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  1. #1
    Registered User Sonny926's Avatar
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    Question taking Whey Protein while on MAOIs...

    I have recently been prescribed an MAOI called Nardil (Phenelzine), and have to adhere to a strict diet which excludes Tyramine content and high amounts of L-Tyrosine. Failing to to this could result in a hypertensive crisis, stroke and brain haemorrhage.

    Tyramine is normally found in aged protein foods (cheese, non-fresh meat & fish etc.) the longer a protein is left, the more L-Tyrosine breaks down into Tyramine, hence making the food dangerous for me.

    However I am not sure (and cannot find any information) about whether Whey Protein is a food that has a Tyramine content which could be dangerous. I am concerned because Whey protein is obviously concentrated and processed milk protein, and perhaps during this processing, it steadily builds up a large Tyramine content from the L-Tyrosine breaking down.

    Here are the questions I would like to know answers for:

    1)What is the Tyramine content of Whey Protein? (if any)

    2)Do you know if it would be safe to take Whey Protein while on an MAOI?


    Thank you very much for helping me on this, I have already emailed this question to many leading companies (Optimum nutrition, My Protein, Pfitzer, Pharmacy companies and universities) and I have not recieved one reply as of yet, so I look forward to hearing from your responses here.
    Last edited by Sonny926; 08-10-2008 at 07:33 AM.
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  2. #2
    Education + Dedication uhockey's Avatar
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    The question is why you were prescribed an MAO-I since they are VERY rarely used.....
    My place in here at bb.com is as a fitness enthusiast and recommendations do not represent medical advice. Please consult your examining physician for all medical concerns.

    I'm not a "rep," and most "reps":
    1) are no more credentialed than you. 2) have no input and no understanding of their product formulations. 3) are merely paid in free product from the company they represent.

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  3. #3
    meathead bongd's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by uhockey View Post
    The question is why you were prescribed an MAO-I since they are VERY rarely used.....
    No kidding... there aren't many reasons to be taking such an archaic medication by today's standards. There are much more suitable options out there for whatever medical challenge you're afflicted by. And they won't require such a strict dietary regimen. All the best.
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  4. #4
    Registered User v4lu3s's Avatar
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    you should be working with the doc that prescribed it...he/she should be knowledgeable enough to set a diet if he can prescribe that crap.
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  5. #5
    Got red meat? BubbaDoc's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by uhockey View Post
    The question is why you were prescribed an MAO-I since they are VERY rarely used.....
    Originally Posted by browndustin View Post
    No kidding... there aren't many reasons to be taking such an archaic medication by today's standards. There are much more suitable options out there for whatever medical challenge you're afflicted by. And they won't require such a strict dietary regimen. All the best.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Sonny926's Avatar
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    I have gone through all the SSRIs, TCAs, RIMAs and other anti depressants and they have not worked. I actually have mild depression and severe Social Anxiety Disorder, and if you read up about Phenelzine (Nardil) it is proven to be the absolute best Antidepressant available for this disorder.

    All the channels of safer, less stringent medication have been tried and failed, so my doctor was 100% right to prescribe me this MAOI.

    My concern is to continue bodybuilding, because it is a sport that I love and I really want to know if I can continue using whey protein, even just once a day post W/O. My doctor said that she honestly didn't know if Whey protein contained a lethal amount of Tyramine, and to make my own enquires with the companies themselves; but as I said there has been no replies.

    So does anyone out there know the answers to my questions?
    Thanks.
    Last edited by Sonny926; 08-10-2008 at 11:02 AM.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Sonny926's Avatar
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  8. #8
    Got red meat? BubbaDoc's Avatar
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    It is unlikely that your physician will know, however, he probably has a working relationship with a dietician and can ask them...Run it by him.
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  9. #9
    Got red meat? BubbaDoc's Avatar
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    Foods to Avoid
    This list consists of foods with sufficient tyramine (in small or usual serving sizes) to create a dangerous elevation in blood pressure and which therefore should be avoided (McCabe, 1986).

    Alcoholic beverages - avoid Chianti wine and vermouth. Consumption of red, white, and port wine in quantities less than 120 mL present little risk (Anon, 1989; Da Prada et al, 1988; McCabe, 1986). Beer and ale should also be avoided (McCabe, 1986), however other investigators feel major domestic (US) brands of beer is safe in small quantities (1/2 cup or less than 120 mL) (Anon, 1989; Da Prada, 1988), but imported beer should not be consumed unless a specific brand is known to be safe. Whiskey and liqueurs such as Drambuie(R) and Chartreuse(R) have caused reactions. Nonalcoholic beverages (alcohol- free beer and wines) may contain tyramine and should be avoided (Anon, 1989; Stockley, 1993).

    Banana peels - a single case report implicates a banana as the causative agent, which involved the consumption of whole stewed green banana, including the peel. Ripe banana pulp contains 7 mcg/gram of tyramine compared to a peel which contains 65 mcg/gram and 700 mcg of tyramine and dopamine, respectively (McCabe, 1986).

    Bean curd - fermented bean curd, fermented soya bean, soya bean pastes contain a significant amount of tyramine (Anon, 1989).

    Broad (fava) bean pods - these beans contain dopa, not tyramine, which is metabolized to dopamine and may cause a pressor reaction and therefore should not be eaten particularly if overripe (McCabe, 1986; Anon, 1989; Brown & Bryant, 1988).

    Cheese - tyramine content cannot be predicted based on appearance, flavor, or variety and therefore should be avoided. Cream cheese and cottage cheese have no detectable level of tyramine (McCabe, 1986; Anon, 1989, Brown & Bryant, 1988).

    Fish - fresh fish (Anon, 1989; McCabe, 1986) and vacuum- packed pickled fish or caviar contain only small amounts of tyramine and are safe if consumed promptly or refrigerated for short periods; longer storage may be dangerous (Anon, 1989). Smoked, fermented, pickled (Herring) and otherwise aged fish, meat, or any spoiled food may contain high levels of tyramine and should be avoided (Anon, 1989; Brown & Bryant, 1988).

    Ginseng - some preparations have resulted in a headache, tremulousness, and manic-like symptoms (Anon, 1989).

    Protein extracts - three brands of meat extract contained 95, 206, and 304 mcg/gram of tyramine and therefore meat extracts should be avoided (McCabe, 1986). Avoid liquid and powdered protein dietary supplements (Anon, 1989).



    Of course that was from 1989 and as manufacturing proceses have likely changed, you still might want to ask.
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  10. #10
    Crossing the Rubicon Serpens Aeon's Avatar
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    Seriously, this is not the place to ask such a question. Aside from Uhockey I wouldn't trust anyone here, including myself, to give you reliable advice, and even then he's not in place to be an acting physician on the boards. With the advent of the internet and information truly at our fingertips everyone likes to talk like an expert... except they're not. This really should be between you and your doctor. This isn't an indictment against anyone in specific here, I'm just calling it how I see it.

    Perhaps you should try taking a few ingredient profiles of protein powders your interested in and getting his opinion on them? I'd say that's the most reliable bet. None of us knows your medical history or are really qualified to give you such an answer.

    That aside, whey protein isn't integral to your success as a bodybuilder. Diligent training and diet are.
    Last edited by Serpens Aeon; 08-10-2008 at 07:46 PM.
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  11. #11
    Education + Dedication uhockey's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Serpens Aeon View Post
    Seriously, this is not the place to ask such a question. Aside from Uhockey I wouldn't trust anyone here, including myself, to give you reliable advice, and even then he's not in place to be an acting physician on the boards. With the advent of the internet and information truly at our fingertips everyone likes to talk like an expert... except they're not. This really should be between you and your doctor. This isn't an indictment against anyone in specific here, I'm just calling it how I see it.

    Perhaps you should try taking a few ingredient profiles of protein powders your interested in and getting his opinion on them? I'd say that's the most reliable bet. None of us knows your medical history or are really qualified to give you such an answer.

    That aside, whey protein isn't integral to your success as a bodybuilder. Diligent training and diet are.
    WELL said.
    My place in here at bb.com is as a fitness enthusiast and recommendations do not represent medical advice. Please consult your examining physician for all medical concerns.

    I'm not a "rep," and most "reps":
    1) are no more credentialed than you. 2) have no input and no understanding of their product formulations. 3) are merely paid in free product from the company they represent.

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