It has been suggested that normal concentrations of biogenic amines and 'histamine-releasing foods' may exacerbate symptoms in mastocytosis. The purpose of this study was to look for scientific evidence in the literature on diets restricted in biogenic amines and histamine-releasing foods in the treatment of mastocytosis.
Medline (1966 to 2004), Cinahl (1982 to 2004) and the Cochraine Library were searched for double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge (DBPCFC) studies with biogenic amines and/or histamine-releasing foods in mastocytosis.
No studies employing DBPCFC with dietary biogenic amines or histamine-releasing foods in mastocytosis were found. Only a few in vitro studies in other diseases, animal studies and studies in humans in which histamine-releasing agents were incubated directly with duodenal tissues were found. One case was reported of severe adverse reactions to alcohol in mastocytosis, objectified by an open challenge.
Despite the widespread belief that biogenic amines and histamine-releasing foods may cause allergy-like, non-IgE-mediated symptoms in certain patients, the role of diets restricted in biogenic amines and histamine-releasing foods in the treatment of mastosytosis remains hypothetical but worthy of further investigation. There is some evidence for adverse reactions to alcohol in mastocytosis.