Effects of Tyramine

Tyramine is a substance that may be present in foods naturally as a result of the process of cheese ripening or improper storage and food spoilage. Tyramine may cause unwanted reactions of the body after ingestion of foods containing even small quantities. Check its impact on health and with which drugs it interact and in which products it occurs.

What’s tyramine?

Tyramine is an organic chemical compound belonging to the biogenic amines. It contains an aromatic ring in its structure. Its systematic name is 4-hydroxyphenylethylamine. Biogenic amines occur naturally in living cells of plants, animals and humans as a result of biochemical changes.

Also formed in food because of bacteria secreting enzymes decarboxylase. These enzymes cause decarboxylation (removal of the carboxyl group) of amino acids, resulting in the formation of biogenic amines. A high content of biogenic amines is can be found in fermented food, and those contaminated with microorganisms.

Tyramine – effects on health and interactions with drugs

Tyramine may cause unwanted reactions of the body after ingestion of foods containing even small quantities of it. Tyramine is absorbed in the intestines, as well as in the oral cavity. Absorption in the mouth without metabolism in the gut and by the liver occurs primarily for liquid foods.

The body of a healthy human is able to metabolize tyramine to compounds that do not produce side effects. Catabolize tyramine process occurs in people of the enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO).

Foods with tyramine is an important issue in the diet of people who take drugs MAO inhibitors, or inborn impaired secretion of the enzyme. Drugs that affect the reduction of MAO activity is mainly antidepressants and some antibiotics.

All the biogenic amines, including tyramine, are associated with neurological functions. It is believed that they play a key role in human disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, attention deficits and Parkinson’s disease. Tyramine causes a direct effect of increasing the heart rate, since the effect on nerve cells in the same way as noradrenaline.

It also raises systolic blood pressure. It was found that it causes dilation of blood vessels intestine, thereby further increasing its absorption. Tyramine consumption by persons hypersensitive resulting in vascular stenosis and hypertension.

There are even recorded cases of stroke among patients taking medicines called MAO inhibitors after eating foods rich in tyramine. Excess biogenic amines ingested along with the food can cause various symptoms of food poisoning.

It is also suspected that in the acidic environment of the stomach in the presence of the nitro-compounds (usually from meat), tyramine is converted to 3-dinitrotyramine – a compound developing various cancers.

Dynamically changing pressure and migraine attacks after the consumption of foods rich in tyramine potentially some of the most common ailments exchanged in people hypersensitive. They are documented scientific publications covering this issue. Clinical symptoms can be seen from 30 minutes to several hours after ingestion of tyramine and usually disappear within 24 hours.

For those who do not have any problems with the metabolism of tyramine, its safe dose is 200 mg taken at one time. This amount does not cause any adverse health effects in people surveyed. People with impaired secretion of MAO react negatively after ingestion of a single 5 mg tyramine.