If You Take Medications, You Need to Know About Grapefruit

Grapefruit is good for you!

It’s a vitamin C-rich citrus fruit that’s low in sugar and contains vitamin A, potassium, and fibre. It has a low glycemic index and does not spike your blood sugar when you eat it. The pink and red varieties also contain lycopene.

It’s definitely a nutritious health-promoting food.

It even had a whole weight-loss diet created around it – the “grapefruit diet!” Research has proven that grapefruit doesn’t have any magical weight loss properties, so don’t eat it just to lose weight.

But…

There is something you need to know about grapefruit if you take medications.

 

GRAPEFRUIT-MEDICATION INTERACTION

 

Grapefruit enhances the effects of many medications – over 85 at last count; this is sometimes called the “grapefruit effect.” Taking grapefruit (or its juice) along with certain medications – even a day apart – can increase the risk of side effects.

For example, when taken with certain blood pressure lowering medications it lowers blood pressure too much. This causes lightheadedness and other symptoms.

Another example is when taken with certain birth control pills, women have a higher risk of blood clots.

Grapefruit affects the metabolism of some of the following categories of medications:

  • Blood pressure
  • Birth control
  • Chemotherapy
  • Anti-infection
  • Cholesterol-lowering
  • Immunosuppressive and anti-rejection
  • Urinary tract agents
  • Some over-the-counter cough medication

When the medication is taken within 24-72 hours of consuming grapefruit or its juice (yes, up to three days later!), there can be an interaction and potential side effect. In fact, for half of the medications affected, the grapefruit effect can be serious. Serious effects include heart and muscle issues and kidney toxicity, just to name a few.

How does this even happen, and why is grapefruit special?

 

HOW DOES GRAPEFRUIT INTERACT WITH MEDICATIONS?

 

Grapefruit (as well as Seville oranges, limes, and pomelos) contain a compound called “furanocoumarin.” It’s this compound that inhibits (stops) an enzyme in our gut (enzyme CYP 3A4) from working properly.

When working properly, this enzyme breaks down and metabolizes many compounds we ingest, including dozens of medications.

When the enzyme is inhibited, like when we’ve consumed grapefruit, this slows down the enzyme. This leads to slowing down of the rate these medications are metabolized and eliminated from the body.

If you slow down metabolism and elimination, this leads to higher than normal levels of medications in the blood – up to 137% higher! This “enhances” their effect and can cause those side effects.

When medications are prescribed at certain doses to be taken in certain time frames, this is based on the medication being metabolized normally – not way-too-slowly.

If you need to replace grapefruit or its juice in your diet, try another fruit or vegetable. Or, talk with your doctor about swapping for another medication that’s not affected by grapefruit.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Since one glass of grapefruit juice can affect the enzyme’s function for over 24-hours, it’s advisable to stop eating the grapefruit or drinking its juice altogether while you’re taking certain medications.

If you love eating grapefruit or drinking its juice and are taking medications, definitely speak with your doctor or pharmacist to see if this affects you. Many medications are not metabolized by this enzyme, and even if they are, this grapefruit effect may not pose a serious risk for all of those medications.

So, now that you know grapefruit’s little secret go find out if you’re affected.

Do you know someone who loves grapefruit or its juice, and is taking medications that have the grapefruit effect? Share this post to let them know that they should double-check with their doctor or pharmacist before enjoying this awesome fruit.

 

Recipe (Tangy Citrusy): Non-Grapefruit Juice or Smoothie
Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

2 cups pineapple, peeled & chopped
1 cup cucumber, washed & chopped
1 lemon, peeled

INSTRUCTIONS

Juice OR blend pineapple, cucumber and lemon.

Serve over ice & enjoy!

Tip: Top with fresh mint leaves.

 

References:

http://www.cmaj.ca/content/cmaj/early/2012/11/26/cmaj.120951.full.pdf

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/fiche-nutri-data/nutrient_value-valeurs_nutritives-tc-tm-eng.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grapefruit_diet

https://nutritionfacts.org/video/tell-your-doctor-if-you-eat-grapefruit/

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/rr-grapefruit-diet

About Me


Hi, I’m Tracy! I create food solutions to feed your life goals. I’m a Nutritionist, chocoholic + superhero fan. Mom to three, wife to one, crazy about all four, and food! When you work with me you’ll learn to savour life and nourish all that it has to offer.

The Culinary Nutrition Expert Program

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Having dessert on-hand is a regular thing in my house and I can teach you how to have it too without all the unnecessary sugar spikes, inflammation, hormonal imbalance, mood swings, and weight gain that go along with the wrong kind of sugar. 

For starters, try using dates as your form of sugar. Its far healthier than the addictive white processed sugar that is one of the leading contributors of chronic disease.

Dates provide a slow-releasing form of sugar and are heart healthy with their generous amount of potassium. Their soluble fibre help to lower bad Cholesterol and they basically defy the dogma that all sugar is bad.

Theyve also been used as a traditional remedy for sore throats, colds, and bronchial issues. 

Of course, if youre trying to avoid sugar completely for a period of time, then these wont do. But, were nearing the holidays so whos doing that...!?!

Contact me to learn how we can work together to conquer your cravings without giving up dessert through the #linkinbio

#cravings #moodswings #chronicdisease #wholefoods #rightsugar #sugar #processed #cleaneats #chocolate #dessert #foodforthought #getclean #nutritionist #goals #feelbetter #newyou #2020 #snack #snacktime #wellness #brainhealth #hormones #hormonehealth #happy #nutrients #fruit

Having dessert on-hand is a regular thing in my house and I can teach you how to have it too without all the unnecessary sugar spikes, inflammation, hormonal imbalance, mood swings, and weight gain that go along with the wrong kind of sugar.

For starters, try using dates as your form of sugar. It's far healthier than the addictive white processed sugar that is one of the leading contributors of chronic disease.

Dates provide a slow-releasing form of sugar and are heart healthy with their generous amount of potassium. Their soluble fibre help to lower bad Cholesterol and they basically defy the dogma that all sugar is bad.

They've also been used as a traditional remedy for sore throats, colds, and bronchial issues.

Of course, if you're trying to avoid sugar completely for a period of time, then these won't do. But, we're nearing the holidays so who's doing that...!?!

Contact me to learn how we can work together to conquer your cravings without giving up dessert through the #linkinbio

#cravings #moodswings #chronicdisease #wholefoods #rightsugar #sugar #processed #cleaneats #chocolate #dessert #foodforthought #getclean #nutritionist #goals #feelbetter #newyou #2020 #snack #snacktime #wellness #brainhealth #hormones #hormonehealth #happy #nutrients #fruit
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Wow those look tasty. Also, people are very seldom allergic to dates ☺ I love them with raw natural almonds. Or as a syrup or paste to sweeten things naturally

Love my dates!

Im OVER-THE-MOON to be speaking @blendcateringco s first cooking class of 2020 called New Year, New You!

Well be covering meal planning and how to incorporate the best quality ingredients for you or your family for 2020! Knowing Chef Erica, your meals will probably look beautiful too.

Check out her beautifully styled food over at her page and if youre planning a party, corporate event, or even a wedding, then youll want to check out her elevated style of cooking and website.

https://www.blendcateringco.com/ 

#local #food #cookingclass #learntocook #2020goals #goals #foodgoals #mealplan #nutritionist #chef #bossbabe #chef #passion #cookwithpassion #hamiltonevents #entrepreneur #goodeats #cleaneats #foodofinstagram #beautifulcuisine

I'm OVER-THE-MOON to be speaking @blendcateringco 's first cooking class of 2020 called New Year, New You!

We'll be covering meal planning and how to incorporate the best quality ingredients for you or your family for 2020! Knowing Chef Erica, your meals will probably look beautiful too.

Check out her beautifully styled food over at her page and if you're planning a party, corporate event, or even a wedding, then you'll want to check out her elevated style of cooking and website.

www.blendcateringco.com/

#local #food #cookingclass #learntocook #2020goals #goals #foodgoals #mealplan #nutritionist #chef #bossbabe #chef #passion #cookwithpassion #hamiltonevents #entrepreneur #goodeats #cleaneats #foodofinstagram #beautifulcuisine
... See MoreSee Less

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