“Grapefruit Affect” is a Dangerous Side Effect for Cholesterol Drug Users
Lower cholesterol with certain drugs and you could be setting yourself up for some serious side effects. One of these side effects takes cholesterol lowering drugs and a common breakfast fruit and turns it into the “grapefruit effect,” a process that raises blood levels of the medicine without taking more.
In 1993, a Canadian group of scientists and those at the University of Michigan concluded that an enzyme found in the wall of the intestine interferes with the breakdown of certain medicines and increases the blood levels of the drugs. The enzyme is called CYP 3A4 and, when combined with grapefruit and grapefruit juice, makes drugs used to lower cholesterol toxic. It is not known exactly what about grapefruit causes this reaction that is not found through the consumption of other citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons or limes.
The grapefruit affect is not quick moving either. Even a full 24 hours after consuming the fruit the drug reaction can occur, and it has been known to stay up to 48 hours in some people. Because the amount of CYP 3A4 is different in different people it is difficult to tell who might suffer from the side effects of combining grapefruit with cholesterol lowering drugs. However, studies have indicated that the elderly are more susceptible.
Lipitor, Mevacor and Zocor are three cholesterol lowering drugs that have been known to cause the grapefruit effect when taken too closely to the time grapefruit or grapefruit juice is consumed. They are of a class of drugs known as statin drugs and some of the most common ones prescribed to lower cholesterol.
To avoid such drug interactions and still be able to enjoy your morning grapefruit, you can lower cholesterol naturally. Diet and exercise are important ingredients in the natural approach to lower cholesterol. To find out more, get The 60-Day Prescription Free Cholesterol Cure.
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