Grapefruit juice can be fatally dangerous: scientists have found significant evidence

Alina MilsentSociety
Grapefruit juice can be deadly dangerous

Grapefruit is a rather controversial fruit. Nutritionists claim that the fruit has anti-sclerotic and tonic properties, and is good for the digestive tract and metabolism. However, recent studies have shown that grapefruit juice can be deadly.

Healthy eaters often drink grapefruit juice for breakfast because it is rich in beneficial vitamins and minerals. Science Alert has provided us with irrefutable evidence of the danger associated with this type of juice.

When grapefruit juice can be deadly dangerous:

The chemical compounds known as furanocoumarins, which are found in high concentrations in grapefruit, can either reduce or enhance the effects of certain medications. This can lead to dangerously low or, more often, dangerously high levels of these drugs in the body.

The compound bergamot is also found in pomelos and bergamot oranges, and dihydroxybergamottin is found in pomelos and Seville oranges, the latter of which is often used to make marmalade.

As pharmacologist, Shiv Mei Huang of the FDA explained, "Grapefruit juice can allow more drugs to enter the bloodstream. When there is an excessive amount of medicine in your bloodstream, you may experience more side effects."

Chemical properties of the interaction between grapefruit and drugs

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

At the same time, furanocoumarins interfere with the body's ability to produce or effectively utilize cytochrome CYP3A4.

The danger of consuming just one glass of juice

Scientists have proven that even one glass of grapefruit juice can interfere with the production of CYP3A4, and repeated consumption reduces the activity of cytochrome in the liver.

This reduction in cytochrome activity impairs the ability of the gastrointestinal tract to metabolize certain oral medications. Consequently, a larger amount of the drug enters the bloodstream, leading to the potential for overdose, even if you have taken the correct dose.

It's worth noting that grapefruit can interact with a wide range of medications, including cholesterol and blood pressure pills, cancer drugs, and antidepressants. In the case of fexofenadine, an antihistamine, grapefruit consumption reduces the effectiveness of the active ingredient.

The body's reaction to these interactions can be quite unpredictable:

  • leading to symptoms such as heart palpitations;
  • muscle tissue damage;
  • shortness of breath;
  • gastrointestinal bleeding;
  • symptoms of kidney failure, and more.

In extreme cases, these interactions can be fatal.

So, if you are taking medication, it's essential to consult your doctor about the potential interactions between a specific drug and grapefruit. It's better not to take any risks and drink a glass of water with your pills.

Recently, OBOZREVATEL explained why you should never eat dry chia seeds.

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