…as those who don’t wish to see.
Y’know as a kid when you didn’t want to hear something you’d stick your fingers in your ears and go “la la la la, can’t hear you!” I’m starting to think that’s the way most people feel about histamine. They only hear the bits they want to hear and ignore everything else.
To me, the most important page on my entire blog is the one about the evidence of Histamine in foods, yet it receives the least visitors and has no comments. Not a single one. The article proves that there is basically zero evidence on which to base any of the current Low Histamine Food lists and that the histamine content in food is just a guess, and oftentimes not even an educated guess. It’s very important to know this, particularly if you have HIT and could go into anaphylaxis if you eat too much histamine-rich food. But it seems no-one cares. No-one is shocked at the lack of evidence for histamine in food. And that shocks me more than anything!
In comparison, The Low Histamine Food list page has the most traffic, even though I’ve proven it’s not based on fact or much of anything else. It seems no-one’s bothered how accurate, or not, the low histamine food lists online are despite the fact their lives could depend on it.
We see what we want to see, especially when we’re desperate. We see a list of research references at the end of an article and think to ourselves “oh well, it must be based on fact then”, even though we don’t bother to read the research references to find out how old they are, how big the study was, if it was replicated, if it appeared in a peer review journal and was scrutinized. In other words, whether the research the article is based on is just a theory or whether it’s fact.
All the low histamine diets online tell you should avoid egg white. Did you know this is based on one single miniscule study done in the 1950s on mice which was never published or scrutinized? Would you let someone operate on your heart, based on a single research study on mice done just after the Second World War? No, I thought not.
No food is innately high in histamine. Histamine is produced during the aging process (eg mature cheese), the production process (eg. yoghurt, vinegar) or during storage and transportation. The latter is very important. A banana straight off the tree will be zero histamine. A month old, brown, soggy banana will be high histamine. Our food storage and transportation has come on leaps and bounds in the last 60 years. We now use refridgerated lorries and food often appears in supermarkets within days of being picked or produced which impacts its histamine level.
I wish if nothing else people would take away from my blog the fact that there is no such thing as a Low Histamine Food list. They don’t exist. It’s pointless Googling for whether or not Pak Choi is low or high in histamine, cos no-one knows. No-one knows whether the blackberries I pick off the bush in my garden contain histamine, or are higher in histamine than the blackberries shipped in from Israel for sale in the supermarket.
No-one knows how food affects DAO in the gut. We can’t even accurately measure DAO in the gut, so how on earth would we know if any food increases or decreases it? No-one knows if particular foods (eg. lemons) releases histamine stored in mast cells. And if you read differently online the person or company saying otherwise is either lying, guessing or simply hasn’t done their homework properly.
I know what I’m saying is deeply unpopular. I know sick people don’t want to hear it. But we should all know the facts about this stuff. It’s important. People following low histamine diets are cutting out all sorts of foods for absolutely no good reason. Aren’t our lives hard enough without that? If you don’t believe my research, do your own. Try and find evidence for the histamine content in foods – real evidence. Properly conducted up-to-date research published in medical or food Journals. And you’ll find it’s virtually non-existent. Just because there’s an app listing foods high in histamine doesn’t mean it’s accurate for heaven’s sake! And any app which lists foods which liberate histamine from mast cells, or which increases or decreases DAO is wrong, wrong wrong! Ask the people who produce the app to provide you with the evidence on which they base their information.
Knowing all this, I’ve been re-introducing some foods back into my life which I’ve avoided for the past 3 years. There is no evidence for baker’s yeast being high in histamine, and I really miss proper bread especially when I’m out and about, so I’ve been eating it in small amounts for a few months now. I still have my yeast-free bread when at home because I like it, it’s organic and doesn’t contain any of the crap of supermarket bread, however it’s only nice toasted so when out of the house I eat ‘normal’ bread in cafes and for my sanis. I’m happy to report no effects on my symptoms whatsoever. None. Yayyy
I’ve also re-introduced milk chocolate. I’m careful to use brands without soya of any kind (one of the only foods for which there is proper evidence of high histamine content) and am again happy to report that it has not affected me one iota. My hormones are ever so grateful – having a menstrual period without chocolate was sheer hell😉
There is not a shred of evidence for the histamine content of fruit or how fruit affects histamine in the body. Not lemons, not oranges, not strawberries. No research has been done on it. So over the summer I intend to try various fruits I’ve been avoiding, one by one, and see how it goes. Bananas are not purported to be high in histamine, yet they make me brain fogged, so it may be I react badly to some fruits for reasons no-one understands and which has nothing to do with histamine. Or bananas may be high in histamine. No-one knows, as they’ve not been tested!
Please, think about what you read online. Just because 100 people are saying one thing, and 1 person is saying the opposite, doesn’t mean the 1 person is wrong. Do your homework. Look at the evidence and make informed choices.