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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 206

Peanuts: A common migraine trigger

R. K. Eye Care Centre, Rasipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication23-Oct-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. R Vasumathi
R K Eye Care Centre, 18/A, GVR Mill Street, Rasipuram, Namakkal District, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tjosr.tjosr_73_18

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How to cite this article:
Vasumathi R. Peanuts: A common migraine trigger. TNOA J Ophthalmic Sci Res 2018;56:206

How to cite this URL:
Vasumathi R. Peanuts: A common migraine trigger. TNOA J Ophthalmic Sci Res [serial online] 2018 [cited 2023 Jan 29];56:206. Available from: https://www.tnoajosr.com/text.asp?2018/56/3/206/243772


Migraine triggers can vary widely between individuals and in some people; particular foods and drinks can trigger a migraine. The typical migraine patient is exposed to a myriad of migraine triggers on a daily basis. These triggers potentially can act at various sites within the cerebral vasculature and the central nervous system to promote the development of migraine headache.[1] Tyramine, a naturally produced compound found in protein-containing foods, is one of these potential triggers. Tyramine is a naturally occurring trace amine derived from the amino acid tyrosine. Tyramine acts as a catecholamine-releasing agent. It is metabolized by various enzymes including monoamine oxidases. In foods, it often is produced by the decarboxylation of tyrosine during fermentation or decay.

A 2007 review published in Neurological Sciences presented data showing migraine and cluster headaches are characterized by an increase of circulating neurotransmitters and neuromodulators (including tyramine, octopamine, and synephrine) in the hypothalamus, amygdala, and dopaminergic system.[2]

Peanuts contain tyramine. The peanut, also known as the groundnut, is a legume crop grown mainly for its edible seeds. It is widely grown in the tropics and subtropics. Boiled peanuts, peanut brittles, and dry-roasted peanuts are popular snacks in Tamil Nadu. We come across many patients presenting with headache after consuming peanuts. The incidence is more common during peanut harvest season, particularly among patients from rural areas. They present with severe pulsatile headache.

Since many patients with headache consult ophthalmologists, it is prudent to keep in mind the possibility of migraine due to food triggers and elicit history of ingesting any migraine triggering food. Food triggers may not always be consistent, and some migraines may happen as late as 24 h after eating the specific food. In some patients, attacks may only be triggered by a certain combination of trigger factors. Either factor on their own may not be enough to trigger an attack, but when combined they do. Patients may be advised to maintain migraine diary to identify trigger factors and to avoid them.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Martin VT, Behbehani MM. Toward a rational understanding of migraine trigger factors. Med Clin North Am 2001;85:911-41.  Back to cited text no. 1
D'Andrea G, Nordera GP, Perini F, Allais G, Granella F. Biochemistry of neuromodulation in primary headaches: Focus on anomalies of tyrosine metabolism. Neurol Sci 2007;28 Suppl 2:S94-6.  Back to cited text no. 2


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