The Potential Risk of Grapefruit Juice

Citrus fruits are considered to be very healthy, thanks to their high vitamin C content as well as the many minerals and other nutrients they contain.

However, ingesting grapefruit juice can lead to severe poisoning when mixed with certain substances. A variety of medical studies in recent years found that combining grapefruit juice with certain medications can lead to an overdose. This article will discuss the reasons for these results and list the medications you absolutely cannot mix with grapefruit.

The Grapefruit / Medication Connection

The human body produces an enzyme called CYO3A4 that, amongst other things, helps break down certain chemicals before they are absorbed into the bloodstream. Grapefruits contain a chemical that inhibits the CYO3A4 enzyme’s functions, which leads to more of the medication being absorbed into the bloodstream. When the level of medication in the blood is too high, you enter a state of overdose, which can lead to exacerbated side-effects and even poisoning.

Other Citrus Fruits

The inhibiting chemical in grapefruit can also be found in other citrus fruits, such as pomelo, limes, and bitter oranges (a type of orange that is very bitter and is mainly used in jams). It’s important to mention that other species of oranges, as well as lemons – are safe to ingest, as they don’t contain the aforementioned chemical.