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Histamine intolerance is a condition characterised by the body’s inability to effectively metabolise histamine, resulting in a range of symptoms such as headaches, hives, and digestive issues. While dietary modifications are a primary approach for managing histamine intolerance, recent studies suggest that including beef kidney in the diet can offer significant benefits. This article explores the potential advantages of consuming beef kidney for individuals with histamine intolerance, supported by scientific evidence.

Beef Kidney: A Nutrient-Rich Superfood

Beef kidney is a highly nutrient dense organ meat packed with essential nutrients, including vitamins (A, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, and C), minerals (iron, zinc, selenium), and bioavailable protein. Many people can benefit from improved hair, skin and nails due to the high biotin, zinc and selenium content. However, where Kidney shines is that it is also one of the only natural sources of DAO, a specific enzyme that can help break down histamine.

A Natural Source of DAO

Beef kidney contains an enzyme called diamine oxidase (DAO) that plays a crucial role in the breakdown of histamine. DAO is responsible for the degradation of histamine in the gut, helping to maintain histamine levels within a normal range. Studies have shown that DAO activity can be impaired in individuals with histamine intolerance (Gao et al., 2015). By consuming beef kidney, which naturally contains DAO, individuals with histamine intolerance may potentially supplement their DAO levels, aiding in the breakdown of histamine and reducing the risk of histamine-related symptoms. Incorporating beef kidney into the diet provides a natural source of DAO, offering an additional mechanism to support histamine metabolism in individuals with histamine intolerance.

Vitamin C

Beef kidney also provides other compounds that may contribute to histamine regulation. For instance, beef kidney is a good source of vitamin C, which has been shown to stabilise mast cells and reduce histamine release (Weng, 2019). Mast cells are a key player in histamine intolerance, as they are responsible for the release of histamine in response to allergens or other triggers. By stabilising mast cells, vitamin C may help prevent excessive histamine release, thereby alleviating histamine intolerance symptoms.


Additionally, beef kidney contains selenium, a mineral that acts as an antioxidant and supports the body’s defence against histamine-induced oxidative stress (Kiremidjian-Schumacher et al., 2000). Histamine intolerance can lead to increased oxidative stress in the body due to the accumulation of histamine and subsequent inflammatory reactions. Selenium’s antioxidant properties can help neutralise free radicals and reduce oxidative damage caused by histamine, potentially contributing to symptom relief in histamine-intolerant individuals.

Other Cofactors for Histamine Metabolism

Due to the nutrient density of kidney it also contains other important co-factors for endogenous DAO and HNMT (another enzyme that breaks down histamine) function. DAO cofactors include Vitamin C, Copper, Zinc and B6. HNMT cofactors include SAMe which relies on methylation which further requires B2, B9, B12 and Choline.


Beef kidney, as a nutrient-dense organ meat, holds promise as a dietary intervention for individuals with histamine intolerance. Its rich presence of DAO, vitamin C, and selenium, may contribute to improved histamine metabolism, mast cell stabilisation, and antioxidant support. While scientific evidence supporting the benefits of beef kidney for histamine intolerance is growing, more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms of action and individual variations. Nevertheless, incorporating beef kidney into a balanced diet, under professional guidance, may offer a natural and potentially effective approach for managing histamine intolerance symptoms.


  1. Gao X, et al. (2015). Serum diamine oxidase activity as a diagnostic test for histamine intolerance. Clinical & Translational Allergy, 5(1), 1-6.
  2. Nattiv R, et al. (2020). Histamine Intolerance and Carbohydrate Malabsorption in Patients With Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: Retrospective Case-Control Study. Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 26(3), 406-412.
  3. Schwelberger HG. (2019). Histamine intolerance: A metabolic disease? Inflammation Research, 68(2), 73-84.
  4. USDA FoodData Central. (2021). Food Search: Beef, variety meats and by-products, kidneys, cooked, simmered. Retrieved from

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