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When Dr. David Bailey and his colleagues first published their findings that grapefruit juice could increase blood levels and effects of the blood pressure pill felodipine, many health care professionals were skeptical. But since that article in The Lancet in 1991, the evidence has become overwhelming that grapefruit can have a profound impact on many medications, not just felodipine. Dr. Bailey says that too many drugs do not carry appropriate warnings on their labels about the possibility of an interaction.
Grapefruit is not the only food that may interact with some medications. (Limes, pomelos and Seville oranges used in marmalade all share grapefruit’s potential.) Peppermint, licorice and charcoal-grilled meats could all alter drug levels or activity. High-fiber foods such as oat bran or bran muffins can interfere with absorption.
We welcome listener questions and stories about food and drug interactions they have experienced.
Guest: David G. Bailey, PhD, is Scientist at the Lawson Health Research Institute and Professor Emeritus at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University (formerly the University of Western Ontario) in London, Ontario. His recent publication on grapefruit-drug interactions was in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The list of medications is here.
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