Foods that Contain Tyramine: Foods to Avoid When on MAOIs

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About Tyramine

Tyramine is naturally found in certain foods and beverages, and can also be produced by certain aging or fermenting processes. Foods that contain tryamine can be avoided if it is understood where tyramine is found and how it is produced.

Some patients can be affected adversely when eating foods high in tryamine because of the interactions between the tyramine and their medication. The medications known to have negative interactions with tyramine include monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI), certain antibiotics, and some drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease.

The negative effects include high blood pressure, chest pain, heart palpitation and headaches that are severe in nature.

The tyramine content in any given food can vary due to ripening times, fermentation processes, degree of spoilage and other such factors. Therefore, it is not possible to give an accurate measure of tyramine content that applies to all food in the category. There are certain foods known to be high in tyramine, and those foods are listed below with their known tryamine level or range. Foods that are considered to be high but have unknown exact amounts are also listed and indicated as such.

Tips for Avoiding Tyramine

Eat fresh foods. Outdated, expired, overripe and foods that have been in the fridge for more than 48 hours (including cooked leftovers) can produce tyramine. Cooking in and of itself does not affect tryamine content in food. Leftovers can be frozen within 48 hours, though, to prevent spoilage and aging.

Thaw foods in the refrigerator. Thawing at room temperature can produce tyramine.

Avoid aged or fermented foods, like some cheeses and meats.

Read labels. Ingredients such as marmite and yeast extracts are tyramine-rich. Health foods and diet foods are prime candidates for these ingredients.

If you don’t know the ingredients, don’t eat the food.

Aged Cheeses

Canadian cheddar is known to have around 43 mg of tyramine in a one ounce serving.

New York Cheddar is known to have approximately 42 mg of tyramine per one ounce serving.

One ounce of Swiss cheese is known to have approximately 28 mg of tryamine per serving.

One ounce of Blue/Bleu cheese is known to have about 28 mg of tyramine.

Aged Meats

Dry sausage has from 3 to 43 mg of tryamine in it, depending upon a variety of factors.

Salami in a one ounce portion size is known to have anywhere from 1.2 to 5.4 mg per serving in tyramine.

Chinese Dried Duck is considered to be high in tryamine, but exact amounts are unknown.

Caviar in a one tablespoon serving is considered to be high in tryamine. The exact amount of tyramine in it is unknown.

Miscellaneous

Tofu in a two ounce serving is considered to be high in tyramine, though the exact amount is unknown.

Miso soup has an unknown exact amount of tyramine, but it is considered to be high in tyramine.

Soy Sauce has from 0.05 to 4.7 mg per one teaspoon in tyramine content.

Marmite and Vegemite in a one tablespoon amount have 1.5 to 3.4 mg of tyramine per serving.

Foods that contain tyramine can be avoided with planning and careful attention to certain preparation and storage methods.

References

Meal Ideas and Menus: Avoiding High-tryamine Foods Made Easy. Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD. Vanderbilt University Medical Center. https://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/neurology/Tyramine%20Menu%20Book%2006227101.pdf

Low Tryamime Diet – Patient Education. Northwestern Memorial Hospital. https://www.nmh.org/nmh/pdf/pated/lowtyramine-diet07.pdf