Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tyramine and the Cheese Syndrome

Just a little anecdote about why tyramine can cause a hypertensive crisis:
In humans, if monoamine metabolism is compromised by the use of monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and foods high in tyramine are ingested, a hypertensive crisis can result as tyramine can cause the release of stored monoamines, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine. The first signs of this were discovered by a neurologist who noticed his wife, who at the time was on MAOI medication, had severe headaches when eating cheese. For this reason, the crisis is still called the "cheese syndrome," even though other foods can cause the same problem.
Foods high in tyramine include cheese, wine, many meats, chocolate and soy. So yea, basically everything has tyramine in it. Good luck, people on MAO inhibitors.


  1. It was a pharmacist, not a neurologist who suspected the connection. It was a psychiatrist who did the research and published the results.

  2. chocolate does not contain tyramine. neither do most types of wine. the only meats are smoked or cured ones or ones that have spoiled. only aged cheeses are bad. you are right about soy tho.

    do your friggin homework.

  3. Per Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyramine:

    "Tyramine occurs widely in plants and animals and is metabolized by the enzyme monoamine oxidase. In foods, it is often produced by the decarboxylation of tyrosine during fermentation or decay. Foods containing considerable amounts of tyramine include meats that are potentially spoiled or pickled, aged, smoked, fermented, or marinated (some fish, poultry, and beef); most pork (except cured ham); chocolate; alcoholic beverages; and fermented foods, such as most cheeses (except ricotta, cottage cheese, cream cheese), sour cream, yogurt, shrimp paste, soy sauce, soy bean condiments, teriyaki sauce, tofu, tempeh, miso soup, sauerkraut; broad (fava) beans, green bean pods, Italian flat (Romano) beans, Chinese (snow) pea pods, avocados, bananas, pineapple, eggplants, figs, red plums, raspberries, peanuts, Brazil nuts, coconuts, processed meat, yeast, and an array of cacti."

    The list includes chocolate, and implies wine would be included. I don't care to research this more, but if you have sources stating clearly that neither chocolate nor wine have tyramine, by all means, post them.

  4. Thanks for posting these tips! BTW, "Anonymous #2", please practice your manners. It's so demoralizing to have people shoot others down, and for others to have to witness it. Get that maturity level to rise a bit, eh?
    (wish I didn't have to go as "Anonymous" myself, but the choices don't let me give my name)

  5. So to fix this, someone would have to gain the ability to digest Tyramine foods by having the enzyme monoamine? I don't take any medication to inhibit my ability to digest foods of such nature, so I'm wondering if there are options out there for me?



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