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Fruit “can cut drug effectiveness”


Drinking fruit juices can wipe out the effects of heart and cancer drugs, research has claimed.

The research, presented at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia, claimed certain drugs were found to be shut out of the body by grapefruit juice. Other juices, notably orange and apple, are thought to have the same effect.

Healthy volunteers swallowed fexofenadine – an antihistamine used to fight allergies – with either a single glass of grapefruit juice, water containing naringin – the chemical responsible for the fruit’s bitter taste – or plain water.

When taken with grapefruit juice, only half as much of the drug was absorbed into the body as it was with water.

Grapefruit, orange and apple juices all lowered the absorption of the anticancer agent etoposide.

They also reduced the potency of certain beta blockers, cyclosporine, a drug taken to prevent rejection of transplanted organs, and the antibiotics ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin and itraconazole.

Naringin in grapefruit juice appeared to block a “transporter” molecule called OATP1A2 which helped to shuttle drugs from the small intestine to the bloodstream.

Preventing the transporter from doing its job reduced drug absorption and neutralised the potential benefits of medicines, said the researchers.

Copyright PA Business 2008

American Chemical Society

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