Migraine: DAO Test

Price: 66 €
Turnaround time: 9 working days (monday to friday)

Migraine affects almost 15% of the population. It appears in episodic attacks of throbbing headache of varying intensity, usually on one side of the head. The pain lasts between 3 and 72 hours, and sometimes causes nausea, vomiting or photophobia. Migraine affects women primarily as hormones (estrogens) play an important role in the development of this disease. There are over 5 million people suffering from migraine in Spain.

Various studies point at food as a possible cause of migraines, particularly histamine, a molecule present in our daily diet. Consumption of histamine containing foods is not a problem in itself, since it is degraded and metabolized by the enzyme Diaminooxidase (DAO) that our body produces in normal conditions. But when the patient has a DAO deficiency or inhibition, there's an imbalance between ingested histamine and the ability to metabolize it. In these cases, histamine builds up causing adverse effects, including migraine.

Foods that contain higher concentrations of histamine are those that have suffered ripening or prolonged storage as fermented vegetables, canned and semi-oily fish, raw cured meats, fermented and aged cheeses and alcoholic beverages. On the other hand, certain foods (pineapple, citrics, strawberries, tomatoes, eggplant ...) have an histamine-liberating effect on the body without causing an allergic reaction. Histamine is also produced and stored in different cells in our body: connective tissue, vascular endothelium and certain neurons. The role of histamine in the body is diverse: it acts as a mediator in allergic and physiologic responses as well as a neurotransmitter, and smooth muscle and cardiovascular regulation.


Echevarne Laboratory offers a new technique to detect food-caused migraine. The aim of the test is to discover whether your migraine comes from food, by measuring the level of activity of the DAO enzyme. You will find out if your migraine is due to an alimentary hyper-histaminosis caused by DAO deficit and take steps to prevent further disease events.

This analysis is a change in perspective, as it is based on the concept that migraine is not caused by histamine in food but by poor histamine metabolism, which it accumulates in the body producing adverse effects.

In confirmed DAO deficiency cases, hyper-histaminosis may be omitted using nutritional supplements and / or restricting the intake of food with higher concentrations of endogenous histamine.