When thinking about how food sensitivities and/or intolerances may be affecting our health, something that is often overlooked is the role that biogenic amines may be playing.
What are Biogenic Amines?
Biogenic amines are a group of chemicals derived from amino acids (and therefore protein-containing foods) that have a number of functions and effects within the body, some desirable, and some not. The most well known biogenic amines are the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline, and histamine, best known for its role in allergies. Others, which are less well known, include tyramine, tryptamine, and phenylethylamine.
These biogenic amines may act as neurotransmitters, be involved in local immune responses (such as the inflammation produced by histamine release), or regulate functions of the gut.
The classic neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline are all essential to proper brain function. Imbalances causes problems such as depression and anxiety.
In relation to food intolerances however, we are more concerned with...