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It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to askdrgourmet@drgourmet.com and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

Please note that the Ask Dr. Gourmet feature is restricted to questions regarding food and nutrition. Due to the many questions we receive, not all questions may be answered. For more specific questions about your individual health, please contact your doctor. About Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy


 

Ask Dr. Gourmet



Does acai berry contain tyramine?

I am on the MAOI Parnate and I cannot have anything with tyramine in it. Could you tell me exactly what is in the Acai Berry fruit? I ordered the freeze dried berry in a capsule. I'm just not sure if I can have it.

Dr. Gourmet Says...

raw acai erries in bushel baskets

It is possible that acai berries may contain tyramine. Many fruits do, including grapes, figs, plums and pineapple. As fruits age, the levels of tyramine they contain increase, so fresh fruit may not be as much of a problem.

All of that said, the freeze dried acai that you ordered is likely to be a scam. Most folks order these products as a weight loss supplement but there's no evidence that they work. At the same time there's no assurance of quality of such products and many supplements have been found to have added ingredients, including pharmaceutical grade medications like amphetamines or other medications that could interact with medications you are already taking. It's difficult to know what risk there is because the supplement industry is so poorly regulated.

You do have to be careful with MAOI medications, and supplements are best avoided without careful supervision and approval from your physician.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr. Gourmet