Grapefruit Can Hinder How Certain Medications Work In Your Body

October 12, 2018

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You wouldn't think eating fruit or drinking fruit juice would be a life altering deal but when it comes to certain medications and grapefruit juice, it is! Hailed as one of the healthiest citrus fruits you can eat. Research shows that it may have some powerful health benefits, including weight loss and a reduced risk of heart disease. But the dark side of grapefruit is that it contains a compound which interferes with an enzyme in the small intestine, which is responsible for breaking down certain medications. At least 53 medications, from allergy pills to statins to some cancer drugs can be made less effective thanks to grapefruit. As a result, the fruit can make medicines too strong or not strong enough by affecting how well your body absorbs them. For example, if you drink a lot of grapefruit juice alongside certain statin drugs (used to lower cholesterol), too much of the drug can be released into your bloodstream and takes longer to metabolize, therefore remaining in your body for longer. The higher dose in your bloodstream increases the risk of liver and muscle damage and can lead to kidney failure. It doesn't take much grapefruit juice to boost the levels of drugs that are susceptible. Just a single glass of juice can reduce the production of the intestinal enzyme that regulates absorption by up to 47%! The opposite can be true with the allergy medicine, fexofenadine (Allegra), grapefruit juice can cause less of the drug to enter the blood, decreasing the potency of the medication and how well it works. Your doctor, pharmacist or healthcare provider should be able to advise how much, if any, grapefruit juice or fruit is advised, which other fruits or juices may also affect your drug in a similar way to grapefruit juice. Or read the patient information leaflet that comes with your prescription drug to find out if grapefruit juice affects your drug.

SOURCE: Daily Mail

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