What is diamine oxidase (DAO)?
Diamine oxidase (DAO) is an enzyme that helps break down histamine, a compound found naturally in many foods. When the levels of histamine increase in the body, it can cause various symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, fatigue and skin rashes. DAO is produced in the small intestine and liver and then secreted into the blood.
To find out your DAO levels, you can do a blood test. Normally, DAO levels are between 10 and 100 ng/ml, but this can vary depending on the person's health and lifestyle. A high value of DAO can indicate an increased histamine production or a decreased breakdown of histamine in the body. This can be due to various factors such as food intolerances, chronic inflammation, drugs or genetic factors.
What can a low value of DAO be due to?
A low value of DAO, on the other hand, can be caused by a lack of vitamin B6, which is an important nutritional factor for DAO production. It can also be due to diseases such as celiac disease, Crohn's disease or IBS, which can affect intestinal health and thus DAO production.
If you have high histamine levels and suspect you have a DAO deficiency, you can try a DAO supplement or a low-histamine diet, which means avoiding foods high in histamine. However, it is important to consult a doctor before starting any form of treatment.