According to ScienceAlert, an increasing number of studies is showing negative interaction between grapefruit juice and many prescription medications, some of the complications of which could lead to death. These complications are known well enough to result in labels on certain medications warning against the consumption of grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking the medication. The idea that drinking juice could cause severe side effects may seem bizarre, but the chemistry involved has been well documented.
More and more studies show grapefruit juice and a growing number of medications are not mixing well, with potentially lethal side effects.
While grapefruit juice can be a healthy, vitamin-packed part of any diet, it poses a health risk not many people know about because it interacts with certain medications in negative ways. Chemical compounds within the juice called furanocoumarins have been shown by multiple studies to interfere with the uptake of certain drugs in the body. This interference can cause both the effects of a lack of the medication in the bloodstream and, perhaps more dangerously, the effects of an overdose.
The range of medications whose efficacy can be negatively impacted by interaction with grapefruit juice includes anti-anxiety medications, as well as drugs for treating high blood pressure, cholesterol, and cancer.
Grapefruit juice delivers doses of furanocoumarins, which block production of the enzyme cytochrome p450 3A4, also known as CYP3A4.
The two compounds that interfere with the metabolization of these drugs are bergamottin and dihydroxybergamottin, which can also be found in certain other fruits, such as Bergamot oranges, Seville oranges, and pomelos. Grapefruit is a pomelo orange hybrid, which is why it contains these chemical compounds.
Grapefruit juice delivers doses of furanocoumarins, which block production of the enzyme cytochrome p450 3A4, also known as CYP3A4. This enzyme, which is found in the liver and small intestine, assists in the body’s ability to break down foreign molecules, such as those in prescription drugs. This enzyme is vitally important in the metabolization of drugs of various types.
The compounds in grapefruit juice can also cause the effects of having no medication in one’s body and can therefore cause many other problems as well.
It doesn’t take much grapefruit juice to have a negative impact on the body’s production of cyp3a4. In fact, just one glass of the stuff will begin to interfere with the body’s ability to produce the enzyme, with regular consumption leading to increasingly severe side effects. These effects can include kidney failure, muscle tissue breakdown, gastrointestinal bleeding, shortness of breath, bone marrow toxicity, and rapid heart beat.
These symptoms from the interaction between grapefruit juice and prescription medications, when severe, could be fatal. The compounds in grapefruit juice can also cause the effects of having no medication in one’s body and can therefore cause many other problems as well.
Whatever the issues that might arise from the practice of drinking grapefruit juice while taking certain prescription medications, it’s important to take every precaution to make sure one’s health is not compromised.
While it may seem odd to think about something as generally healthy and nutritious as grapefruit juice as something that can be dangerous and even deadly, it’s interactions with drugs can be severe enough to Warrant major concern. If you are a loved one have concerns about weather grapefruit juice is dangerous, contact your prescribing position to find out if there are any potential interactions between your prescription medications and grapefruit juice.