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    GRAPEFRUIT

    Other Names:

    Agrume, Bioflavonoid Complex, Bioflavonoid Concentrate, Bioflavonoid Extract, Bioflavonoids, Bioflavonoïdes, Bioflavonoïdes d’Agrumes, Citrus, Citrus Bioflavones, Citrus Bioflavonoid, Citrus Bioflavonoid Extract, Citrus Bioflavonoids, Citrus dec...
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    GRAPEFRUIT Overview
    GRAPEFRUIT Uses
    GRAPEFRUIT Side Effects
    GRAPEFRUIT Interactions
    GRAPEFRUIT Dosing
    GRAPEFRUIT Overview Information

    Grapefruit is a citrus fruit. People use the fruit, oil from the peel, and extracts from the seed as medicine. Grapefruit seed extract is processed from grapefruit seeds and pulp obtained as a byproduct from grapefruit juice production. Vegetable glycerin is added to the final product to reduce acidity and bitterness.

    Grapefruit is commonly taken by mouth for weight loss. It is also used for asthma, high cholesterol, and many other conditions, but there is not good scientific evidence to support these other uses.

    In food and beverages, grapefruit is consumed as a fruit, juice, and is used as a flavoring component.

    In manufacturing, grapefruit oil and seed extract are used as a fragrance component in soaps and cosmetics; and as a household cleaner for fruits, vegetables, meats, kitchen surfaces, dishes, and others.

    In agriculture, grapefruit seed extract is used to kill bacteria and fungus, fight mold growth, kill parasites in animal feeds, preserve food and disinfect water.

    It's important to remember that drug interactions with grapefruit juice are well documented. The chemistry of the grapefruit varies by the species, the growing conditions, and the process used to extract the juice. Before adding grapefruit to your diet or your list of natural medicines, check with your healthcare provider if you take medications.

    How does it work?

    Grapefruit is a source of vitamin C, fiber, potassium, pectin, and other nutrients. Some components might have antioxidant effects that might help protect cells from damage or reduce cholesterol.

    It is not clear how the oil might work for medicinal uses.

    GRAPEFRUIT Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

    Possibly Effective for:

    • Weight loss. Taking a specific product containing sweet orange, blood orange, and grapefruit extracts seems to decrease body weight and body fat in overweight people. Some research also shows that eating fresh grapefruit daily increases weight loss in overweight people.

    Insufficient Evidence for:

    • Asthma. Some research shows that eating vitamin C-rich citrus fruits, including grapefruit and others, might improve lung function in people with asthma. But other studies have not shown this benefit.
    • Eczema (atopic dermatitis). Early research shows that grapefruit seed extract can decrease constipation, gas, and stomach discomfort in people with eczema. This benefit may be due to the effect of grapefruit on intestinal bacteria.
    • High cholesterol. Early research suggest that taking grapefruit pectin daily for 16 weeks decreases total cholesterol and the ratio of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol compared to baseline.
    • High blood fats called triglycerides. Eating one grapefruit per day appears to reduce total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in people with high triglyceride levels.
    • Lice. Early research shows that applying a shampoo containing grapefruit extract to the hair of children for 10-20 minutes kills lice. Applying the shampoo again 10 days later helps remove any remaining nits.
    • Depression.
    • Digestive complaints in people with eczema.
    • Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
    • Infections.
    • Muscle tiredness.
    • Preventing cancer.
    • Promoting hair growth.
    • Psoriasis.
    • Reducing acne and oily skin.
    • Stress.
    • Treating headaches.
    • Toning the skin.
    • Yeast infections (as a vaginal douche).
    • Other conditions.
    More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of grapefruit for these uses.


    GRAPEFRUIT Side Effects & Safety

    Grapefruit is LIKELY SAFE in the amounts normally used as food and POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth for medicinal purposes.

    Grapefruit is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in high amounts. If you take any medications, check with your healthcare provider before adding grapefruit to your diet or using it as a medicine. Grapefruit interacts with a long list of medications (see “Are there any interactions with medications?” below).

    Special Precautions & Warnings:

    Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of grapefruit during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

    Breast cancer: There is concern about the safety of drinking excessive amounts of grapefruit juice. Some research suggests that postmenopausal women who consume a quart or more of grapefruit juice every day have a 25% to 30% increased chance of developing breast cancer. Grapefruit juice decreases how estrogen is broken down in the body and might increase estrogen levels in the body. More research is needed to confirm these findings. Until more is known, avoid drinking excessive amounts of grapefruit juice, especially if you have breast cancer or are at higher than usual risk for developing breast cancer.

    Hormone sensitive cancers and conditions: Consuming large amounts of grapefruit might increase hormone levels and therefore increase the risk of hormone sensitive conditions. Women with hormone sensitive conditions should avoid grapefruit.

    GRAPEFRUIT Interactions What is this?

    Major Interaction Do not take this combination

    • Artemether (Artenam, Paluther) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      The body breaks down artemether (Artenam, Paluther) to get rid of it. Grapefruit juice can decrease how quickly the body breaks down artemether (Artenam, Paluther). Drinking grapefruit juice while taking artemether (Artenam, Paluther) might increase the effects and side effects of artemether (Artenam, Paluther). Do not drink grapefruit juice if you are taking artemether (Artenam, Paluther).

    • Buspirone (BuSpar) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      Grapefruit juice might increase how much buspirone (BuSpar) the body absorbs. Drinking grapefruit juice while taking buspirone (BuSpar) might increase the effects and side effects of buspirone (BuSpar).

    • Carbamazepine (Tegretol) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      Grapefruit juice might increase how much carbamazepine (Tegretol) the body absorbs. Drinking grapefruit juice while taking carbamazepine (Tegretol) might increase the effects and side effects of carbamazepine (Tegretol).

    • Carvedilol (Coreg) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      The body breaks down carvedilol (Coreg) to get rid of it. Grapefruit juice seems to decrease how quickly the body breaks down carvedilol (Coreg). Drinking grapefruit juice while taking carvedilol (Coreg) might increase the effects and side effects of carvedilol (Coreg).

    • Cisapride (Propulsid) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      Grapefruit juice might decrease how quickly the body gets rid of cisapride (Propulsid). Drinking grapefruit juice while taking cisapride (Propulsid) might increase the effects and side effects of cisapride (Propulsid).

    • Clomipramine (Anafranil) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      The body breaks down clomipramine (Anafranil) to get rid of it. Grapefruit juice might decrease how quickly the body gets rid of clomipramine (Anafranil). Taking grapefruit juice along with clomipramine (Anafranil) might increase the effects and side effects of clomipramine (Anafranil).

    • Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      Grapefruit might increase how much cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) the body absorbs. Drinking grapefruit juice while taking cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) might increase the side effects of cyclosporine.

    • Dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, and others) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      The body breaks down dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, others) to get rid of it. Grapefruit might decrease how quickly the body breaks down dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, others). Drinking grapefruit juice while taking dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, others) might increase the effects and side effects of dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, others).

    • Estrogens interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      The body breaks down estrogens to get rid of them. Grapefruit juice seems to decrease how quickly the body breaks down estrogens and increase how much estrogen the body absorbs. Drinking grapefruit juice while taking estrogens might increase estrogen levels and side effects associated with estrogen such as breast cancer.

      Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol (Climara, Vivelle, Estring), and others.

    • Etoposide (VePesid) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      Grapefruit might decrease how much etoposide (VePesid) the body absorbs. Drinking grapefruit juice while taking etoposide (VePesid) might decrease the effectiveness of etoposide (VePesid).

    • Itraconazole (Sporanox) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      Itraconazole (Sporanox) is used to treat fungal infections. Grapefruit juice might decrease how much itraconazole (Sporanox) the body absorbs. Drinking grapefruit juice while taking itraconazole (Sporanox) might decrease the effectiveness of Itraconazole (Sporanox). Do not drink grapefruit juice if you are taking Itraconazole (Sporanox).

    • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.

      Grapefruit juice might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Drinking grapefruit juice while taking some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking grapefruit, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.

      Some medications changed by the liver include lovastatin (Mevacor), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), fexofenadine (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.

    • Medications for high blood pressure (Calcium channel blockers) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      Grapefruit juice might increase how much medication for high blood pressure the body absorbs. Drinking grapefruit juice while taking some medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.

      Some medications for high blood pressure include nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan), diltiazem (Cardizem), isradipine (DynaCirc), felodipine (Plendil), amlodipine (Norvasc), and others.

    • Medications used for lowering cholesterol (Statins) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      The body breaks down some medications used for lowering cholesterol to get rid of them. Grapefruit juice might decrease how quickly the body breaks down some medications used for lowering cholesterol. Drinking grapefruit juice while taking some medications used for lowering cholesterol might increase the effects and side effects of these medications.

      Some medications used for high cholesterol include lovastatin (Mevacor), simvastatin (Zocor), atorvastatin (Lipitor), cerivastatin (Baycol), and others.

      However, grapefruit juice doesn't seem to affect pravastatin (Pravachol).

    • Methylprednisolone interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      The body breaks down methylprednisolone to get rid of it. Grapefruit juice can decrease how quickly the body gets rid of methylprednisolone. Drinking grapefruit juice while taking methylprednisolone might increase the effects and side effects of methylprednisolone.

    • Praziquantel (Biltricide) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      The body breaks down praziquantel (Biltricide) to get rid of it. Grapefruit juice can decrease how quickly the body breaks down praziquantel (Biltricide). Drinking grapefruit juice while taking praziquantel (Biltricide) might increase the effects and side effects of praziquantel (Biltricide).

    • Quinidine interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      The body breaks down quinidine to get rid of it. Grapefruit juice might decrease how fast the body gets rid of quinidine. Drinking grapefruit juice while taking quinidine might increase the chance of side effects.

    • Scopolamine (Transderm Scop) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      The body breaks down scopolamine to get rid of it. Grapefruit juice can decrease how fast the body breaks down scopolamine. Drinking grapefruit juice while taking scopolamine might increase the effects and side effects of scopolamine.

    • Sedative medications (Benzodiazepines) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      Sedative medications can cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Grapefruit juice can decrease how quickly the body breaks down some medications. Drinking grapefruit juice while taking some sedative medications can increase the effects and side effects of some sedative medications.

      Some sedative medications that might interact with grapefruit juice include clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and others.

    • Sildenafil (Viagra) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      The body breaks down sildenafil (Viagra) to get rid of it. Grapefruit can decrease how quickly the body breaks down sildenafil (Viagra). Drinking grapefruit juice while taking sildenafil (Viagra) can increase the effects and side effects of sildenafil.

    • Terfenadine (Seldane) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      Grapefruit can increase how much terfenadine (Seldane) that the body absorbs. Drinking grapefruit juice while taking terfenadine (Seldane) might increase the effects and side effects of terfenadine (Seldane).


    Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination

    • Caffeine interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      The body breaks down caffeine to get rid of it. Grapefruit might decease how quickly the body gets rid of caffeine. Drinking grapefruit while taking caffeine might increase the side effects of caffeine including jitteriness, headache, and a fast heartbeat.

    • Erythromycin interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      The body breaks down erythromycin to get rid of it. Grapefruit can decrease how quickly the body gets rid of erythromycin. Taking grapefruit juice along with erythromycin might increase the effects and side effects of erythromycin.

    • Fexofenadine (Allegra) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      Grapefruit might decrease how much fexofenadine (Allegra) the body absorbs. Drinking grapefruit juice while taking fexofenadine (Allegra) might decrease the effectiveness of fexofenadine (Allegra).

    • Losartan (Cozaar) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      The liver activates losartan (Cozaar) to make it work. Grapefruit juice might decrease how quickly the body activates losartan (Cozaar). Drinking grapefruit juice while taking losartan (Cozaar) might decrease the effectiveness of losartan.

    • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.

      Grapefruit juice might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking grapefruit juice along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking grapefruit juice talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

      Some medications that are changed by the liver include amitriptyline (Elavil), haloperidol (Haldol), ondansetron (Zofran), propranolol (Inderal), theophylline (Theo-Dur, others), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, others), and others.

    • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C19 (CYP2C19) substrates) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.

      Grapefruit juice might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking grapefruit juice along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking grapefruit juice talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

      Some medications that are changed by the liver include omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), and pantoprazole (Protonix); diazepam (Valium); carisoprodol (Soma); nelfinavir (Viracept); and others.

    • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) substrates) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.

      Grapefruit juice might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking grapefruit juice along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking grapefruit juice talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

      Some medications that are changed by the liver include diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), ibuprofen (Motrin), meloxicam (Mobic), and piroxicam (Feldene); celecoxib (Celebrex); amitriptyline (Elavil); warfarin (Coumadin); glipizide (Glucotrol); losartan (Cozaar); and others.

    • Saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      Drinking grapefruit juice can increase how much saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase) the body absorbs. Drinking grapefruit juice while taking saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase) might increase the effects and side effects of saquinavir.

    • Theophylline interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      Drinking grapefruit juice might decrease the effects of theophylline. There's not enough information to know if this is a big concern.

    • Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with GRAPEFRUIT

      Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Drinking grapefruit juice might increase the effects of warfarin (Coumadin) and increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.


    GRAPEFRUIT Dosing

    The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

    BY MOUTH:

    • For weight loss: 450-700 mg of a specific product containing sweet orange, blood orange, and grapefruit extracts twice daily for 12 weeks has been used. Eating half a grapefruit three times daily, drinking 8 ounces of grapefruit juice three times daily, or taking capsules containing freeze-dried whole grapefruit 500 mg three times before meals for 12 weeks has also been used.

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    This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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