Why grapefruit juice doesn't mix with medications

May 10, 2006 in Nutrition for Older Adults, Nutrition Topics in the News

Why grapefruit juice doesn't mix with medications

Researchers from the University of North Carolina have identified the substance in grapefruit juice that causes potentially dangerous interactions with certain medications.

For nearly ten years people have been told to avoid grapefruit juice with certain medications, including drugs used to control blood pressure or lower cholesterol. Previous studies have shown that grapefruit juice can cause more drugs to enter the blood stream, leading to dangerous side effects. This effect is known to occur with grape fruit juice, but not other juices.

While it was originally thought that flavonoids, the compound that gives grapefruit juice its bitter taste was to blame, researchers now conclude it is a compound called furanocoumarins.

To study its effect, researchers randomly assigned 18 healthy volunteers to receive an anti-hypertensive drug with either orange juice, regular grapefruit juice or grapefruit juice without the suspected compound. Blood samples collected 24 hours later indicated grapefruit juice without furanocoumarins, acted much like orange juice.

These latest findings have been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.