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An Overview of Diamine Oxidase Blood Test Pathology in Australia

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How DAO is Shaping the Future of Histamine-Related Diagnostics

Diamine Oxidase (DAO) is an essential enzyme primarily located in the intestinal lining of the digestive tract. Its chief role is to manage the balance of histamine, a compound that, when excessive, can cause symptoms such as nasal congestion, skin itchiness, and headaches.

The DAO blood test aids in measuring this enzyme’s concentration, providing critical information about the body’s ability to metabolize histamine. This understanding is paramount to maintaining optimal health, given the crucial balance of histamine within our body.

In Australia, like in many parts of the world, the DAO blood test has become an instrumental diagnostic tool. The cost of this test can vary depending on the specific test and the diagnostic laboratory.

Regardless of its cost, this test, coupled with our expanding understanding of DAO and histamine balance, has potential implications for diagnosing and managing various health conditions, including food allergies and histamine intolerance, which affect a significant portion of the population.

Diamine Oxidase Blood Test and Its Relevance in Pathology

Diamine Oxidase (DAO) is a fundamental enzyme primarily responsible for managing histamine levels within our bodies. While it’s produced in several organs, it’s primarily found within the intestinal mucosa. Its role?

To break down or metabolize histamine release, the compound is known for causing symptoms of histamine intolerance such as nasal congestion, skin itchiness, and headaches when present at high levels.

The balance of histamine in the body is pivotal for maintaining optimal health. This is where the Diamine Oxidase blood test comes in – it measures the concentration of DAO, providing valuable information about the body’s ability to break down histamine.

DAO and Its Connection to Various Health Conditions

It’s important to understand that the DAO blood test doesn’t just measure enzyme levels – it offers valuable insight into various pathological conditions. Here are a few key examples:

  • Histamine Intolerance: This condition occurs when there’s an excess of histamine due to insufficient DAO to metabolize it. It can cause headaches, digestive issues, and skin reactions. Clinical studies have indicated that patients with histamine intolerance have seen a reduction in digestive symptoms when taking DAO supplements over a four-week period.
  • Migraine: There appears to be a link between low serum DAO activity levels and conditions such as migraines. Research has shown an inverse correlation between DAO activity and headache parameters in patients with both chronic and episodic migraines.
  • Fibromyalgia and Genetic DAO Deficiency: Certain conditions, like fibromyalgia, have been associated with a genetic deficiency of DAO.

Understanding the Diamine Oxidase (DAO) Blood Test and Its Role in Diagnosis

The Diamine Oxidase (DAO) Blood Test is a diagnostic procedure that investigates the quantity of the DAO enzyme within the bloodstream.

As we already know, this enzyme is crucial for the metabolism, oxidation, and degradation of histamine and other polyamines in the body.

The DAO test plays an important role in diagnosing and managing conditions associated with histamine levels.

Why and When is the Test Ordered?

Diamine oxidase is an enzyme crucial for the metabolism, oxidation, and deactivation of histamine and other polyamines within the body.

This test is often ordered when a patient experiences the symptoms of histamine intolerance. These symptoms could include mood changes, chronic urticaria, or hives after consuming histamine in foods and drinks such as alcohol, processed meats, or aged cheeses.

The DAO blood test measures the amount of the DAO enzyme present in your bloodstream. If the DAO levels are low, it could be an indication of a deficiency, which might lead to excessive histamines. This could manifest as hives, digestive upset, or fatigue.

Another variant of the test, the DAO serum activity test, checks a blood serum sample to assess how actively and efficiently your DAO enzyme is breaking down histamines.

This test is especially important as it is possible for some people to have normal or high DAO levels, but impaired enzyme activity which limits their capacity to metabolize histamines properly.

The Procedure

The DAO blood test procedure involves a simple blood draw. A healthcare professional would clean the arm area where the blood draw will happen (usually the inside of your elbow).

After inserting a needle into your vein, they will collect the blood sample and then send this to a laboratory for analysis. The DAO serum activity test is similar in approach, consisting also of a blood draw.

After the blood sample collection, the sample goes through a centrifuge process to separate the serum from other blood components. Then, the serum is tested to ascertain the activity level of the DAO enzyme.

Interpreting Test Results

Understanding DAO blood test results revolves around analyzing the level of DAO enzyme present within the bloodstream. Significantly low DAO levels could suggest a deficiency, leading to an excess of histamines in your body.

The DAO serum activity test result hinges on determining how active and efficient the DAO enzyme is working. The inability of the DAO to effectively metabolize histamines, despite normal or even high DAO blood levels, could be revealed through this test.

Interpreting results from a test such as this should not happen in a vacuum. Instead, it’s necessary to evaluate the DAO test results alongside other relevant factors, including symptoms and complete health history, to determine the right actions to follow.

Measures that could follow the test results include dietary alterations, DAO enzymes or supplements, probiotics (to aid enzyme production), and other treatments aimed at enhancing DAO activity and relieving symptoms.

Overview of Histamine Intolerance and Food Allergies in Australia

a group of food allergies

Histamine intolerance, a condition suspected to affect a considerable portion of the global population, appears more prevalent among women around middle age.

Although histamine intolerance affects many individuals worldwide, it often goes unnoticed due to its wide range of non-specific symptoms.

A common approach for managing this condition is through dietary modifications and, in some instances, DAO supplementation. However, the efficacy of these interventions necessitates further research.

Food allergies are also affecting a significant portion of the population in Australia. Infants and children are especially impacted, with the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) stating that food allergy occurs in around 5-10% of children and 2-4% of adults in Australia and New Zealand.

The most common triggers of these allergies include:

  • Cow’s milk (dairy)
  • Egg
  • Peanut
  • Tree nuts
  • Sesame
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Wheat

Cost of Diamine Oxidase (DAO) Blood Test in Australia

The cost of a Diamine Oxidase (DAO) blood test can vary depending on the specific test and the diagnostic laboratory in Australia. Here are a few examples:

  • ImuPro: Specializing in food intolerance testing, ImuPro offers a Histamine Intolerance Test (DAO) for around $165 AUD. Conducted in certified German labs, this test provides an accurate measurement of DAO levels.
  • NutriPATH: This lab offers a comprehensive Histamine Metabolism Profile. They also provide a ManCAS Profile Advanced that assesses Diamine Oxidase and Total IgE among other analytes. The cost of these tests is not readily available on their website.
  • Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology: This pathology service provides a histamine-free diet protocol for 24-hour urine collection. The cost of this test is also not publicly listed on their website.

It’s crucial to remember that DAO deficiency is not officially recognized as a medical condition in Australia. Also, there is limited evidence supporting the use of DAO supplementation for treating histamine intolerance. Hence, medical advice should always be sought before undertaking these tests.

The Future of DAO in Pathology

While the links between DAO levels and these health conditions are promising, it’s clear that further research is required to establish the role of DAO in pathology with certainty.

Advances in technology, like the development of a research prototype Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), have allowed for more accurate quantification of human DAO in different biological fluids.

This progress is significant because it sets the stage for scientists to explore DAO’s potential as a biomarker in various diseases.

As our understanding of DAO and its role in the body expands, the DAO blood test is expected to become a more valuable tool for diagnosing and managing various health conditions.


Diamine Oxidase (DAO) blood test is also used to diagnose conditions related to histamine intolerance and food allergies. The cost varies across different diagnostic labs. This test provides valuable insights into health conditions like migraines and fibromyalgia. 

With a rise in food allergies and histamine intolerance, the significance of this test has grown in Australia. Advancements in technology are further enhancing our understanding of DAO’s role, thus elevating the importance of this test in medical diagnostics in the country.

Unlock Your Body’s Potential with SeeBeyond Shop’s DAO Supplements

Are you experiencing symptoms associated with histamine imbalance such as headaches, skin reactions, or digestive issues? Have you ever considered supporting your body’s histamine management with supplements?

At SeeBeyond Shop, we offer quality DAO supplements that can potentially help. Our supplements are designed to enhance the natural function of Diamine Oxidase in your body, aiding in the metabolization and regulation of histamine levels.

Using these supplements, you might find relief from the uncomfortable symptoms of histamine intolerance, aiding in a higher quality of life. It’s time to stop merely coping with the symptoms and start addressing the root cause.

Contact SeeBeyond Shop today, explore our selection of DAO supplements, and take the first step towards improved health and well-being. Let us support you on your journey towards a more balanced life.

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

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