April 30, 2015

Grapefruit, A Superfood or A Drug Nightmare?

This author creates hype for grapefruit by calling it a superfood. Then what she presents as being the new antioxidant found in the citrus – Naringenin. Naringenin is far from a proven antioxidant and the tests to date have all been performed on rats and mice. This is why I label what she says as hype.

The following is quoted from Wikipedia which is not known for being totally accurate.
"This substance, naringenin, has also been shown to reduce oxidative damage to DNA in vitro. Scientists exposed cells to 80 micromoles of naringenin per liter, for 24 hours, and found that the amount of hydroxyl damage to the DNA was reduced by 24% in that very short period of time.[citation needed]

Naringenin found in grapefruit juice has been shown to have an inhibitory effect on the human cytochrome P450 isoform CYP1A2, which can change pharmacokinetics in a human (or orthologous) host of several popular drugs in an adverse manner, even resulting in carcinogens of otherwise harmless substances.

Naringenin has also been shown to reduce hepatitis C virus production by infected hepatocytes (liver cells) in cell culture. This seems to be secondary to Naringenin's ability to inhibit the secretion of very-low-density lipoprotein by the cells. The antiviral effects of naringenin are currently under clinical investigation.

Naringenin seems to protect LDLR-deficient mice from the obesity effects of a high-fat diet.

Naringenin lowers the plasma and hepatic cholesterol concentrations by suppressing HMG-CoA reductase and ACAT in rats fed a high-cholesterol diet.

The National Research Institute of Chinese Medicine in Taiwan conducted experiments on the effects of the grapefruit flavanones naringin and neringenin on CYP450 enzyme expression. Naringenin proved to be a potent inhibitor of the benzo(a)pyrene metabolizing enzyme benzo(a)pyrene hydroxylase (AHH) in vitro experiments in mice. This suggests, but does not conclusively prove, that naringenin would elicit the same response when administered to humans. More research will be needed to determine if naringenin has any clinically significant effects (including medical applications) in human subjects." Unquote

Beverleigh H Piepers is the author of this article declaring grapefruit as being at “diabetic superfood.” What is not mentioned is that many of the people with diabetes cannot eat this superfood, especially if they are taking statins, some antibiotics, cancer drugs, and heart drugs. Most at risk are older people who use more prescriptions and buy more grapefruit.

The gist of the situation is the grapefruit, which contains furanocoumarins, blocks an enzyme that normally breaks down certain medications in the body. When this happens, medication levels in the body can become toxic.

I don't care how many concoctions for grapefruit she lists, grapefruit is not the diabetic superfood for many with diabetes. For me, grapefruit almost became a drug nightmare when my wife suggested I eat it. I did and became very sick. She then went to her drug book and discovered that grapefruit was contraindicated for the statin I was taking. At that point, I was handed a 12-ounce glass of water and told to drink it, followed by several more glasses of water. After five glasses, I could tell that I was flushing the toxin out and was starting to feel better.

This should tell you that if you are on the medications mentioned above, have a talk with your doctor about how grapefruit might affect you and interact with the medication.  Don't let grapefruit cause a nightmare for you.

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