Thursday, March 13, 2014

Grapefruit Juice and Medication Interactions

Doctors have warned patients for quite some time that grapefruit juice can interact with certain medications and cause harmful side-effects.  This is particularly common with some blood pressure-lowering drugs and some cholesterol-lowering medications.  Researchers believe they know the reason.  So-called furanocoumarins seem to be the problem.  Grapefruit juice armed with the furanocoumarins can cause these drugs to enter the bloodstream more efficiently, thereby increasing the dose and effect and the potential for undesirable, and even dangerous, side-effects.  Researchers from the University of North Carolina found that once you took the furanocoumarins out, the juice behaved like orange juice. Those marketing grapefruit juice envision the production of a furanocoumarin-free juice, much like lactose-free milk. It's an interesting idea. 

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