Reports: New grapefruit may cut drug interactions

Researchers in Florida say new hybrid lowers chemical that can cause serious side effects

NEW YORK — A new hybrid grapefruit removes the chemicals that interact with dozens of drugs and have led many to stop eating the fruit, according to published reports.

Reuters reported that Florida researchers had created a grapefruit, called UF914, that mostly removes chemicals known as furanocoumarins, which can interact with more than 80 drugs, including causing serious side effects in patients taking 43 notably statin drugs for cholesterol.

According to researchers, the chemicals stop enzymes in the body from breaking down certain drugs, which can lead to an overdose, and side effects can include everything from organ failure to sudden death.

The researchers said that while the levels of furanocoumarins in the UF914 grapefruits were not enough to produce harmful side effects, clinical trials would need to be conducted.

 

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