Grapefruit juice can be deadly: scientists find strong evidence

Alina MilsentLife
Grapefruit juice can be deadly.

Grapefruit is a very controversial fruit Nutritionists claim that the fruit has antisclerotic and tonic properties, useful for the digestive tract and metabolism. However, recent studies have proved that grapefruit juice can be deadly.

Fans of healthy eating often drink grapefruit juice for breakfast, because it is rich in useful vitamins and microelements. The publication Science Alert told what irrefutable evidence of the dangers of this type of juice discovered by scientists.

When grapefruit juice can be deadly

The chemical compounds furanocoumarins, found in high concentrations in grapefruit, can reduce or enhance the effects of certain medications. This leads to dangerously low - or, more commonly, dangerously high - levels of these drugs in the body.

Bergamotene compounds are also found in pomelos and bergamot oranges, and dihydroxybergamottin in pomelos and Seville oranges, the latter often used to make marmalade.

As pharmacologist Shiv Mei Huang of the FDA explained, "Grapefruit juice allows more drugs to penetrate the bloodstream. And when you have too much medicine in your bloodstream, you can have more side effects."

Chemical properties of grapefruit and drug interactions

The body - mainly in the liver and small intestine - makes an enzyme called cytochrome P450 3A4 (or CYP3A4). It helps break down small foreign molecules, such as toxins or drugs, so that the digestive system can eliminate them. It is the cytochrome that plays a crucial role in the metabolism of many drugs.

However, furanocoumarins interfere with the ability to produce or effectively utilize cytochrome CYP3A4.

The dangers of one glass of juice

Scientists have proven: just one glass of grapefruit juice can inhibit CYP3A4 production, and repeated consumption reduces cytochrome activity in the liver.

Thus, the ability of the gastrointestinal tract to metabolize certain oral drugs is reduced. As a result, more of the drug enters the bloodstream. The drug stays in the body longer, an overdose effect is created, even if you have taken the correct dose.

By the way, the types of medicine affected by grapefruit are very diverse: from cholesterol and blood pressure pills to cancer drugs and antidepressants.

At the same time, in the case of fexofenadine, an antihistamine, eating grapefruit reduces the effectiveness of the active ingredient.

The body's reaction can be quite unpredictable:

  • heart palpitations;
  • muscle tissue breakdown;
  • shortness of breath;
  • gastrointestinal bleeding;
  • palpable symptoms of kidney failure, etc.


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