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Is your DAO Dirty?

Have you ever wondered why certain foods seem to trigger allergies, headaches, or digestive issues while others sail through without a hitch? If you experience symptoms like hives, runny nose, migraines, gut sensitivities, or even car sickness, your DAO gene might be to blame. This gene plays a crucial role in how your body processes histamine, a compound involved in immune responses and digestion. For those with a "dirty" DAO gene, even healthy foods can lead to uncomfortable reactions. Understanding this gene and how to manage it can significantly improve your quality of life.

Understanding the DAO Gene

The DAO (diamine oxidase) gene coded as AOC1 is responsible for producing the DAO enzyme, which is essential for processing histamine. This enzyme is present in various organs, including the small intestine, prostate, colon, kidney, and placenta (during pregnancy). Its primary function is to manage histamine levels outside of cells, particularly in the gut.

Signs of a Dirty DAO Gene or a Mutation in the AOC1 Gene

If you have a dirty DAO or a mutation in the gene, you might experience:

  • Allergic reactions (e.g., hives, runny nose, itchiness)

  • Food sensitivities

  • Car sickness and seasickness

  • Leaky gut syndrome

  • IBS, IBD, Gastritis

  • Migraines

  • Nausea and indigestion

  • Pregnancy complications

  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

Potential Strengths of a Dirty DAO Gene

Interestingly, having a dirty DAO gene can have some advantages. Being highly reactive to allergens and trigger foods means you can identify and avoid these substances quickly, potentially preventing them from making you sick.

Key Nutrients for a Healthy DAO

For your DAO gene to function properly, it requires specific nutrients:

  • Calcium: Found in kale, broccoli, watercress, sprouted grains and beans, lower-histamine cheese (such as goat or sheep cheese), bok choy, okra, and almonds.

  • Copper: Found in beef liver, sunflower seeds, lentils, almonds, blackstrap molasses, asparagus, and turnip greens.

In addition to these, it’s essential to balance high-acid or acid-generating foods with alkalizing foods to maintain optimal DAO function:

  • Alkalizing Foods: Almond milk, artichokes, arugula, asparagus, avocado oil, beets, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, buckwheat, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chia seeds, coconut, coconut oil, endive, flax, garlic, ginger, goat’s milk, grasses (such as wheatgrass, barley grass, alfalfa, oat grass), green beans, Himalayan salt, kale, kelp, leeks, lentils, mustard greens, okra, onion, peas, quinoa, rhubarb, sea vegetables, sprouts of any type, watercress, and zucchini.

What else can help if you do have a dirty DAO gene?


Reduce the consumption of high-histamine foods and drinks. It ensures that your DAO enzyme can function optimally by providing it with necessary nutrients like copper and calcium. Additionally, it balances your meals to maintain low acid levels in your body, allowing the DAO enzyme to work effectively.

Healthy food


Supporting digestion is crucial to prevent pathogenic bacteria from taking hold in your gut. Consume a diet that ensures adequate levels of stomach acid, pancreatic enzymes, and bile, which are essential for proper digestion and preventing harmful bacteria growth.  DAO supplements can be taken before meals to aid in the breakdown of dietary histamine. These supplements can help reduce symptoms of histamine intolerance and improve overall well-being.

Lab bottles


Stress can limit your body's ability to release stomach acid, digestive enzymes, and bile. Incorporate stress reduction and stress relief practices to help calm your body, improving digestion and preventing the overgrowth of bad bacteria.

stressed woman


The CT and TT mutations in the DAO gene encoded AOC1 can significantly impact histamine metabolism, leading to various health issues, including histamine intolerance, allergic reactions, gastrointestinal disorders, and migraines. By understanding these genetic variations, individuals can take proactive steps to manage their health, such as making dietary changes, lifestyle changes, and by using DAO supplements. 

If you are interested in finding out more about your genetic situation, then please contact us at New Path Health and Wellness for a Genetic Analysis.

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