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Elements In Grape fruit Juice Combine Lethally with Certain Drugs, leading to potentially dangerous side effects, study.

Novel research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has zeroed in on a substance in grapefruit juice that could cause dangerous side effects when ingested with certain drugs.//

Certain medications administered to patients for control of blood pressure and cholesterol and other drugs if consumed along with grape fruit juice could cause unhealthy and even dangerous side effects.

The drugs affected by grapefruit juice usually have some difficulty entering the body after they are consumed because an intestinal enzyme, CYP3A, partially destroys them, as they are absorbed. Grapefruit juice, but not other commonly consumed fruit juices, inhibits this enzyme, allowing more of these drugs to enter the body.

It was originally assumed that the ingredients responsible for drug interactions were the flavonoids that give grapefruit juice its bitter taste.

The new study shows that a group of chemicals called furanocoumarins are the likely culprit.

'This is the best evidence to date that furanocoumarins are the active ingredients in grapefruit juice that cause the interaction with medications,' said Dr. Paul Watkins, the Dr. Verne S. Caviness distinguished professor of medicine and director of UNC's General Clinical Research Center (GCRC). Watkins led the study team.

A report of the new findings appears in the May issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

To determine whether furanocoumarins are responsible for grapefruit juice-drug interactions, Watkins worked with scientists at the Florida Department of Citrus to selectively remove only the furanocoumarins from the juice.

He and his collaborators then studied the effect of the whole juice versus furanocoumarin-free juice on the ability to affect absorption of felodipine, an anti-hypertension drug known to interact with grapefruit juice 'And we found that removing the furanocoumarins from grapefruit juice entirely got rid of t
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