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If you love eating grapefruit, is the medication you are taking interacting with it?

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We encourage people to eat fresh fruits as they are a great source of instant energy as well as essential vitamins and antioxidants. But if grapefruit is at the top of your list

, you might need to rethink your consumption. Currently, there are over 85 drugs that can interact with grapefruit! It’s important to know this as they can interfere with their effectiveness.  You should be aware of this if you are taking any of the following medications:

  • Statins to lower your cholesterol levels (atorvastatin, lovastatin, and simvastatin)
  •  Antibiotics
  • Cancer medications
  •  Heart drugs

So how exactly does grapefruit interfere with the meds you take? Grapefruit isn’t just full of vitamin C, it also has furanocoumarins, (naturally occurring compounds in many plants that will block an enzyme that would normally break down specific medications in the body). When this happens, medication levels can actually become toxic in the body. Unfortunately, this also includes other citrus fruit containing (furanocoumarins), such as Seville oranges (typically used to make marmalade), limes, and pomelos, although they haven’t been studied as much as grapefruits have.

So what does this mean for you? When you go to your pharmacy to fill your prescription, it’s important to check with your pharmacist (or your doctor beforehand) to ask whether the medication has interactions with food. This is actually very important, as it doesn’t take much of the fruit to leave you with a dangerous interaction.

At Dentistry and Braces Group, our dentists and orthodontists encourage our patients to eat a nutritious diet to maintain healthy teeth and gums. And while fruits are definitely on that list, you still want to make sure that they are safe to eat if you are currently taking medications. Your body and your smile will thank you! We invite you to give us a call to schedule a visit at a location nearest you. We have offices in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. You can learn more about our locations.