- A warning about grapefruit and these 5 common medications – are you on any of these?
- Other citrus fruits to avoid on statins, plus a natural way to lower bad cholesterol.
- How blackberries and apples make you less frail
At the end of last month I wrote to you about grapefruit seed extract.
As I explained in my letter, it’s a powerful natural way to relieve UTIs and other infections.
This is because grapefruit seed extract contains compounds with antimicrobial properties, like flavonoids, limonoids, and vitamin C. These can fight off bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.
It’s also packed which antioxidants, which help protect cells from oxidative damage and boost your immune system.
However, before you do…
An urgent warning if you are on medication
Shortly after I sent out my email, a reader emailed me this reply:
“Would love to try this but not allowed grapefruit while taking blood pressure-lowering meds. Maybe you should issue a warning to the other (many?) similarly placed people?”
My reader is quite correct – there are some instances where you should be cautious about grapefruit product.
Particularly if you’re on medications for blood pressure and cholesterol management.
Grapefruit and its derivatives, like grapefruit juice and grapefruit seed extract, contain compounds that can interfere with the way our bodies metabolise certain drugs.
The culprits responsible are furanocoumarins, which inhibit certain enzymes in the liver and intestines.
As a result, the medication is not broken down efficiently, leading to higher-than-intended levels in the bloodstream.
If you’re on statins or blood pressure-lowering medications, this can be problematic.
Grapefruit can amplify the effects of these meds, which increases the risk of side effects.
It’s important to know that this interaction is not exclusive to grapefruit alone. Other citrus fruits such as Seville oranges, limes, and pomelos may have similar effects.
Here’s a list of medications that may interact with grapefruit:
- Statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs): Atorvastatin, Simvastatin and others.
- Calcium channel blockers (blood pressure medications): Amlodipine, Felodipine, Nifedipine and others.
- Certain immunosuppressants like Cyclosporine and Tacrolimus.
- Some benzodiazepines like Diazepam and Midazolam
- Certain antiarrhythmics like Amiodarone.
Please note that this list is not exhaustive, so please consult with a healthcare professional regarding specific medications you may be taking.
Also make sure you read medication labels. Look for any warnings about consuming grapefruit or citrus fruit products.
And talking of statins….
Here’s an alternative…
The citrus fruit that lowers cholesterol
Bergamot fruit is packed with bioactive compounds like flavonoids such as neoeriocitrin, naringin, neohesperidin, bruteridin, and melitidin.
These can help lower cholesterol, just like a statin would.
Statins work by blocking an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase, which is involved in making cholesterol in the liver.
Bergamot flavonoids have been found to do the same thing!
They can inhibit that enzyme and reduce the production of cholesterol in our bodies.
Bergamot can also help with lipid metabolism, which is all about how our bodies handle fats.
It can boost the expression of genes that help grab and remove cholesterol from our bloodstream, like the LDL receptor and ABCA1 transporter. This helps clear out the “bad” cholesterol, known as LDL, from our blood.
And there’s more…
Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress (which is like rusting in our bodies) can lead to artery-clogging plaque.
But bergamot flavonoids have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers, helping to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in your blood vessels. This helps with your heart health and keeps bad cholesterol levels in check.
For more about this, take a look at our Bergamot-based supplement here
Please note that Bergamot may interact with certain medications, just like grapefruit.
If you are taking any meds, especially those metabolised by the liver, consult with a professional.
Finally today, on the topic of fruit…
How Blackberries and Apples Make You less Frail
When I was a kid we’d go to my grandmother’s for Sunday lunch and she’d cook the most amazing blackberry and apple pie for pudding.
It’s a classic combo!
If you enjoy it as much as I do, then you might be pleased to hear the results of a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
It reveals that the flavonols found in apples and blackberries may be crucial for preventing frailty in older age.
And here’s why….
- Flavonols act as antioxidants, protecting cells from oxidative stress and inflammation. This reduces the damage caused by free radicals and the chronic low-grade inflammation associated with ageing.
- They have also been found to enhance muscle performance, improve muscle strength, and promote muscle regeneration.
- Flavonols can help regulate cellular functions related to energy production, protein synthesis, and stress response, all of which play a role in maintaining your overall health and resilience.
And the good thing is, it doesn’t matter what meds you are on – you can chomp away on blackberries and apples every day without worry.
That’s it from me today – I’ll write again soon in a few days.
Have a fantastic weekend in the sunshine!