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This test is designed to detect histamine intolerance, a condition that can cause irritating allergic reactions, by measuring activity of the enzymes involved in histamine degradation. 

Histamine fulfills vital physiological functions. It is both produced in the body and absorbed from foods in various quantities. Problems only occur in cases of excessive histamine intake or poor metabolism. In these cases, histamine will lead to allergic reactions.

Histamine intolerance is due to a (temporary) deficiency or an inhibition of the enzyme diamine oxidase (DAO). DAO is the enzyme responsible for the degradation of histamine. Although DAO is found throughout most of the body, the bowels are its most important point of action. The enzymatic activity of DAO determines the rate of degradation of histamine. If a DAO deficiency and/or inhibition is present, the organism will not be able to degrade histamine quickly enough, and the symptoms of histamine intolerance will emerge.

This test is based on a radio immuno assay (RIA) principle. The determination of the DAO activity is achieved by determining the concentration of a reaction product. Radiolabeled putrescine is used as substrate. The reaction product is radioactive 1-pyrroline, which is transferred into an organic solvent by means of liquid phase extraction. After adding scintillator, radioactivity is determined by a beta counter. The quantity of radioactivity measured is directly proportional to the DAO activity of the sample.