Are You A Grapefruit Lover? CAUTION! It Might Be Dangerous For You

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By Angelique Johnson

Grapefruit is a fabulously healthy fruit, but did you know that it might be harmful for some people

Tangy, tart and sweet, the grapefruit is a fruit that grows in subtropical climates. It is a hybrid fruit (a cross between sweet orange and pomelo) that originates from Barbados. The top two producers of grapefruit in the world are China and the United States. It has been well known as a natural remedy for a plethora of chronic illnesses, but what most people don’t know is that not everyone should be enjoying this natural wonder.

First, Let’s Talk About The Benefits Of Grapefruit

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice are well known in the health and nutrition community for being packed with health benefits. It’s a great low glycemic index fruit, making it amazing for weight loss and cravings and is also a powerful immune system booster.

Half a medium grapefruit is only 41 calories and provides 58.7% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C you need. This lovely orange globe of happiness is also rich in a carotenoid phytonutrient known as lycopene. Lycopene is responsible for its beautiful red and pink color and has also been shown to be protective against cancerous tumors.

In fact, a study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that eating lycopene rich foods such as grapefruit can actually reduce a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. Also, according to research published in the American Journal of Medicine, the high antioxidant levels in grapefruit can help to prevent cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry also found that eating grapefruit can lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, helping to reduce the risk of your arteries hardening. It can also help to prevent against kidney stones, colon cancer and can even help repair damaged DNA from certain cancers.

With all this good news about this apparent miracle food, how can there be any bad news?

Why Grapefruit Might Be Dangerous For Your Health

Grapefruit can be very harmful to your health, but only if you are on certain medications. The grapefruit doesn’t interact with the medication itself, but binds to the enzymes in your gut which are responsible for the absorption of your prescriptions.

The fruit actually reduces the absorption in your stomach, making it easier for the medication to flow into your bloodstream, making the levels of your medication dangerously high in your blood.

This handy list from can help see if your favorite breakfast juice or snack food can actually be doing you more harm than good:

  • Calcium Channel Blockers
      • Greatly Impacted: Felodipine (Plendil), Nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat)
      • Little or No Impact: Verapamil (Calan, Isoptin), Diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc)
  • Stains (High Cholesterol)
      • Greatly Impacted: Atorvastatin (Lipitor), Simvastatin (Zocor), Lovastatin (Mevacor)
      • Little or No Impact: Fluvastatin (Lescol), Pravastatin (Pravachol), Pravastatin (Pravachol)
  • Immunosuppressants (Prevent Rejection Of Transplanted Organs)
      • Greatly Impacted: Cyclosporine (Sandimmune)
      • Little or No Impact: none
  • Benzodiazepines (Anxiety, Insomnia)
      • Greatly Impacted: Diazepam (Valium), Triazolam (Halcion), Midazolam (Versed)
      • Little or No Impact: Flurazepam (Dalmane), Clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • Other Neurological And Psychiatric Medications
    • Greatly Impacted: Buspirone (BuSpar), Sertraline (Zoloft), Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
    • Little or No Impact: Haloperidol (Haldol), Trazodone (Desyrel), Zolpidem (Ambien)

If you’re still not certain as to whether or not you are at risk of a negative interaction because of taking a certain medication everyday, please consult your doctor. If you are unsure, stop eating grapefruit until you get the right information from your prescribing physician.

Do you know someone who might benefit from this information? Share with them on social media and don’t forget to let me know your thoughts below!

References:

  1. Jian L, Lee AH, Binns CW. Tea and lycopene protect against prostate cancer. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007; 16 Supple 1:453-457
  2. Dai Q, Borenstein AR, Wu Y, Jackson JC, Larson EB. Fruit and vegetable juices and Alzheimer’s disease: the Kame Project. Am J Med. 2006; 119(9): 751-9
  3. Gorinstein S, et al. Red grapefruit positively influences serum triglyceride level in patients suffering from coronary atherosclerosis: studies in vitro and in humans. J Agic Food Chem. 2006; 54(5): 1887-1892
  4. Honow R, et al. Influence of grapefruit-, orange- and apple-juice consumption on urinary variables and risk of crystallization. Br J Nutr. 2003; 90(2): 295-300

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Angelique Johnson

Angelique Johnson

Nutritionist at Nutrition by Angelique
Angelique Johnson is a nutritionist from Miami, FL. Through her own journey in weight loss, she discovered her love for health and nutrition and realized she wanted to help others achieve a healthier lifestyle. Angelique has been featured as a nutrition consult on CBS4 Miami News and is a published author on many online health sites. She is passionate about debunking diet rumors and showing her clients how to have a healthy, balanced relationship with food.
Angelique Johnson

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