Tyramine is a substance produced by the amino acid Tyrosine. It’s found naturally in some foods, plants, and animals . It can also be created when food is cured or aged, or through fermentation and spoilage.
Patients who take monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), including certain antidepressants and medications for Parkinson’s disease, may experience serious side effects if they follow a tyramine rich diet. Tyramine builds up in these patients resulting in side effects such as palpitations, headaches, nausea and vomiting. The most dangerous side effect is extremely high blood pressure that may result in stroke or death. Also, patients who suffer from frequent headaches may also need to stop following a Tyramine rich diet, as high levels of Tyramine can trigger headaches.
Examples of Tyramine rich foods are cheeses, aged meats, tap beers, sausages, salamis, aged chicken livers, and pickled or smoked fish. They also include soy products, pineapples, chocolate, sourdough breads, homemade or fresh yeast.
The easiest way to avoid tyramine rich foods is to consume fresh foods. Buy fresh meat, fish, or poultry. Eat fresh produce within a couple of days of purchasing. Avoid any pickled, fermented or aged food or beverage. Read all food labels carefully.
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