Yes, it is useful. Grapefruit is high in vitamin C and potassium. And it's generally very tasty. It's another matter if you have high blood pressure or arrhythmia and need to take medication. Dozens of drugs are incompatible with grapefruit, and their improper interaction can lead to side effects. Sometimes this is not only bad for he alth, but also life-threatening.
Grapefruit and some of its close relatives (pomelo, tangelo, mineola, Seville oranges) contain the chemicals furanocoumarins. They disrupt the normal function of cytochrome P450 proteins.
These proteins metabolize drugs in the small intestine and liver. By affecting the activity of CYP, furanocoumarins slow down the breakdown of active medicinal compounds, their level in the blood increases, causing various side effects.
There are about 100 known drugs that interact badly with grapefruit (or its juice). As a result, a person can develop kidney failure, fatal respiratory depression, internal bleeding, arrhythmia.
The reverse situation also exists, where compounds in grapefruit affect proteins, disrupting the delivery of active substances from the drug to cells. For example, it is important for allergy sufferers taking fexofenadine to know that grapefruit juice can reduce its effectiveness. By the way, as well as oranges and apples. Therefore, it is specifically stated in the instructions that the medicine cannot be combined with fruit juices.
It is enough to eat one grapefruit or drink 1 glass of juice to start an adverse reaction.
The chemicals in grapefruit are eliminated from the body within 1 to 3 days, so taking the drug several hours after drinking the juice is not the right tactic.
Medications incompatible with this fruit
Statins - risk of developing rhabdomyolysis (destruction of muscle tissue), kidney damage
Medications to lower blood pressure - risk of sharp spikes in blood pressure, heart rhythm disorders
Anti-infective drugs - heart rhythm disorder
Medications for anxiety (anxiolytics), antidepressants, sleeping pills - risk of heart rhythm disturbance, dizziness, drowsiness
Blood thinners - increased risk of internal bleeding
Painkillers - reducing the level of the drug in the blood
Medications for erectile dysfunction - risk of lowering blood pressure, dizziness
Medicines for arrhythmia - can lead to irregular heart rhythm
It is also dangerous to combine with immunosuppressants, corticosteroids, antihistamines
It is important to specify that grapefruit juice does not affect all drugs from the listed categories, only those that are taken orally. The severity of the interaction may vary depending on the individual characteristics of the person (the amount of enzymes in the body and in the intestines) and the volume of the juice.
How to find out about dangerous drug interactions with food, drinks and other medications?
Always discuss this problem with your doctor, even if there are no special instructions in the drug instructions. For example, grapefruit is known to increase estrogen levels, which means that women who are being treated for breast cancer and are taking drugs that reduce the level of this hormone or block its production should refrain from taking it.
Read the instructions for your prescribed medications carefully.