Shop Featured Products (click to view) | FREE Domestic Shipping $100+

Free Consultation

DAO Enzyme: Deficiency, Supplements, and Natural Remedies

schedule your Consultation NOW

Understanding DAO Enzyme Deficiency: Symptoms and Causes

Have you ever felt like your digestive system just isn’t functioning properly? Maybe you experience frequent bloating, gas, or constipation that seems impossible to improve with diet or lifestyle changes alone. There’s a good chance your DAO enzyme levels could be to blame.

What is DAO Enzyme (Diamine Oxidase)?

DAO stands for diamine oxidase, an enzyme produced naturally in the small intestine and found in highest concentrations in the duodenum. This enzyme plays a crucial role in breaking down compounds in food that can cause digestive issues, like histamines found in foods like aged cheeses, pickled foods, and alcoholic beverages.

Role of DAO Enzyme in the Body

When DAO levels are low, these difficult-to-digest compounds can irritate the gut lining, triggering inflammation and a host of annoying symptoms. Many people don’t even realize an underlying enzyme deficiency could be the culprit.  

Low DAO is surprisingly common, but it’s still not widely recognized as a potential cause of chronic digestive problems.

In some cases, DAO supplements or a simple change in diet may help restore balance, but for others, natural remedies provide the most relief. Probiotics can help improve gut health and boost enzyme production. Ginger, peppermint or chamomile supplements have soothing and calming properties. Activated charcoal tablets can help absorb excess gas and relieve bloating

The good news is there are many options available to support DAO levels and digestive health from the inside out. With some trial and error, you can find natural solutions that work for you and finally get relief from annoying symptoms that have prevented you from fully enjoying life. 

Causes and Symptoms of DAO Enzyme Deficiency

The gut is a tricky thing. We rely on it every single day to break down the food we put into our mouths, absorb the nutrients we need to survive, and keep unwanted compounds from entering the bloodstream. When the tiny enzymes that make this all possible start to falter, daily life can quickly descend into a battle with digestive upset and discomfort.

Diamine Oxidase Deficiency Causes

Low diamine oxidase or DAO is one of the more common enzyme deficiencies, but many doctors don’t consider it as a potential cause for symptoms like bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea. As a result, people suffer for years trying different diets, supplements, and remedies that only provide temporary relief at best. 

DAO deficiency occurs when the body produces little to no diamine oxidase enzyme, preventing the breakdown of histamines and other compounds in food that can irritate the gut. Alcohol, aged cheeses, pickled foods, cured meats, and processed supplements are common histamine-releasing culprits. When these compounds build up in the gut, inflammation occurs, leading to a barrage of unpleasant symptoms. 

DAO Enzyme Deficiency Symptoms

In severe cases, a DAO deficiency can also cause a dangerous histamine toxicity in the bloodstream, resulting in a histamine intoxication. Other signs of low DAO include abdominal pain, bloating after eating that lasts for hours, unexplained weight loss or gain, fatigue, brain fog, skin irritation, and mood changes. 

Unfortunately, DAO deficiency is often misdiagnosed or left undiagnosed, allowing symptoms to worsen over time. The good news is with increased awareness around digestive enzymes and available testing, diagnosis and treatment options are improving. 

By understanding the potential causes and recognizing the signs of a DAO deficiency, you take the first step toward gaining control of your health and enjoying life again without the constant discomfort. With treatment like supplements, diet changes, or prescription medication as prescribed by a doctor, most people are able to manage symptoms and prevent dangerous histamine buildup. 

Natural Ways to Increase DAO Enzyme

dao enzyme rich food

If you’ve recently discovered you have an underlying DAO deficiency, the thought of yet another pill or supplement to swallow may not sound appealing. The good news is, there are natural ways to boost your DAO levels and improve digestion without the use of medication. Increasing DAO naturally starts with changes you can make to your diet and daily habits

DAO Enzyme Rich Foods

Eating DAO-rich foods is one of the best ways to support enzyme health. Some of the top foods for DAO include:

AsparagusHigh in prebiotics, which feed good gut bacteria and improve enzyme production and digestion
ShellfishExcellent source of zinc, which helps with the synthesis of enzymes like DAO
GingerAnti-inflammatory properties and can soothe an irritated gut
Fermented foods (yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and tempeh)Contain beneficial probiotics to boost gut health and enzyme function
Fatty fish (salmon, sardines, trout, and anchovies)Contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory effects and support enzyme health

Lifestyle Changes and Their Effects on Diamine Oxidase Levels

Beyond diet, reducing stress, staying hydrated, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol and exercising regularly can also give your DAO levels a boost. Managing cortisol, the stress hormone, is particularly important for digestive health and enzyme production. 

With some patience and the willingness to make sustainable lifestyle changes, you can naturally increase your DAO levels, relieve unpleasant symptoms and reclaim a healthy, happy life free of discomfort. It may take some trial and error to discover what exactly works for you, but the possibilities for impact on health, energy and mood can make it worth the effort.

Rather than accepting enzyme deficiency as a life sentence, this is an opportunity to gain a better understanding of how your body functions and what really works to support digestive balance for the long run. 

By nurturing the vital enzymes in your gut, like DAO, you invest in your health and overall well-being. With time and consistency, you will restore Digestion and shine a brighter light on life once more.

Supplements for DAO Enzyme Deficiency

While dietary and lifestyle changes should form the foundation of managing a DAO deficiency, supplements may provide additional support, especially for severe symptoms. When choosing DAO supplements, there are a few things to keep in mind to optimize effectiveness and minimize side effects. 

Some of the most popular DAO enzyme supplements include:

  • NOW Foods DAO Enzyme: Made from Aspergillus niger, this supplement contains 2,000 mcg of DAO per capsule. It’s a trusted, affordable brand and hypoallergenic.
  • Enzymedica DAO: This supplement uses a patented strain of Aspergillus niger to produce high-potency DAO caps. It’s considered very bioavailable and helps improve symptoms without side effects for most people. 
  • Jarrow Formulas DAO Plant Enzymes: This formula uses a blend of plant-based enzymes including DAO (from Aspergillus niger) to support digestion in a gentle, non-GMO fashion. It’s a good option for vegans, vegetarians or those avoiding animal-based enzymes. 

Potential Side Effects

Side effects of DAO supplements are usually mild, but may include digestive issues like bloating, gas or diarrhea, as well as headaches in some cases. Rare but serious side effects could also potentially occur, so you should always follow dosage instructions carefully and watch for concerning symptoms. 

Some key tips for choosing DAO supplements:

  • Look for reputable brands with high-quality, standardized ingredients. Cheaper generic brands may be lower potency or quality. 
  • Consider the source of enzymes. Aspergillus niger is common and well-studied, but plant-based may be preferable for some. Animal-based enzymes are rarely used for DAO. 
  • Check the potency and units of measurement. May range from 667-5,000 mcg DAO per capsule. Start with a lower dose and build up to avoid side effects.
  • Look for enteric-coated or micro-encapsulated formulas. These help ensure enzymes reach the small intestine intact where they are most useful. 
  • Consider a blend of enzymes or cofactors like betaine HCL which can support digestion. Some people benefit from a broader-spectrum supplement. 
  • Compare prices and look for sales or deals to get the best value. Subscribe and save options may also provide ongoing discounts.
  • Always follow the instructions carefully, watch for symptoms of overdose and talk to your doctor about any concerns. Supplements are not regulated like medications, so quality can vary between brands.

By using a high-quality DAO supplement as directed and comparing different options, most people are able to find relief from symptoms and get back to enjoying life without discomfort. But be sure to give any supplement several weeks of use to determine effectiveness for your unique condition and needs. 

Making sustainable lifestyle changes will always provide the greatest benefit for your long-term health and well-being.

DAO Enzyme in Special Diets and Conditions 

Whether you follow a vegetarian, paleo or keto diet, have histamine intolerance or simply want to improve your digestion, DAO enzyme plays an important role. Let’s explore how supporting DAO may benefit you in different diets and health conditions

Vegetarian and plant-based diets: DAO aids in breaking down excess histamines found in many plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, nuts and seeds. Supplementing DAO or eating more DAO-rich foods can help reduce bloating, gas and discomfort common on vegetarian diets. 

Histamine intolerance: For those with high histamine sensitivity, DAO helps metabolize excess histamines before they can trigger a reaction. Low DAO is common in histamine intolerance, so supplementing DAO may provide significant relief from symptoms like rashes, itching, digestive issues and fatigue. 

Improving digestion: DAO enhances the digestion of proteins and carbohydrates, helping break them down properly in the small intestine. Supplementing DAO can help improve digestion, reduce constipation or diarrhea, relieve abdominal pain and support a healthier gut microbiome. 

DAO plays a key role in digestion for most people. For those with impaired digestion from any cause, supporting DAO levels is usually helpful for managing symptoms, reducing inflammation and improving nutrient absorption. 

Some tips for supporting DAO in special diets or health conditions:

Tips for Supporting DAOBenefits
Try an over-the-counter DAO supplementProvides additional DAO support; start with lower dose and increase gradually to avoid side effects
Eat more DAO-rich foods (asparagus, ginger, fatty fish, and shellfish)Provides DAO along with other digestion-boosting nutrients
Manage stress levels with relaxation techniquesLowering stress is important for enzyme balance since cortisol inhibits DAO production
Stay hydrated and get enough proteinHydration and protein provide the raw materials needed for enzyme synthesis and a healthy gut lining
Consider digestive enzymes or probiotics in addition to DAOA balanced blend of digestive support can be even more effective, especially for severe or long-term symptoms
See your doctor about prescription medication if natural remedies are not helpingCertain medications, like DAO tablets or histamine-reduced diets, may provide controlled relief when used under medical guidance

Overall, supporting DAO levels through diet, supplements or medical treatment can have significant benefits for digestion, gut health, managing symptoms and improving well-being. 

By choosing the options that work best for your unique condition and needs, you take steps toward feeling your best and embracing life fully once again.

Frequently Asked Questions about DAO Enzyme

Have more questions about diamine oxidase deficiency, symptoms, supplements or diagnosis? Here are some common questions and answers about DAO enzyme:

How long should you take a DAO enzyme supplement? 

Most experts recommend taking DAO supplements for at least 4 to 6 weeks to allow levels to stabilize and symptoms to improve. Some people may need 3-6 months of supplementation or longer for severe or long-term deficiencies. It’s best to follow the dosage instructions on your particular supplement and monitor symptoms to determine if you need to continue long-term use. 

What causes a deficiency of diamine oxidase? Several factors can contribute to low DAO enzyme levels including:

Factors Causing DAO DeficiencyDescription
AgeDAO naturally decreases as we get older, starting in our 40s and 50s.
Gut damageConditions like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or Celiac disease can impair gut health and enzyme production.
MedicationsSome diuretics, antibiotics, acid blockers, and other drugs may inhibit DAO.
Poor dietLack of nutrients needed for enzyme production like zinc, vitamin B6, and prebiotics/probiotics.
SmokingSmoking cigarettes reduces DAO levels and impairs digestion. Quitting helps restore balance.
StressChronic high cortisol from constant stress inhibits DAO production. Managing stress supports digestive health and enzyme balance.
GeneticsSome people are born with a tendency toward lower DAO enzyme, though diet and lifestyle changes can still help significantly.

 Can DAO enzymes help you lose weight?

DAO itself is not directly responsible for weight loss. However, improving DAO levels and digestion does have some indirect benefits for weight management:

  • Better absorption of nutrients: When digestion improves, more nutrients are absorbed from the foods you eat. This provides sustained energy and reduces cravings. 
  • Balanced hormone levels: Proper digestion supports balanced levels of hormones like ghrelin (hunger hormone) and leptin (fullness hormone) which regulate appetite. 
  • Improved gut health: A healthier gut microbiome is associated with stable energy levels, reduced inflammation and optimal metabolism – all of which contribute to weight management. 
  • Fewer digestive issues: By relieving bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea, you avoid the discomfort that can lead to unhealthy weight gain or loss. You feel more in control of eating and exercise habits.

While DAO alone is not a weight loss remedy, adding a high-quality DAO supplement as part of an overall balanced and digestively- supportive approach to health and wellness can help create the conditions for sustainable weight management and better health. The key is making long-term changes, not short-term fixes.

Personalized Nutritional Guidance at SeeBeyond Shop: Reversing DAO Deficiency Symptoms

At SeeBeyond Shop, we offer guidance from experts in nutritional medicine to help determine if you may have impaired DAO or other enzymes, recommend diagnostic steps and develop personalized supplement and treatment plans. 

There are many paths to recovery, so keep an open mind. With consistency and commitment, enzymes like DAO can be balanced again and symptoms relieved or reversed. But it’s often not a quick fix. Success comes from long-term dedication to health.

Connecting with medical professionals or digestive health experts at SeeBeyond Shop will ensure you nurture your recovery through the most effective, personalized methods possible, gaining back the quality of life you deserve. Balance your enzymes and rediscover vitality. Good health and wellness are within reach.

We are offering 30 minutes for free to talk to one of SeeBeyond's Functional Medicine Practitioners to create a personalized regimen.

Fill out the form below to schedule your consultation.

Request Consultation - Consultation Popup