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Grapefruit and Medicine

Did you know that grapefruit juice can be dangerous if you're taking certain kinds of medication?

glass of grapefruit juice

Photo: Dan Iggers

Grapefruit juice may seem harmless, but medicine goes down best with a simple glass of water.

Did you know that grapefruit juice can be dangerous if you’re taking certain kinds of medication?

When you take a pill, your body uses enzymes to metabolize the drug and sort of size it down so that it doesn’t do more harm than good. It turns out that grapefruit juice screws up the process. It only affects enzymes in the gut that help metabolize oral medication.

However, tests done by David Bailey of the London Health Sciences Center in Canada have shown that drinking grapefruit juice while taking drugs to control cholesterol, for example, can hamper the metabolizing process and allow too much of the drug to enter the bloodstream.

It’s not like every time you drink grapefruit juice and take medication this will necessarily happen, and it may not happen at all with some drugs. However, grapefruit juice does mess with the how the body absorbs drugs some of the time, and the results can be dangerous. Overdosing on some prescription drugs can cause all sorts of problems, including a serious muscle disorder.

Grapefruit juice may seem harmless, but medicine goes down best with a simple glass of water.

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