Food sources and biomolecular targets of tyramine

Nutr Rev. 2019 Feb 1;77(2):107-115. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuy036.


Tyramine is a biogenic trace amine that is generated via the decarboxylation of the amino acid tyrosine. At pico- to nanomolar concentrations, it can influence a multitude of physiological mechanisms, exhibiting neuromodulatory properties as well as cardiovascular and immunological effects. In humans, the diet is the primary source of physiologically relevant tyramine concentrations, which are influenced by a large number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Among these factors are the availability of tyrosine in food, the presence of tyramine-producing bacteria, the environmental pH, and the salt content of food. The process of fermentation provides a particularly good source of tyramine in human nutrition. Here, the potential impact of dietary tyramine on human health was assessed by compiling quantitative data on the tyramine content in a variety of foods and then conducting a brief review of the literature on the physiological, cellular, and systemic effects of tyramine. Together, the data sets presented here may allow both the assessment of tyramine concentrations in food and the extrapolation of these concentrations to gauge the physiological and systemic effects in the context of human nutrition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Food Analysis
  • Food*
  • Humans
  • Tyramine* / analysis
  • Tyramine* / physiology


  • Tyramine