Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Edible Mushrooms Absorb Drug-Altering Chemicals From Grapefruit Juice

Feb. 3, 2009 - Edible mushrooms counteract the medication-altering effects of grapefruit juice, USDA researchers report.

Aside from being tasty, grapefruit juice is pretty darn good for you. It's full of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. There's some evidence it may even help protect against cancer and heart disease.

But there's a downside to grapefruit juice. It carries a class of compounds that inhibit the liver enzymes your body needs to eliminate many widely used medications. This grapefruit/drug interaction increases the risk of drug side effects.

Recently, USDA researcher Kyung Myung, PhD, and colleagues found that an inedible fungus somehow absorbs the compounds responsible for the grapefruit/drug interaction.

Now Myung's team has found that an edible mushroom -- Morchella esculenta, better known as the yellow morel -- does the same thing. And, to a slightly lesser extent, so do other edible fungi. So far, the list includes an oyster mushroom variant, red yeast, and even the common button mushroom.

The USDA researchers macerated the mushrooms and killed them by heating them to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Then they vacuum-filtered the mushroom mash and mixed them with either fresh grapefruit juice or grapefruit juice made from concentrate.

At the highest concentration tested -- about two-thirds of a tablespoon of yellow morel mushroom per 1.7 ounces of juice -- most of the target compounds were removed from grapefruit juice. Lesser effects were seen with the other fungi.

Separate experiments showed that mushrooms didn't remove all of the unwanted compounds from grapefruit juice. The treated juice still had more interactions with liver enzymes than orange juice. But the treated juice was only about half as active as untreated grapefruit juice.

However, Myung and colleagues did not report on how the grapefruit juice tasted after they (presumably) strained off the mushroom mash.

The findings appear in the Nov. 14, 2008, issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

WebMD Health News

Healthy Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

Top searches: Chicken, Chocolate, Salad, Desserts, Soup

Healthy Recipe Finder