A Publication of WTVP

You may love its biting, tangy taste, but did you know that grapefruit can cause dangerous, potentially life-threatening reactions when consumed with certain medications?

At least 85 drugs currently on the market interact adversely with the citrus fruit—from cholesterol-lowering prescriptions and psychiatric medications to birth control pills and estrogen treatments—and more than half can even produce a fatal outcome in some cases.

Normally, when our bodies metabolize medications, very little of a drug is absorbed due to the protective enzymes in our gastrointestinal tracts. However, the natural chemicals in grapefruit known as furanocoumarins inhibit these enzymes, which increases the medication’s potency and can cause a hazardous amount of the drug to be absorbed.

Though rare, you should be vigilant of a potential interaction with one your medications if you consume the fruit or its juice regularly. Negative interactions have also been linked to other citrus fruits, like limes, pomelos, pomegranates and Seville oranges, but most fatal reactions have occurred only in people who regularly consume large amounts of grapefruit and have other complicating factors as well. If you’re concerned about any of your current medications, check with your doctor. iBi

Source: The New York Times