This article is kind of about migraines, somewhat about antidepressants and certainly about Tyramine.


It is well known that Tyramine can induce migraines or headaches.  Tyramine is found in foods like cheese, alcohol, aged meats (either through smoking, brine, tenderisation etc), naturally fermented and overripe foods.  People who experience migraines or headaches are likely to have these foods removed from their diet to see if symptoms improve.


But here’s what is interesting.  Tyramine is a monoamine and is metabolised by monoamine oxidase.  Anyone taking an MAOI (Monoamine Oxidise Inhibitor) for depression will struggle to metabolise Tyramine and it is recommended for anyone on these medications to reduce Tyramine Foods as it can result in high blood pressure, which can also create feelings of nausea, headaches, sweating or a stiff neck.


It gets even more interesting.


There are herbal remedies and natural foods that contain naturally occuring MAOI’s, such as Coriander, Ginger, Coffee, Cocoa and Liquorice just to name a small few.


The reason why this article isn’t about migraines is because I haven’t covered ALL the possible things that can trigger one, we’re just taking a tiny look at Tyramine and its interaction with MAOI’s


If you suffer from unexplained headaches or migraines and haven’t yet explored this avenue, you may like to try a basic elimination diet that is both low in Tyramine and naturally occurring MAOI’s. 


The big items on the list are cheese, alcohol, aged & fermented foods (meats, beans,  fruit, veg, nuts), overripe foods, vegemite/marmite,  coffee, liquorice and chocolate.  You may also want to stop taking any herbal remedies for a few days, such as St Johns Wort.  If you experience an improvement in symptoms then it might be worth exploring all the other Tyramine foods and the other MAOI containing foods.


Other things to consider with migraines are: neck/shoulder tension, TMJ dysfunction, hormones, dehydration, fluid problems, eye problems, ear problems, poor diet, pillow and mattress quality & form and of course, see your doctor if you are concerned about possible underlying medical cause.

Stacey Hancock
August 2012


Go on facebook!

Follow us on facebook
and keep up to date
with latest news
and activities

You are now being logged in using your Facebook credentials