Study Finds 2 Gene Variants Cause High Histamine Levels
Two studies have confirmed the link between genetic variants (genetic differences) and allergic rhinitis (chronic stuffy nose), migraine, and high histamine levels in Mexican children. This is particularly useful information if you’ve had your genes tested, but if you haven’t, read on to learn how and why you might want to.
GENES LINKED TO EXCESS HISTAMINE
The two studies in question found that in a group of 150 children, those with polymorphisms (meaning different to the population “normal” state of the gene) of Histamine-N-Methyl Transferase (C314T) and Diamine Oxidase (C2029G), were more likely to suffer from allergic rhinitis, or suffer more from it, as well as having more allergic diseases overall and a higher increase of migraine. I’ve written about the link between histamine and migraines here as well as what could help, here. Having both polymorphisms created a compound effect, with higher blood histamine levels than those who only had one “mutation”.
Interestingly they did not find any association with IgE and histamine in the children – meaning that the symptoms were caused by an excess of histamine, rather than allergies (which involve IgE). I’ve long spoke of histamine being a pseudo-allergen, you can read more about that here.
TESTING YOUR GENES
To be absolutely honest, I wish I hadn’t tested mine. Doing so gave me a false sense of security and led to my delaying a breast cancer diagnosis because I mistakenly believed that my not having the BRCA gene meant I wouldn’t get it. You can read all about my mis-adventures with that here.
So please, understand the limitations of this test. As one of my two geneticists I hired recently (UCLA & Cedars) explained, commercially available genetic testing is like looking at a chapter in a book. You need the rest of the book to really understand what’s going on. In my case more extensive (like really amazingly extensive) genetic testing revealed no cancer genes, so I’m chalking it up to chemical and radiation exposure while working as a journalist covering conflicts. The fact that I know of so far another four journalists I worked with experienced the same “rare” cancer kind of hammers that home.
You can find a few companies offering testing online. Once you have the results, I recommend using Self Decode to translate your information from code to English, and finding a functional medicine doctor to work with.
I have both the HNMT and DAO polymorphisms. Using supplements to boos the latter hasn’t done much for me, which could be because of the fillers most of them have. I’m waiting for someone to produce a pure supplement and then I’ll try it again. As you may be aware, food additives and dyes are major histamine triggers. HNMT currently has not test to confirm its levels (and the DAO test is very unreliable). In my view, we’re a long way from relying on these as diagnostic markers, though this study is promising.
——- REFERENCES —–
“Association between two polymorphisms of histamine-Metabolising enzymes and the severity of allergic rhinitis in a group of Mexican children.” Allergologia et Immunopathologia, Elsevier Doyma, 30 May 2016, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301054616300167
“Association of diamine oxidase and histamine N-Methyltransferase polymorphisms with presence of migraine in a group of Mexican mothers of children with allergies.” Neurología (English Edition), Elsevier Doyma, 30 Aug. 2017, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2173580817301268.