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High Blood Pressure

Amines in foods and blood pressure

06/01/2009

Question:

Are there some amines found in foods that can increase blood pressure? What comes to mind are foods like chocolates, bananas and oranges. Interestingly these foods are to be avoided or restricted before the 24 urine test pheochromocytoma.

I came across an article mentioning that some amine derivates (ergoline) has very promising anti-hypertensive properties, anti-anxiety as well as other promising uses. Is there any drug treatment coming up soon using this ergoline derivates and can you get them from any foods?

Thanks

Answer:

Diet can influence blood pressure.  The most important component in food that can raise pressure is sodium (salt).  A diet rich in potassium can lower blood pressure.  These effects occur over years.

It is no longer necessary to avoid certain foods when being tested for pheochromocytoma.  Most laboratories now use high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to test for various catecholamines, and there is no interference from food.  The only exception is tricyclic antidepressants, which are no longer widely used.

Ergoline derivatives have been found to lower blood pressure in rats, but there are no conclusive data in humans.  At this point, ergoline and other dopamine agonists are purely experimental.

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Response by:

Max C Reif, MD Max C Reif, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hypertension Section
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati