Adults and children are able to synthesize histidine from glutamic acid and possibly biotin, but infants (babies) are not. Major food sources of histidine are meat and dairy produce. Very little histidine is found in most cereals and vegetables. Histidine is thought to help in copper transport and to have a mild anti-inflammatory effect because of the way it combines in the blood with copper.
Histidine is the precursor of histamine, which triggers orgasm when released from the mast cells in the genitals and is also involved in allergic reactions. High levels of histamine promote orgasm in both males and females.
Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers have low blood histidine levels – possibly due to too-rapid removal of histidine from their blood. Promising results have been achieved by supplementing histidine to these patients, particularly those most seriously affected. Histidine seems to improve their grip strength and walking ability.
Histidine supplements should be avoided by women with heavy menstrual bleeding, and individuals subject to depression.
Suggested dosage for rheumatoid arthritis: histidine 4 grams a day in divided doses.
Vegetarian sources: Weight for weight, soya protein concentrate, peanuts, tofu and sunflower seeds are as rich in histidine as animal proteins.