The term MAO (monoamine oxidase) refers to an enzyme system that occurs in an organism (for example, human body). There are two different MAO's. One is MAO-A, which naturally breaks down the monoamine neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine in the body, and the other is MAO-B, which inhibits/degrades phenylethylamine and benzylamine as well as dopamine in the CNS (central nervous system). Amines are organic nitrogen compounds in the human body.
If these two MAO's were not present in the human organism, toxic amines that entered the body or were produced by the body would no longer be broken down and could have a strong toxic effect.
MAO inhibitors are substances such as tranylcypromine, selegiline, harmaline, which selectively prevent or inhibit MAO. This blocks the natural processes in the human organism (degradation of amines). MAO inhibitors can have serious consequences for health if, for example, amines are supplied to the body in high doses (via psychoactive substances, drugs or food). Therefore, extreme caution should be exercised when consuming MAO inhibitors and information should be obtained before consumption.
The following list shows which substances, medications or foods should not be taken with MAO inhibitors.
- Sedatives (tranquilizers such as opioids) and narcotics
- Many antihistamines (anti-allergic drugs)
- Antidepressant medication
- Alcohol (also avoid wine and beer without alcohol)
- Dill, parsley and fennel oil (in small quantities for seasoning dishes unproblematic)
- Substances containing caffeine (cola, coffee, tea, cocoa, guarana, etc.)
- Bananas, pineapple, raspberries, rhubarb
- Foods with a tyrosine content (fish, poultry liver, horse beans, Chianti wine, etc.)