Tyramine occurs naturally in some foods, especially foods that are aged or fermented, such as aged cheeses, cured meats or smoked fish. High protein foods may have a high amount of tyramine if they have been stored for a long time or have not been kept cold enough.
Aged cheeses that are high in tyramine include cheddar, Gorgonzola, Camembert, brie and blue. Meats, such as pepperoni, salami, summer sausage and jerky, that have been aged, air dried, cured, smoked or pickled have a high amount of tyramine. It can be found in fermented soybeans or soybean paste, such as miso, tofu and soy sauce, and fermented cabbage products, such as Kim chee and sauerkraut. Tyramine is also found in fermented beverages, such as red and white wine, and bottled or canned beer.
Tyramine is known as a mono amine because of its chemical structure. Since the 1950s anti-depression medication has contained mono amine oxidase inhibitors, so a person taking those medications cannot break down the tyramine properly. This inability to break down tyramine can trigger migraine pain and high blood pressure in some individuals. People who suffer from migraines or who take MAOI medication are often advised to avoid foods and drinks that are high in tyramine because it is a well known and accepted trigger for migraine pain.