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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2000 Feb;54(2):155-8.

Histamine plasma levels and elimination diet in chronic idiopathic urticaria.

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Department of Physiology, Nutrition Section, University 'Federico II', Naples, Italy.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of an oligoantigenic and histamine-free diet on patients affected with chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU).


Ten patients with chronic idiopathic urticaria were prescribed an oligoantigenic and histamine-free diet for 21 days, followed by serial and controlled reintroduction of foods during a further 70 days. Modification in clinical illness as well as histamine plasma levels, post-heparin plasma diamine oxidase (DAO) and intestinal permeability were evaluated.


The oligoantigenic and histamine-free diet induced a significant improvement of symptoms (P<0.05). Moreover, CIU patients on free diet showed higher histamine plasma levels (P<0. 05 vs post-diet and vs controls) that fell to control levels during the oligoantigenic and histamine-free diet. Post-heparin plasma diamine oxidase values were slightly reduced and were unchanged during the diet as well as intestinal permeability, which was always normal in all patients.


These data suggest that histamine plays a major role in chronic idiopathic urticaria. The finding of normal intestinal permeability suggests that a morphological damage of intestinal mucosa should be excluded in these patients. However, the presence of low levels of post-heparin plasma diamine oxidase may indicate a subclinical impairment of small bowel enterocyte function that could induce a higher sensitivity to histamine-rich or histamine-producing food. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2000) 54, 155-158

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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