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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