Grapefruit Bad for Your Health?

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Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can interfere with many types of drugs, leading some to believe the citrus fruit can actually be bad for your health.

Grapefruit contains enzymes that, when combined with certain medications, can cause overdoses or underdoses-- less of the drug you need.

A Washington woman nearly lost her leg from a blood clot after the grapefruit she ate interfered with her birth control pills.

Pharmacist Candice Carino explains that grapefruit interacts with several types of widely prescribed drugs.

"The main ones are called statins. Cymbastatin is one [and] a lot of people know Zocor. Lobastatin is another one," she said. "[Also] some other heart medications or blood pressure medications. Valium or Diazipam is another one, which can be used for anxiety or muscle spasms."

Grapefruit also interacts with some allergy pills. Check to see if grapefruit consumption is among the warnings that come with your drug.

If you're unsure whether your medication mixes with grapefruit, talk to your pharmacist or doctor, because even small amounts can cause big trouble if combined with the wrong drug.

"Even the slightest amount of grapefruit, the actual fruit or the juice itself [and] any other variations of grapefruit like pink grapefruit, can actually affect absorption of your medications and can interact with that."

Fortunately, not all citrus fruits interact with drugs. Lemons, oranges and limes are okay. But use caution when consuming grapefruit while also taking certain medications.

*Originally aired May 6, 2009.

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Lorie  Johnson

Lorie Johnson

CBN News Medical Reporter

Lorie Johnson reports on the latest information about health and wellness. Since medicine is constantly changing, she makes sure CBN News viewers are up-to-date on what they need to know in order to live a healthy life.  Follow Lorie on Twitter @LorieCBN and "like" her at Facebook.com/LorieJohnsonCBN.