Is Coffee High In Histamine? (Find Out)


The typical American adult consumes two cups daily. So Over 2 billion coffee cups are consumed daily, but does this mean that histamine levels are high in Coffee consumers?

Coffee consumption is said to have numerous health advantages, including a decreased risk of cancer, heart failure, and Type 2 diabetes.

However, some histamine-intolerant individuals have reported adverse effects from coffee. Even though coffee is categorically not an antihistamine, there is a lot of misinformation surrounding the relationship between coffee and histamine intolerance. This is mainly because histamine intolerance is still a relatively undiagnosed illness.

Coffee contains a lot of caffeine (unless you’re drinking decaf), which has a high histamine content. It’s particularly challenging to understand the relationship between histamine and caffeine and how they impact one another.

This article is based on in-depth investigation and firsthand knowledge of coffee and histamine sensitivity.

Always seek medical advice before making significant dietary changes, even as straightforward as reintroducing a cup of coffee.

So, coffee has a high histamine content? "Yes" is the straightforward response to this query.
So, coffee has a high histamine content? “Yes” is the straightforward response to this query.

Let’s Start By Defining Histamine.

Histamine is a neurotransmitter that affects the immuno-nervous system, and stomach acid, It’sessential for healthy digestion.

Histamine also widens blood vessels and directs white blood cells to the site of inflammation, causing the inflammatory response to attack infection and disease.

Histamine is usually present in the body at safe levels, but some people may be sensitive to or intolerant of it. This happens when histamine accumulates, and the body cannot completely break it down, which can result in allergy symptoms.

Formula: C5H9N3
Molar mass: 111.15 g/mol
Boiling point: 209.5 °C
Melting point: 83.5 °C
Soluble in: Water

Is Coffee Rich In Histamine?

The reply is, “Not exactly.” Few foods naturally contain high histamine levels, which is essential to comprehend coffee’s histamine content.

Most foods high in histamine are fermented, such as kimchi and beer, but most coffee isn’t fermented for very long.

This is so that the skin of the fruit surrounding the coffee beans is typically removed more easily through fermentation. The seeds of coffee fruits, also known as coffee cherries when they are on the tree, are more commonly referred to as coffee beans, but they first appear as tiny red fruits on tropical tree species.

So unlike kimchi, which is specially fermented for its signature taste, fermentation is just a small by-product of the Coffee Bean collection, so it doesn’t have threateningly high Histamine levels.

Coffee isn't fermented for very long.
Coffee isn’t fermented for very long.

Histamine levels may increase during fermentation, which persists after the beans are processed, roasted, ground, and brewed into your morning brew.

Coffee and histamine intolerance involve more than just fermentation; there’s also the issue of caffeine. From the bean to the cup, coffee histamine levels are low, but the same cannot be said for the amount of caffeine present.

Does Coffee With Less Caffeine Contain Less Histamine?

Since decaffeinated coffee almost entirely lacks caffeine, it shouldn’t affect histamine levels like caffeinated coffee does in people with allergic symptoms.

Swiss Water Decaf coffee, for instance, is verified to be 99.9% caffeine-free.

How Does Caffeine Interact With Histamine?

Histamine has been shown in studies to enhance the effects of caffeine. The body’s cells are stimulated by caffeine to release glutamate, which opens up the histamine receptors. The enzyme that breaks down histamine, diamine oxidase, or DAO, can also be blocked by caffeine.

The relationship between histamine and caffeine is symbiotic. While histamine both reduces tolerance to caffeine and increases cravings for it, they intensify each other’s effects!

In addition to having a high histamine content, caffeine can also be processed and tolerated poorly by the body due to histamine. For those sensitive to histamine or caffeine, this could lead to a vicious cycle of symptoms!

Here’s a video that explains the relationship between histamine and caffeine sensitivity:

A link between caffeine & histamine intolerance sensitivity? Does decaf coffee have less histamine?

Here are some tips that can help you continue drinking coffee while following a low-histamine diet:

  • Whenever possible, choose organic coffee.
  • If you search for low-toxin coffee, there are many different brands available.
  • Avoid coffee capsules and capsule-using coffeemakers, if possible.
  • Despite how strange it may sound, avoid keeping your coffee out for an extended period before drinking it.
  • Some claim that this gives the coffee a chance to pick up more bacteria and histamine as it sits, similar to how leftovers would. 

Can Coffee Make Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance Worse?

If you have histamine intolerance, your tolerance may differ from someone else’s. Now, tea is a good substitute if you have histamine sensitivity.

I’ve noticed that while some people can tolerate a daily cup of coffee, others experience side effects, even from tiny amounts.

So yeah, It’s probably best if you stay away from Histamine if you have any sort of intolerance.

Coffee Brands with Little Histamine

If you’re histamine intolerant, you might be concerned about whether coffee has a high histamine content and whether it will worsen your symptoms.

Although some coffee is high in histamine and should be avoided (practically speaking), there are now some alternatives.

Here are a few available mold-free, organic, low-histamine coffee brands.

Purity Coffee

The company was initially founded by a husband looking for solutions to his wife’s health issues. For mold, pesticides, and ochratoxin A (which may cause kidney damage).

Purity’s organic green coffee is thoroughly tested before being roasted and shipped within 48 hours of each order.

Bulletproof Coffee

With the keto community, Bulletproof Coffee has established a solid reputation for its silky, chocolatey beans. Each harvest from high-altitude estates in Guatemala is processed to reduce mold and toxin exposure but is not certified.

Despite the lack of thorough testing, they are on this list because they have an excellent reputation for quality.

Clean Coffee

Many coffees are hard and acidic on the stomach, like lemonade. However, Clean’s beans have undergone independent testing for more than 300 pesticides, acrylamide, heavy metals, mold, mycotoxins (ochratoxin A, aflatoxin), and mycotoxins (ochratoxin B).

Even though every person with histamine sensitivity is unique, there are a few things you need to understand regarding coffee and histamine intolerance.
Even though every person with histamine sensitivity is unique, there are a few things you need to understand regarding coffee and histamine intolerance.

Alternatives To Coffee:

Because of histamine intolerance, some alternatives to coffee still provide some of its advantages.

Naturally, regular decaf coffee is an option as well. It’s crucial to remember to drink plenty of water when substituting tea or coffee because doing so will help you feel more energized and maintain good health.

  • Raw cacao: Raw cacao is an alternative to chocolate, which has a lower histamine content than cocoa. It is thought to have several health advantages despite having some histamine (although it is believed to have less than cocoa).

In addition, cacao has a milder but more enduring stimulant effect than caffeine and is becoming increasingly popular as a healthier substitute.

  • Matcha and Yerba Mate: Matcha and Yerba Mate are two additional coffee substitutes that are rising in popularity. Matcha has little caffeine, similar to green tea, but can have a lot of histamines.

Yerba Mate is a naturally caffeine-containing beverage made from leaves, but it is much less acidic than coffee and less likely to cause a histamine reaction.

There is also a vast selection of coffee alternatives, including Cafix and Pero. Most are made from grains or barley, contain less caffeine or none, and are less acidic.

The Bottom Line

  • Histamine intolerance and coffee: is it a good idea?
  • It’s better to consume fewer cups of coffee, whether caffeinated or decaf.
  • Because it might have higher concentrations of mold toxins, which cause histamine release, decaf coffee is still a problem.
  • A cup or less per day doesn’t cause symptoms of histamine intolerance.
  • But you can also check for the alternatives mentioned above.

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Marty Spargo

Caffeine aficionado and coffee student (if there's such a thing!). I've come to love coffee in recent years and share what I learn along the way on this website.

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