Diamine Oxidase Supplements May Reduce The Number, Duration, Intensity of Attacks (1)
Researchers have found that taking diamine oxidase supplements significantly reduces the duration of a migraine episode, especially if the migraine has been brought on by food triggers like cheese, caffeine, red wine etc. They have also observed that there exists a mildly indirect relation between to the total number migraine attacks itself in the mid to long run.
Diamine oxidase (DAO) is an amino acid that helps metabolise (break down) histamines released by our bodies. When we eat foods that we are allergic to (because our body cannot handle it’s digestion for any number of reasons specifically lack of appropriate enzymes) then the body perceives the situation as a threat to it’s well being. As a result it begins an immune response. In such as case histamines are released causing the capillary walls to give more access to proteins and white blood cells to engage with the pathogen/trigger/danger. This increase in histamine triggers migraines.
Histamines are also present in certain foods itself that when consumed raise histamine levels of the body and then trigger a migraine. Thus it is obvious that if migraineurs with food or weather triggers are administered an enzyme (such as DAO) that is responsible for the breakdown of histamines, migraine duration and number of attacks would reduce.
According to Joan Izquierdo, MD, from the Faculty of Health Sciences at the International University of Catalonia and the neurology service at Catalonia General Hospital in Barcelona, Spain, who studied men or women between ages 18 to 60 years old with an attack within the previous 6 months, “We diagnosed 137 patients who have a migraine, of who 119 showed deficits of the activity of the enzyme DAO, around 87% of the total patients that we have studied.” (2)
The study did not take into consideration alcoholism, psychiatric disorders, or a diagnosis of any disorder for which a treatment could be used as migraine prevention in the previous 1 month or those who could not consume pork-based products (DAO source).
Normal DAO enzyme activity is considered to be a score of 80. In the study, he found that there was a clear correlation between enzyme score and migraine episodes and intensities. Symptom scores rose progressively as enzyme activity dropped below 80 HDU/mL, with scores 50% to 120% higher in the 30-40 HDU/mL range compared with enzyme activity >80 HDU/mL.
Two groups were made and the control group was administered placebos and the other group was given the DAO supplements. The participant dosage was 2 capsules each after breakfast, lunch and dinner. To understand the pain factor, researchers noted the consumption of triptans by the participants. Those who were on placebos consumed 20% more triptans than those on DAO capsules. The diminished triptan use among patients receiving DAO suggests that the compound may have also reduced the intensity of pain during an attack, the researchers suggest.
Dr. Izquierdo also said, “Diamine oxidase supplementation has shown a significant reduction in crisis duration and a tendency toward a reduction in number of crises,” he said. “The treatment is [safe] because we don’t have any adverse events.” (3)
However, to be sure about the outcome of the research, a larger population needs to be studied cutting across ethnic groups and races. At it’s current stage, it is important thus to educate migraineurs of triggers whether they are of food, hunger, exposure to sun, sleep deprivation or weather and environmental conditions.
- Swanson Ultra Daosin Diamine Oxidase; HealthMonthly.co.uk; Web October 2013; http://www.healthmonthly.co.uk/swanson_ultra_daosin_diamine_oxidase
- Migraine Attacks Shortened by Diamine Oxidase Supplements; MedScape.com; Web October 2013; http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/811920
- 90% of Migraines Could Be Prevented with Enzyme; Universitat Internacional de Catalunya; Web October 2013; http://www.uic.es/en/news?id_noti=3273
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