The (formerly) Beloved Grapefruit
Grapefruit’s Hayday and Sweeter opponent
The average person ate over 24 pounds of grapefruit in 1976. For those of you who were around in the 70’s and 80’s this comes as no surprise. You can remember the days when eating a half of grapefruit for breakfast was a common ritual. Some even had a special knife and spoon for cutting and removing the pulp from the halved orb.
The Food and Agriculture Organization mentioned in 2010 that “processed grapefruit juice competes directly with processed orange juice. Consumers continue to move toward orange juice and away from grapefruit juice.”
Orange juice is less tart and in effect it is sweeter. If you were a grapefruit eater back in the day, think about what you drink and you might realize that your taste buds have gravitated towards a sweeter flavor. There was a time when grapefruit was all the rage when you wanted to lose weight. Grapefruit juice has vitamin C and potassium and is very healthy for you.
Grapefruit and Medicine Interaction could be Deadly
As with most finger pointing, while the grapefruit is blaming the orange for its decline, it is overlooking it’s deadly attributes that many aren’t aware of.
Sadly certain grapefruit and medication interactions can be deadly. Eating grapefruit or drinking its juice while taking certain prescription medications (Allegra and Lipitor, just to name two of them) can result in some serious side affects . How does this happen you ask?
Grapefruit basically puts up a stop sign for the enzyme within the small intestine that would normally break down medications. This particular enzyme called CYP3A4 basically deletes the absorption of some medication and leaves it unused in the blood stream. This can result in elevated levels and potential for danger. Shiew Mei Huang, who is acting director of the Food and Drug Administration Office Of Clinical Pharmacology, suggests that it would be wise to read the ingredients in all the fruits juices you drink at home. Some may have grapefruit in it without you thinking it would.
Always ask your doctor or pharmacist what fruits you can eat regularly and ask specifically if grapefruit could affect your medication. Most doctors don’t always think to tell you about what fruits you can’t eat when they prescribing medication for you. Another way to check is by reading the information paper that comes with your medication. Yes, that long sheet of paper with tons of words on it that is written in very small print.
The grapefruit may have lost its market share to the sweeter orange. And it definitely has scared off some who take medications thats it interacts poorly with. But even with these changes it still continues to be a very healthy item in the produce department that is enjoyed by many.
For more information and a list of some of the medications affected, here is a link to the FDA: