Histamine, a biologically active compound involved in local immune responses, has increasingly been implicated in various gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, including leaky gut syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Understanding the mechanisms through which histamine affects gut permeability and how this relates to IBS can offer potentially novel treatment options.

Histamine Intolerance and Its Impact on Gut Health

Histamine intolerance (HIT) arises when histamine accumulates and is generally thought to be caused by impaired activity of diamine oxidase (DAO), an enzyme that breaks down histamine in the body.1 This condition is often marked by symptoms that mimic food allergies, alongside other GI issues such as diarrhea and constipation. The triggering of HIT symptoms typically involves an overload of histamine in the diet, excessive histamine production by gut bacteria, and/or systemic immune responses, compounded by a lack of adequate DAO activity to mitigate these levels.2

Leaky Gut: A Gateway to Enhanced Histamine Reactivity

Leaky gut syndrome, characterized by increased intestinal permeability, can exacerbate HIT. This condition allows histamine and other inflammatory agents to pass more easily from the gut into the bloodstream, potentially leading to systemic effects and aggravating IBS symptoms. In patients with IBS, this increased permeability is often associated with abdominal pain, bloating, and altered bowel habits, symptoms that overlap significantly with those observed in HIT.3

The Role of Diet in Managing Histamine Levels and Gut Permeability

Dietary management in HIT focuses on reducing histamine intake, primarily from high-histamine foods such as fermented products, certain meats, and seafood. Proper food handling and storage are essential to limit bacterial growth and spontaneous histidine decarboxylation, thus preventing the formation of histamine in foods. However, the challenge often lies in the impracticality of long-term strict dietary restrictions and the complex nature of histamine-producing gut flora, which are difficult to modulate through conventional dietary changes alone.4

Solnul™: A Novel Way to Manage Leaky Gut and IBS-Like Symptoms

Solnul™ resistant potato starch offers a promising solution by addressing gut dysbiosis and barrier integrity simultaneously. Resistant potato starch acts as a prebiotic, resisting digestion in the small intestine and fermenting in the large intestine, where it helps nourish beneficial gut bacteria such as Bifidobacterium and Akkermansia. By influencing the microbial community, Solnul™ reduces the overall intestinal permeability, strengthens the gut barrier and reduces inflammation, which lowers systemic histamine levels and normalizes both HIT and IBS symptoms.

Studies have shown that supplementation with Solnul™ can significantly increase the abundance of these beneficial bacteria, reducing symptoms related to constipation and diarrhea, common in both HIT and IBS. Furthermore, by enhancing the integrity of the gut barrier, resistant potato starch may help prevent the leakage of histamine and other inflammatory mediators from the gut into the bloodstream, offering a dual approach to managing these conditions.5

Conclusion

The interplay between histamine, leaky gut, and IBS highlights the potential of dietary interventions in maintaining GI health. Resistant starch, particularly from sources like potato, offers a practical and beneficial means to modulate gut flora, improve barrier function, and reduce histamine levels, thus providing relief from the overlapping symptoms of HIT and IBS.

Leaky Gut

Publication

Resistant potato starch supplementation reduces serum histamine levels in healthy adults with links to attenuated intestinal permeability

Webinar

Leaky Gut: Can Resistant Starch Enhance Gut Barrier Function?

References

1 Maintz and Novak, 2007. L. Maintz, N. Novak. Histamine and histamine intolerance, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 85 (5) (2007), pp. 1185-1196

2 Schnedl et al., 2019 W. Schnedl, S. Lackner, D. Enko, M. Schenk, S. Holasek, H. Mangge. Evaluation of symptoms and symptom combinations in histamine intolerance. Intestinal Research, 17 (3) (2019), pp. 427-433

3 Yamamoto et al., 2019. M. Yamamoto, M. Pinto-Sanchez, P. Bercik, P. Britz-McKibbin. Metabolomics reveals elevated urinary excretion of collagen degradation and epithelial turnover products in irritable bowel syndrome patients. Metabolomics, 15 (2019), p. 82

4 Jason R. Bush, Jun Han, Edward C. Deehan, Scott V. Harding, Madhura Maiya, Joshua Baisley, David Schibli, David R. Goodlett, Resistant potato starch supplementation reduces serum histamine levels in healthy adults with links to attenuated intestinal permeability, Journal of Functional Foods, Volume 108, 2023, 105740, ISSN 1756-4646. Available here

5 Jason R. Bush, Jun Han, Edward C. Deehan, Scott V. Harding, Madhura Maiya, Joshua Baisley, David Schibli, David R. Goodlett, Resistant potato starch supplementation reduces serum histamine levels in healthy adults with links to attenuated intestinal permeability, Journal of Functional Foods, Volume 108, 2023, 105740, ISSN 1756-4646.. Available here


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