Our diet contains several substances that are mildly toxic. In general, these substances are quickly eliminated from the body either by the liver or the kidneys. This is the case with tyramine.
People who take drugs from the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) class or drugs with similar properties, have trouble eliminating tyramine from their systems. An excess of tyramine in blood can cause a dangerous hypertensive crisis. Thus people taking MAOIs or drugs with similar properties must avoid foods with a high-tyramine content. These foods are listed in the following chart.
|Foods with a High-Tyramine Content|
|Aged meats||Liver (beef/chicken)|
|Bacon||Meat extracts (e.g., Bovril, Oxo)|
|Brick cheese||Oyster sauce|
|Fish (marinated and/or dried)||Sherry|
|Fresh sausage||Shrimps (dried and salted)|
This list is not exhaustive. People on MAOIs or drugs with similar properties are advised to consult a nutritionist for help developing a well-balanced diet that contains varied, appetizing, and safe foods.
Be sure to tell your pharmacist and other health-care professionals that you are taking an MAOI or a drug with similar properties.