Updated: Apr 21
Until the end of June we’ll be sharing some “sneak peeks” at some of the content from our upcoming book.
Problematic enzymatic function
DAO is short for Diamine Oxidase, an enzyme you make at the intestinal lining. It helps control histamine levels in your gut. You can have low DAO for genetic reasons, but you can also have low DAO due to leaky gut or inflammation in the gut.
Leaky gut (also known as intestinal permeability) plays a large role in low DAO production.
When the gut lining is damaged or inflamed, it compromises cell function, resulting in lower DAO production. If cells aren’t healthy, they can’t make adequate DAO, nor can they perform their digestive functions adequately. There is research that correlates malabsorption with histamine intolerance. (1)
Getting to the root of gut dysregulation
Other reasons for gut inflammation include food sensitivities, dysbiosis (a microbial imbalance) or SIBO, SIFO, or SIPO (Small Intestinal Bacterial/Fungal/Parasitic Overgrowth). High histamine levels are also correlated with IBS and food allergies. (6)
If you have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, your DAO production is likely compromised.
Potential Medication Impacts
The use of antibiotics, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and other pharmaceuticals can reduce DAO levels through a variety of actions. In addition to increasing intestinal permeability, they can act as DAO blockers (7) or alter the gut microbiome.
Interestingly, if you have had a reaction to NSAIDS, such as Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Naproxen, or a prescription variety, it could be an indication that you have the variation of the AOC1 gene that is correlated to low DAO production. (8)
The role of permeability at the intestinal lining
Leaky gut is correlated with food sensitivities and immune dysregulation. When your gut lining is compromised, food particles, toxins and microbial metabolites can leak through. Most of your immune system is sitting on the other side of that intestinal barrier, just waiting in case something comes through.
When things get through the gut lining, your immune system attacks.
Imagine a sentinel of soldiers lined up on the inside of a castle wall. It’s the same with your gut. If things leak through the gut, then it’s like the castle wall has been breached, but instead of soldiers waiting to defend the wall, you have immune cells defending your intestinal barrier. When the immune cells respond, they release inflammatory chemicals including histamine.
In summary, you need a healthy gut barrier for good DAO production and to block substances that might trigger a histamine release when leaking through the gut barrier.
The importance of repairing leaky gut is monumental!
There is more to gut health than just repairing a leaky gut. If you are curious to know about the role your microbiome plays and how to use diet to support your gut health, we’ve got you covered. Histamine Haven: the essential guide and cookbook to histamine and mast cell activation is available for purchase now.