Caution with Grapefruit
Grapefruit interacts with 84 different medications.
Included among the drugs affected by grapefruit are:
Examples of Grapefruit Medication Interactions
When taking certain medications your pharmacist or physician may recommend avoiding grapefruit. Grapefruit juice blocks intestinal wall and liver enzymes called cytochrome P-450 3A4 and 1A2 (CYP3A4 and CYP1A2, for short) required to breakdown or metabolize medications. Concentration of these compounds varies from one batch of juice to another. Drinking grapefruit juice can increase your body‘s absorption of certain drugs, and also slows the process of breaking them down in the liver. Certain affected drugs stay in the body longer.
If you have had a transplant then doctors recommend avoiding grapefruit. This can create fluctuations in medication levels. Some transplant teams will allow grapefruit if you agree to eat or drink a set amount each and everyday, otherwise the risk of losing a transplanted organ is too great. Cyclosporin (Sandimmune) is a difficult transplant drug to regulate even without one using grapefruit; its absorption is variable. Adding grapefruit juice, Mediterranean oranges or Sun Drop, a citrus soda, containing bergamottin all enhance the effect of cyclosporin. Taking St. John's wort reduces the concentration of cyclosporin rendering it less effective.
ENJOY Grapefruit if You Take No MedicationsI first noticed the benefits of drinking freshly squeezed grapefruit juice on a train/plane from Germany. A very dear friend in Trier, Germany, squeezed three grapefruits for me to drink along the way. This was prior to my liver resection. It was the first time I had ever noticed that I had no leg swelling at all on the long flight home. I readily drink grapefruit juice to prevent leg swelling while traveling. Following my liver resection surgery I craved grapefruit. I wanted something sour and fresh. I also craved bitter. Grapefruit has a bit of both flavors. Sweet following my liver resection was something to be avoided.
Grapefruit's Health Benefits Attributed to its Compounds
Prospective study of the association between grapefruit intake and risk of breast cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)
114,504 women with information on dietary intake of grapefruit and on reproductive and lifestyle risk factors were followed for a median 9.5 years. This medical article concludes: There was NO relationship between grapefruit intake and breast cancer risk.