Histamine intolerance common with HPU
With histamine intolerance (HIT), the relationship between the uptake, formation and breakdown of histamine in the body is out of balance. In HPU, both histaminosis (high histamine levels, less frequent in HPU) and histapenia (low histamine levels, frequent in HPU) occur.
Since the conversion of histidine to histamine depends on P5P (activated form of vitamin B6), it is clear why HPU sufferers often suffer from histamine intolerance. At the same time, the activity of the DAO is increased by the often high copper levels (counterpart of zinc, which is often lowered). DAO stands for diamine oxidase – a copper-dependent enzyme in the small intestine that breaks down histamine.
The MaO enzymes are also dependent on copper. The monoamine oxidases (MaO) are mitochondrial enzymes that break down monoamines. They are also involved in the degradation of histamine.
Histapenia due to to high copper level
Since both enzymes work faster at high copper levels, histamine is degraded very quickly in untreated HPU patients.
This results in a constantly lowered histamine level – histapenia.
Background: Zinc and copper are opponents. As the untreated HPUler excretes more zinc with the defective haem, the copper level usually rises.
People with histapenia often react even more sensitively to histamine-containing foods or histamine liberators than people with a permanently elevated histamine level.
Note: In the course of life, the histamine level decreases naturally. Younger people can therefore be expected to have higher histamine levels than older people.
Diagnosis of histapenia
It is important that histamine is not determined in blood serum but in whole blood. The histamine concentration inside and outside the cell is measured. The Keac laboratory in Holland offers this test for about 82 euros.
For histamine in whole blood, the Keac laboratory gives the following reference values: 28 – 51 µg/l
Below 28 µg/l a histapenia is present, above 51 µg/l a histaminosis.
An activity measurement of the DAO (or MaO) has no diagnostic value here, since it is often even increased, as described above.
An elevated copper value measured in whole blood can also be an indication of histapenia.
Complaints with Histapenia
Keac mentions the following possible complaints that can occur with histapenia: