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When Fruit and Medicine Don’t Mix

Are you partial to the lovely, sweet, tangy grapefruit? Does it feature on your daily breakfast menu or do you prefer it cooled and freshly squeezed on a hot summer day as a healthy thirst quencher?

If grapefruit is a welcome addition to your diet, then you need to check that you aren’t taking any medication that it may interact with.

Grapefruit contains furanocoumarins, a compound that helps protect it from certain insects and infections. Unfortunately, in humans, furanocoumarins block one of the main liver enzymes involved in the metabolism of over 50 percent of all drugs, called CYP3A4; worsening side effects or decreasing the effectiveness of the medicine.

Significant interactions have been reported for drugs that treat bacterial infections, high blood pressure, cancer, hay fever, heart disease, high cholesterol, and several other conditions.

But grapefruit isn’t the only fruit that can play havoc with some of your medicines. Limes, pomegranates, pomelos, and Seville oranges are guilty as well.

When you are prescribed a new drug or buy one over the counter from a drug store, ask your pharmacist if it is likely to interact with grapefruit or any other fruits or foods. One grapefruit or pomegranate or a small glass of juice could be all it takes!

Read more here…

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