Discover what foods contain tiramina and how can affect your health. Find out how to include or avoid them in your diet.

Discover which food contains tiramina and how they can affect your health. Find out how to include or avoid them in your diet.

Tiramine, an amino acid of natural origin, is found in various foods. Although tiramine is an essential element for the body, it can have adverse effects on certain people, especially those sensitive to their effects or in which certain medications take. It is important to know what specific foods contain tiramine to make informed dietary decisions that promote optimal health.

What is tiramine? Tiramine is a byproduct of the amino acid called tyrosine, which is abundantly in certain foods. Tiramine levels increase as foods age or ferment, which is why aged or fermented foods are often associated with a higher tiramine content. In individuals without sensitivity or with certain health conditions, dietary tiramine is metabolized by an enzyme called oxidase monoamine, or MAO. However, in people with low levels of Mao or who take MAO inhibitors, excessive tiramine accumulation can occur, which causes adverse reactions.

Tiramine and health problems: For people with conditions such as migraines or certain types of depression, the consumption of foo d-rich foods can trigger strong headaches, increased blood pressure and other symptoms. In addition, tiramin e-rich foods can interact negatively with medications such as mao inhibitors, which are usually prescribed for depression or Parkinson’s disease. It is essential that health professionals inform patients about possible interactions and advise them on how to control tiramine consumption to obtain optimal results for their health.

Foods with high tiramine levels: although this list is not exhaustive, it offers an overview of some usual consumption foods that contain notable tiramine amounts. It should be noted that individual sensitivity to tiramine can vary. Therefore, it is recommended to control personal reactions and consult with a healthcare professional if necessary.

Food Tiramine content
  • Cheeses (for example, curing, blue, feta)
  • Smoked or cured meats
  • Some fermented soy products (e. g., Tempeh)
  • High levels
  • Red wine
  • Sauerkraut
  • Aged or fermented foods (e. g., pickles)
  • Moderate to Altos
  • Chocolate
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Low to moderate levels

Foods high in tyramine: The key facts

Tiramine is in a wide variety of foods, including:

  • Cured, fermented or aged meats and fish, such as salami, pepperoni and smoked herring.
  • Cheeses, especially cured or ripened ones, such as blue cheese, cheddar, and Swiss.
  • Fermented soy products, such as tofu and soy sauce.
  • Fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut and kimchi
  • Dried or fermented fruits, such as raisins and prunes

It is important to note that the exact amount of tyramine in these foods can vary greatly depending on factors such as the length of fermentation and the specific brand or type of product. Therefore, people who need to restrict their tyramine intake should read food labels carefully and consider avoiding foods known to have high levels of tyramine.

Some symptoms of sensitivity or intolerance to tyramine may be:

  1. Headaches or migraines
  2. Increased heart rate or palpitations
  3. Nausea or vomiting
  4. High blood pressure
  5. Anxiety or panic attacks

Foods with varying levels of tyramine:
Category Foods low in tyramine Foods with moderate tyramine Foods high in tyramine
meats Chicken, turkey, fresh beef Cured beef, pork, lamb Aged, cured or fermented meats
Cheeses Mozzarella, cottage cheese Feta, Gouda, provolone Blue cheese, cheddar, Swiss
Fruit Apples, bananas, grapes Avocados, pineapple, citrus Raisins, prunes, figs

Understanding Tyramine and its Effects on the Body

Tyramine has been found to affect the body in several ways. It acts as a vasoactive substance, meaning it can cause constriction or dilation of blood vessels. This can have a direct impact on blood pressure and can be worrying for people with certain medical conditions, such as hypertension or migraine.

When tyramine is consumed, it is absorbed into the bloodstream and can reach the brain. There it can stimulate the release of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that is involved in the regulation of various bodily functions, such as blood pressure, heart rate and mood. Therefore, consuming foods rich in tyramine can cause an increase in norepinephrine levels in the brain, which can have both positive and negative effects on a person’s well-being.

Eating foods rich in tyramine can increase norepinephrine levels in the brain.

  • Tyramine is commonly found in aged cheeses such as cheddar, blue cheese, and Swiss.
  • Cured and processed meats, such as bacon, salami, and sausages, are also known to be high in tyramine.
  • Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, soy sauce, and some types of pickles contain tyramine.

It is important that people sensitive to tiramine or who suffer from certain health problems know the food tiramine content and make adequate dietary decisions. Although avoiding tiramine can be difficult, limiting the intake of foo d-rich foods and controlling the organism’s response to foo d-rich foods can help control the possible adverse effects.

Tips for managing a diet rich in tyramine

  • Avoid aged and fermented foods: Many foods rich in tiramine undergo an aging or fermentation process, which increases the levels of this compound. Some examples are cured cheeses, cured meats, chucrut and soybean products such as Tempeh and Miso. Eliminating or minimizing the consumption of these foods can help reduce tiramine intake.
  • Be careful with leftovers: over time, tiramine levels in certain foods can increase. Meal leftovers, especially if they contain ingredients such as cured cheese or fermented sauces, are more likely to contain high tiramine levels. It is important to consume the leftovers quickly or store them properly to minimize the risk of tiramine accumulation.
  • Check the information of the ingredients and labels: when making the purchase, it is essential to read the labels and lists of ingredients carefully. Look for any food or additive containing tiramine or that has been subjected to aging or fermentation processes. This can help identify possible sources of tiramina and allow informed decision making when selecting foods that will be included in the diet.

Note: Tolerance levels of people sensitive to tiramine can vary. It is recommended to carry a food newspaper in which the consumption of foods rich in tiramine and any associated symptoms, to better understand personal triggers and manage the diet accordingly.

It is important to note that, although tiramine can be problematic for some people, it is a substance present naturally in many common foods. Completely eliminating diet tiramine may not be feasible or necessary for everyone. Following these tips and adapting the diet to individual tolerances, it is possible to find a balance between enjoying a variety of food and controlling tiramine intake.

Tiramine is a natural substance found in various foods. It is produced by the decomposition of amino acid tyrosine in food as they age. Tiramine acts as a vasoactive substance, which means that it affects the dilation and constriction of blood vessels. This can be problematic for people prone to migraines, since it is believed that changes in the size of blood vessels contribute to migraine attacks.

Important: it is not clear why some people are more sensitive to tiramine than others. Factors such as genetics, the general state of health and individual levels of tolerance can play a role in determining susceptibility to migraines induced by tiramine.

Although the tiramine itself is not harmful, some people with migraines are recommended to avoid or limit the consumption of foo d-rich foods to help prevent them. In the following table some common foods are listed that are known that they contain tiramine:

Food Tiramine content (mg/100g)
Cured cheeses (e. g., Cheddar, Blue Cheese) 100-1000
Processed meats (eg, sausages, salami) 1-150
Red wine 10-75
Certain fruits and vegetables (for example, bananas, avocados, tomatoes) Traces
  1. Note: It is important to remember that individual reactions to foo d-rich foods can vary. While these foods can trigger migraines in some people, others may not experience any adverse effect.
  2. It should also be borne that tiramine levels can vary depending on the freshness and food processing. Aging, fermented or stored foods for longer periods tend to have higher tiramine levels.

Exploring tyramine in fermented foods

Fermented foods have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, thanks to their unique flavors, their possible health benefits and their ability to promote a balanced intestinal microbiome. However, for people sensitive to tiramine, the consumption of these foods can raise potential risks. Fermented foods rich in tiramina include a wide range of popular products, such as cured cheeses, chucrut, soy sauce, pickles and certain types of cured or fermented meats. Understanding tiramine levels in these fermented foods is crucial to manage the dietary needs of people who can be susceptible to adverse effects related to tiramine.

Important information:

  1. During the fermentation process, microorganisms convert food sugars into alcohol, acids or gases.
  2. Fermented foods have gained popularity due to their unique flavors and their possible health benefits.
  3. Among the fermented foods rich in tiramina are cured cheeses, chucrut, soy sauce, pickles and some cured or fermented meats.
  4. Understanding tiramine levels in fermented foods is essential for tiramine sensitive people.
Fermented foods Tiramine levels
Cured cheeses High
Sauerkraut Low to moderate
Soy sauce High
Pickles Moderate
Cured/fermented meats Variable

Is a low-tyramine diet suitable for everyone?


  • People who suffer migraines find relief avoiding foods rich in tiramine.
  • Some studies suggest that a low tiramine diet can be beneficial for people with certain mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
  • People who take certain medications, such as monoamineoxidase (IMAO) inhibitors must follow a low tiramine diet to avoid potentially dangerous interactions.

It is important to note that not everyone needs to follow a low diet in tiramina. In the case of people without specific medical disorders or pharmacological interactions, there is no evidence that suggests to eliminate diet tiramine has significant health benefits.

Although a low tiramine diet can be useful for people with certain health problems, it is not a unique approach. It is always advisable to consult a healthcare professional or a dietitian entitled before making important changes in the diet. They can offer a personalized orientation based on medical history, medication and general health objectives of each person.

Discharge of responsibility: the information provided in this article only has informative purposes and should not be considered as a medical council. Always consult a qualified health professional before making any change in your diet.

Author of the article
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Medical oncologist at the Robert Larner College of Medicine, MD, at the University of Vermont

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