they temporarily give a person the enzyme that breaks down histamine in the digestive tract.
It’s easiest to explain in terms of a well-known enzyme deficiency, lactose intolerance. People who are lactose intolerant have a deficiency in the enzyme called lactase. Without sufficient amounts of lactase, the digestive tract cannot properly break down lactose. Some lactose-intolerant people can take Lactaid, a lactase supplement, to eat products that contain lactose without symptoms.
Similarly, some people can take DAO and eat foods that contain or release histamine that they could not tolerate without supplementing the enzyme. Others, like me, can’t even effectively process the histamine that is always released as part of digestion, even if they eat low-histamine foods. (To complicate matters, insufficient DAO production is not the only reason a person could have trouble with dietary histamine.)
Why is the supplement called Histamine Block if it doesn’t block histamine? Marketing. A name like Histamine Block tells consumers before they look at the fine print that that the product is likely to reduce histamine-related issues. It also confuses people who want to understand how the product works and what it does.
- Being a Human Guinea Pig and Digging into Clinical Research: Food and Histamine, Mast Cells and Migraine (Jan. 9, 2014)
- The Post I Never Thought I’d Get to Write (Jan. 23, 2014)
- Histamine Intolerance & DAO: Answers to Your Questions (Jan. 25, 2014)
- Mast Cell Disorders, DAO & Food Trigger Testing (Mar. 11, 2014)
- Diamine Oxidase (DAO) is Why I’m Doing Better (May 6, 2014)
- Testing if Your DAO Level is Low (May 12, 2014)
10 thoughts on ““Histamine Block” Does NOT Block Histamine!”
Frank F. I have the same problem with msg or anything close to msg like caramel coloring , or gelatin. What type of steroid pack or shot are taking and is that for severe casese or that’s something that can be taken once or twice a week if needed. Please reply back or email me.
I get a headache every time i ever eat, period, no matter what is in it. I’ve developed what could possibly be described as an eating disorder now, even though I’m not insecure about my weight and have no control issues and don’t feel the need to starve myself, etc. However, i do know that every time i eat, I’m going to get significant pain from a migraine, and so its been torture for twenty years. If this is true, and there’s a product that can help, all i can say is that this is a miracle that i found this info finally after being on disability for these for years, and thank you to the author for the research and for sharing her story, and to the readers for the updated info. I could not find any dao in the brand names she listed either and was getting tearfully discouraged. Lol thank you all so much.
Got my order from Umbrellux – very happy with the quality and very happy to have back my DAO!
Unfortunately DAO is now only available in the US from one company, umbrellux.
This is response to Mary. perhaps you are not accessing the right brand. On the Seeking Health website it says “Histamine Block by Seeking Health contains a patented enzyme formula providing 20,000 HDU of diamine oxidase (DAO) – the main enzyme responsible for the degradation of ingested histamine – per serving (2 capsules). Hope this helps. I’m definitely going to try it when it comes back in stock.
To the last commenter, Amazon is not the only place to get the supplement. I just called my local integrative pharmacy, Pharmaca, and they carry it.
Hi, I was going to buy Histablock based on your recommendation, but the Amazon reviews say that it no longer contains DAO. It does, however, contain quercetin and bromelain, which are supposed to help aid the body in making more DAO. Do you still think it’s effective without the actual DAO enzyme? Histame is the same…no DAO.
I’d be interested to know, too. It seems like all of the DAO containing products are out of stock due to a shortage.
I use DAO to neutralize the problems I have whenever I accidentally consume any MSG.
I have no problem with foods high in histamine, however I am extremely sensitive to MSG and all its numerous other names, i.e. anything autolyzed, hydrolyzed, modified _____ starch, etc, I’m guessing my gut is producing the histamines, when I ingest any of this MSG containing crap. The reactions I have take about 8 hours, and it takes about a week to completely flush it out of my system.
There are only three things that help, a steroid shot, an oral steroid pack, or DAO. The
DAO is actually more effective than the steroids. The relief is within about five minutes. I do need to take 6 enzymes capsules several times an hour for the first couple of days depending on how much MSG I have in my system.
One of my friends, also has no problem with foods high in histamine, but gets migraines from MSG.
She had a migraine for 3 days, and asked me about the enzymes I take for my MSG problem. I gave her 6 of the DAO capsules. She said, within five minutes she felt a tingling in her head and the headache was gone.
Bunch of bunk. No one is sensitive to MSG and it’s been proven. It’s found in hundreds of fruits and vegetables. If you have so called episodes especially after eating Chinese food, it’s not MSG it’s the gluten from the Soy sauce and possibly the egg used in lots of their recipes. Do your research. The MSG myth has been totally proven false