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What types of food should I avoid when taking antidepressants?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Many aged cheeses such as parmesan, romano, asiago, brie and cheddar contain tyramine, a normally harmless substance that is broken down by the enzyme monoamine oxidase. But when people who are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressant eat foods containing tyramine, they are unable to break it down and that can cause them to experience a potentially deadly spike in blood pressure, a risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Tyramine increases the release of the body's neurotransmitter chemicals charged with narrowing or dilating blood vessels in response to shifts in blood pressure.

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