A wine allergy remedy?

“Can you help me with my wine allergy?” About ten years ago a patient asked me this. She loved her wine, especially whites, but had given up on it because of her “wine allergy.” A few years prior she started experiencing a piercing headache, foggy-headedness and fatigue after a glass of wine – or less. She would wake up exhausted and sore and achy the next morning.

This seemed such an interesting puzzle and sent me studying about how wine is metabolized. After a few weeks of research I suggested a four week clinical trial of very precisely targeted vitamin and mineral formula to determine if that wouldsolve her “wine allergy.” After a few weeks she was able to joyously savor her Gewürztraminer and “buttery” Chardonnays!

So that experience planted the seed for the invention of a wine allergy remedy.

Note: Reactions to wine are commonly referred to as “wine allergy” though they are not a true allergic reaction and are more accurately called wine intolerance.

Wine allergy?

Wine allergy or intolerance is a complex issue from abnormal reactions to naturally occurring chemical compounds in wine and can effect your health in surprising ways.

You’re Surrounded

It turns out that the triggering compounds in wine that can make you suffer are in the food you eat and the air you breathe!

The next time…

…a patient showed up with the same problem I thought I’d get to be a hero. But, using the same wine allergy remedy that had been so successful before and was so proud of…did nothing! More research and trial and it turned out that the wine intolerance for this patient had another cause altogether.

Over time it became clear that a number of different chemical compounds natural to wine could be the culprit depending the individual. Sulfites, tannins (phenolic compounds), aldehydes, prostaglandins, histamine, tyramine, and other miscellaneous compounds (congeners) could all be triggers.

It all got even more interesting when it became clear that these same chemicals were in many foods and even in the environment. And, these compounds in food and the environment triggering all kinds of symptoms were often going unrecognized as the culprits or cause. And, that is how a wine allergy remedy ended up being a solution for food and environmental intolerance.

It’s All The Same Problem.

It doesn’t matter if you drink, eat, or breathe these compounds – if you don’t metabolize them effectively, you’ll suffer.

For example

If you’re sensitive to histamine you will experience a reaction whether you drink wine or eat foods with high levels of histamine. The “gut” problems from histamine intolerance are commonly diagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Common symptoms experienced are trigger headaches, anxiety, hives, rashes, eczema, insomnia, extreme fatigue, and dizziness.

If you’re sensitive to phenols – the family of compounds that include tannins – you’ll experience a number of reactions that are often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.

Histamine Intolerance

If you’re sensitive to histamine you can react to certain wines or foods naturally high in histamine. Common symptoms are anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and abdominal pain.

It’s Not A Mystery – It’s Genetics!

It turns out that the key to formulating a wine allergy remedy is understanding the link to genetics. You will be sensitive to histamine if you don’t have enough of the enzymes that break down histamine – diamine oxidase (DAO) and/or histamine N-methyltransferase (HNMT). You will be sensitive to phenolic compounds if you don’t have enough phenol-sulfotransferase (PST) to break them down. The same is true for all of these compounds – not having enough of the enzymes to break them down and render them harmless means trouble for you.

Wine Intolerance Symptoms
Wine Intolerance Triggers

Making Vinami

Over time the formula for Vinami became a complex balance of enzymatically active forms of vitamins, minerals and plant extracts. The formula – now named Vinami – can’t cure your genetic predisposition to sensitivity of these triggering compounds, but it can support your metabolism and increase your tolerance – usually to the level of being symptom free.

As I more fully realized how widely useful my “wine allergy remedy” is I worked with Biotics Research Corporation to produce a batch of the  formula to run a clinical trial on the wine intolerance problem. I also gave patients with food and environmental sensitivities the option of trying Vinami.

Results in these groups led me to file for a patent and contract Biotics Research Corporation to manufacture Vinami. Through this process the formula – Vinami – can reach and help beyond my patients.

Yours in Health,


Mark Force, DC

PS If you want more detailed information about my background and expertise refer to my informal curriculum vitae.