is gluten high in histamine

Gluten is a protein found in various grains, including wheat, barley, and rye. One question that often arises is whether gluten is high in histamine. Let’s delve into this topic to understand the relationship between gluten and histamine.

The Basics of Histamine

Histamine is a chemical compound produced by the immune system in response to an injury or allergen. It plays a crucial role in the body’s inflammatory response and is involved in various physiological processes. Histamine can also be found in certain foods and can lead to allergic reactions or intolerances in some individuals.

To determine whether gluten is high in histamine, we need to examine the levels of histamine in gluten-containing foods.

Histamine in Gluten-Containing Foods

While gluten itself does not naturally contain histamine, some gluten-containing foods can trigger histamine-related reactions due to various factors:

  • Fermentation: Fermented gluten-containing foods, such as sourdough bread or some beers, may have higher histamine levels due to the fermentation process.
  • Processing and Storage: Histamine levels can increase in gluten-containing products that have undergone long-term storage or improper handling. This can occur in packaged baked goods or grains that are not stored properly.
  • Cross-Contamination: Foods that naturally contain histamine, like certain fish or aged cheeses, can cross-contaminate gluten-containing products during food processing or preparation, leading to higher histamine levels.

To gain a better understanding, let’s take a closer look at histamine levels in some common gluten-containing foods using a table:

FoodHistamine Level
Wheat-based breadLow to moderate
Barley-based productsLow to moderate
Rye-based productsLow to moderate
Fermented gluten-containing foodsVaries (usually higher)
Cross-contaminated gluten-containing foodsVaries (depends on cross-contamination source)

Symptoms and Managing Histamine Intolerance

Individuals with histamine intolerance may experience various symptoms after consuming gluten-containing foods high in histamine. These symptoms can include:

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Hives or rashes
  • Digestive issues
  • Nasal congestion

If you suspect histamine intolerance or have these symptoms after consuming certain gluten-containing foods, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis. They can work with you to determine your specific triggers and develop an appropriate management plan.

Gluten-Free and Low-Histamine Alternatives

If you have histamine intolerance or want to reduce your histamine intake, opting for gluten-free and low-histamine alternatives can be beneficial. Here are some options to consider:

  • Gluten-free grains: Rice, quinoa, and corn are gluten-free options that generally have lower histamine levels.
  • Non-fermented bread: Opt for gluten-free bread made without ferments, such as sourdough.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables: These are typically low in histamine and provide essential nutrients.
  • Lean proteins: Choose fresh, unprocessed meats, poultry, and fish.

Remember to read labels carefully, as some gluten-free products can still contain high levels of histamine due to processing or cross-contamination during production.


In conclusion, while gluten itself does not inherently contain high levels of histamine, some gluten-containing foods can trigger histamine-related reactions due to factors like fermentation, processing, or cross-contamination. Individuals with histamine intolerance may need to be cautious when consuming certain gluten-containing foods. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine specific triggers and develop an appropriate management plan. Opting for gluten-free and low-histamine alternatives can be beneficial for those with histamine intolerance or seeking to reduce histamine intake.