Grapes and histamines and headaches . . .

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Posted by Michelle C. ( on September 03, 1999 at 22:46:34:

I've been thinking some about the role of histamines in these headaches since Frank Harden mentioned the relief he received from Actifed. I too could occasionally get relief by taking an antihistamine before bed and started wondering -- WHY the buildup of histamines in my body now? The allergy season here is nearly over and I have never been diagnosed with allergies anyway. I know that I haven't had wine in decades -- esp. red wines because of the histamine production, BUT I have been eating grapes. However, I know histamine comes from the fermentation process, so that couldn't be it, or could it?

I started doing some research and discovered that histamines are not present in the actual grapes, but putrescine is produced by the grape plant. It's possible, according to the link below, that putrescine is an amine that also accumulates in the grapes. Now, here's the rub, "While putrescine itself does not contribute to headache, it appears to 'tie-up the enzyme that would break down the histamine and tyramine'." Thus, even eating grapes can lead to a build-up of histamines in the body.

I just bought a big bunch of grapes, but I won't be eating them. I hope some of you find this info. useful.

Michelle C.

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