tyramines in wine - Printable Version

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- Guest - 10-23-2006 08:09 PM

I am the daughter of a winemaker. Unfortunately, tyramines trigger my migraines. I haven't found any wines that I can have at all. I can have one mixed drink without a migraine. I have recently read that I can have sauterne or riesling in small amounts. If tyramines naturally occur in all fermented products, why would there be less in riesling? I was told that it was possibly because it is less alcoholic and drunk young. Well, then why can't I have beaujolais? Isn't it drunk young? If I can have sauturne, why can't I have semillon? Aren't they from the same grape? Help! I need my wine!

- Bucko - 10-23-2006 09:18 PM

Reports on the tyramine-migraine link are sketchy. A recent review article found that all past studies affirming a migraine-tyramine connection were scientifically inconclusive, and noted several studies showing no connection. Two studies validated as scientifically sound reported no connection in the population evaluated.

If you haven't already, I'd consult with a neurologist to seek out the etiology of your headaches. It may not be TYRamine at all -- it may be HISTamine, which is prevalent in red wines and beer, but much less so in white wines.

If you look at the list of migraine triggers, it is formidable:

Aged or strong cheese
Cured meats (hot dogs, bacon, ham, and salami)
Citrus fruits
Fatty or fried foods
Chocolate, nuts
Monosodium glutamate
Food dyes, additives
Pickled herring, chicken livers
Ice cream
Yogurt, sour cream
Meat and vegetable extracts
Pork and seafood
Canned figs, broad beans, tomatoes
Caffeine-containing drinks (coffee, tea, all cola soft drinks)
Caffeine withdrawal
Alcoholic drinks (red wine, beer)
Aspartame, nitrites, sulfites

I read one study where double-blind administration of tyramine to patients who benefited from a low-tyramine diet did not provoke attacks of migraine. I'd ask your neurologist directly about this.

Cognac, whiskey, beer and red wine are your worst bets. Vodka and white wine are your best bets.

- Thomas - 10-24-2006 06:27 AM

To add to what Bucko posted, there is also a lot of evidence that spontaneous malolactic fermentation (not using cultures to get it started) helps build biogenic amines (histamine is only one of them).

Almost all red wines are put through malolactic fermentation and some white wines are too (Chardonnay).

In this regard, the headache induced by wine is not likely an allergy but the result of toxicity. Of course, this information remains inconclusive as well.

Bucko gives you the best advice: see a specialist.

[This message has been edited by foodie (edited 10-24-2006).]

- Guest - 10-24-2006 07:26 PM

I also get migraines from cheese, shrimp paste, soy sauce, etc. I have read that the research is questionable, but I have been drinking wine since I was a child and now can't even have a quarter of a glass without a three day migraine following. I used to think it was the alcohol, but am able to have vodka in small quantities, but I WANT MY WINE!

- Kcwhippet - 10-24-2006 08:01 PM

If you live in Sacto, why don't you go to UCDavis, which is only a few miles up the road and ask them? They've done extensive studies on this and have reams of info. Also, if your father's a winemaker, why doesn't he have access to the info you need to help you??

- Guest - 10-24-2006 08:16 PM

I've asked him, but he refuses to believe that wine can be the cause--he thinks its all in my head. The only research I've heard of at UCD has to do with the development of yeasts that don't produce certain amines. I asked Darrel Corti if he knew anything about the research--he said that no one he has asked would admit to having the yeast & he'd never even heard of tyramines. I've had extensive tests through Kaiser--all they do is give you pills, shrug their shoulders, and tell you to stay away from anything that might trigger a headache. Do you have any suggestions as to whom I would contact at Davis?