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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001 Feb;107(2):375-8.

No correlation between wine intolerance and histamine content of wine.

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Médecine Interne, Immunologie Clinique et Allergologie, Hôpital Central, Nancy, France.



Histamine is thought to be the main cause of adverse reactions to wines.


The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that the level of histamine in wine affects the tolerance to wine in 16 subjects with wine intolerance.


We performed a study to examine the effects of wine histamine content in 16 adults with wine intolerance. Each subject underwent 2 double-blind provocation tests with wine: 1 with a wine poor in histamine (0.4 mg/L), and 1 with a wine rich in histamine (13.8 mg/L). Blood was collected for histamine and methylhistamine RIAs at 0, 10, 30, and 45 minutes after ingestion of the wine. Methylhistamine and methylimidazolacetic acid (gas chromatography and mass spectrometry) were measured in urine 5 hours before and 5 hours after ingestion.


No significant differences in the occurrence of adverse reactions were noted after ingestion of either of the wines (McNemar test). At 10 minutes, a significant increase was observed in plasma histamine with histamine-poor wine. No significant changes (Wilcoxon test) were observed in the methylhistamine and methylimidazolacetic acid levels after ingestion of either histamine-poor or histamine-rich wine.


This study demonstrates that there is no correlation between the histamine content of wine and wine intolerance. The increase of plasma histamine levels at 10 minutes with histamine-poor wine suggested the role of a histamine-releasing substance. The role of acetaldehyde is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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