reply to post by twitchy
Just want to throw this out there. Please BE CAREFUL when ingesting
St. John's Wort. It can be LETHAL. Regarding MAOI's
MAOIs do something else, however: they also "clean up" tyramine, a molecule that affects blood pressure. When monoamine oxidase is blocked, the
levels of tyramine increase quickly. You feel better, emotionally and psychologically, but your blood pressure can rise so much and so quickly that
the blood vessels in your brain can burst. When MAOIs were first introduced in the 1960s, the country was swept by a wave of deaths from inexplicable
Foods to Avoid
Eventually, the link between MAOIs and tyramine was discovered, so the banned drugs could be reintroduced along with a warning for patients to
restrict their diets. Foods high in tyramine and which are forbidden include:
* alcoholic beverages (especially chianti, sherry, liqueurs, and beer)
* alcohol-free or reduced-alcohol beer or wine
* aged foods, especially aged meats and cheeses
* smoked or pickled meat, poultry, or fish
* bologna, pepperoni, salami, summer sausage, or any fermented sausage
* meat with tenderizers, unfresh meat, meat extracts, canned meats
* dried and pickled fish, including caviar, anchovies and pickled herring
* liver, especially chicken livers.
* cheeses (especially strong or aged varieties), except for cottage and cream cheese
* fermented foods and homemade breads with a lot of yeast
* fruit: raisins, bananas, canned figs, red plums, avocados, or any overripe fruit
* vegetable products: green bean pods, eggplant, Italian broad beans, soy sauce
There are additional foods which can only be eaten in moderation. All of this information is given to patients who are prescribed MAOIs by their
doctor. As you can see, the list is very extensive and includes a lot of popular foods; because of this, many people find taking MAOIs to be very
And that isn't all. It is a simply phramaceutical fact that drugs sometimes interact with each other - there is no way around this. Does St. John's
Wort interact with anything? As a matter of fact, yes - it can interfere with the chemotherapy drug irinotecan, reducing its ability to kill cancer.
The FDA has issued a long list of additional medications which St. John's Wort can interfere with - medications used to treat conditions like HIV
infection, heart disease, seizure, and cancer. It even affects drugs used to prevent transplant rejection and pregnancy.
The next time you see St. John's Wort in a store, however, take a look at the package and see if it contains health warnings or a list of foods which
you shouldn't eat or drugs which it can interact with. You will probably search in vain. The best I have every seen tells people not to take the
product if they are taking other MAO inhibitors and not to take it with "high tyramine foods like red wine" - a warning so inadequate as to actually
cause depression in the reader. Others are even worse, giving no warning whatsoever.