Caution! Grapefruit can be dangerous

I think everybody likes oranges, apples, bananas and other fruits. Some vegetables, on the other hand, may take some coaxing. Regardless, the Canada Food Guide suggests 7-10 servings of fruits and vegetables be eaten each day. Nutritionists and others in the medical profession also encourage eating foods that contain natural vitamins and minerals. In our dark and chilly winters, vitamin D and C are constantly promoted to the point of taking supplements. Few would advocate otherwise.

There may be one cautionary note worth mentioning: Grapefruit. Especially those luscious sweet pink ones full of vitamin C. They may be dangerous!

How so? How can something so natural be harmful? Well, the fact is grapefruit, and to a lesser degree limes and Seville oranges, contain chemicals that interfere with an enzyme that controls how drugs are absorbed through the intestine. This may result in a a potentially toxic dose of medication.

“Many of the drugs that interact with grapefruit are highly prescribed and are essential for the treatment of important and common medical conditions” says pharmacologist David Bailey, lead author of a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

There are dozens of medications that can interact with grapefruit juice.

So, as always, be very mindful of the prescription drugs that have been prescribed for you. Be sure to speak with your doctor AND pharmacist to ensure that tasty grapefruit can be safely enjoyed.


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