Tyramine is a compound known as an amine found in
many foods, produced from the natural breakdown of the amino acid,
tyrasine. Tyramine can cause blood vessels to dilate, and this may be
what starts the migraine chain-reaction in some people.
Tyramine is a vaso-active amino acid found in foods. It precipitates
headaches in some sufferers. It is an intermediate product in the
conversion of tyrosine (an amino acid present in many proteins) to
epinephrine (an active hormone produced by the inner portion of the
Foods that contain tyramine may trigger headaches in migraineurs by
facilitating a chain reaction which results in selective cerebral
vasoconstriction followed by rebound dilation of the cranial vessels
(the most common cause of the throbbing headache pain). This sequence of
events is implicated in migraine headache.
Some of the foods containing tyramine are aged cheese, nuts, herring,
and chicken livers. A more complete diet listing is available to members
of the Foundation. Foods with high concentration of tyramine are
contraindicated with MAO1-type antidepressants.
Tyramine is a common ingredient in over-the-counter fat loss supplements
because of its ability to increase dopamine levels, and provide energy
through the release of norephinephine - adrenalin.
Tyramine helps to induce fat loss by increasing adrenalin secretion, by
increasing muscular glucose uptake in the absence of simple
carbohydrates, thus eliminating or reducing the need for rises in
For the dieting athlete, tyramines ability to increase glucose uptake in
the absence of simple carbohydrate means that insulin spikes can be
avoided and muscle glycogen stores can be restored post-exercise.
Elevated insulin levels can lead to decreases in growth hormone, IGF-1
and testosterone levels. Within the context of high bodyfat percentages,
elevated insulin levels will lead to a decrease in protein synthesis,
and an increase in muscular atrophy. Not good. Dieting athletes know
that controlling insulin is key to becoming and staying lean.
Tyramine affects blood pressure, although clinical research demonstrates
that its effects upon blood pressure are mixed. Any effects of tyramine
on blood pressure is believed to result from tyramines conversion into
octopamine and synephrine.
Several trials have demonstrated that tyromine can be lipogenic - fat
forming - and can reduce the breakdown of fat. Again, clinical research
has not fully explored these findings and further research is needed to
understand fully the relationship between tyramine administration and
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