The People's Perspective on Medicine

Grapefruit Lowers Blood Pressure

Q. From about 1985 till about 2005, my blood pressure ran about 150/90 and I needed antihypertensive medications. In 2003 I planted several citrus trees, including two pink grapefruits.

When they started to bear fruit, I ate lots of grapefruit and made gallons of juice (which I froze). I enjoyed the juice as the harvest faded.

The past several years my blood pressure has been about 130/75. Two doctors told me to keep up the grapefruit routine and cut back on the meds! I feel wonderful.

A. Both animal and human research suggests that grapefruit may indeed have an impact on blood vessel flexibility and lower blood pressure (Phytotherapy Research, July, 2009; Metabolism, Jul. 2012). Other foods that can help lower blood pressure include beets, green leafy vegetables and dark chocolate.

To learn more about natural ways to control hypertension readers may wish to consult our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment. People who take blood pressure or cholesterol medications must be cautious about grapefruit, though. It can interact with dozens of drugs to make them more dangerous. There is detailed information in our Guide to Grapefruit Interactions.

Israeli researchers have found that red grapefruit not only lowers blood pressure but also cholesterol and triglycerides (American Journal of Hypertension, Oct. 2005; Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, March 8, 2006). We talked with Dr. David Bailey, the scientist who first discovered grapefruit-drug interactions several months ago.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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What a fantastic website. I learned so much. Thanks to this site, I just brought Dad’s blood pressure down from 175 to 148!!! I hand juiced one white grapefruit and one hour and 20 min later I noticed the dramatic results. Dad is on 40 mg of lisinopril and all his ailments are from the lisinopril I see after reading (ache all over, hip joint pain, constipation, dizzy spells, water retention, cough, sleepy… It is time for us to give up our fear of stroke for our loved ones and realize that stroke is more probable with the meds than with citrus alternatives. How much quality of life are we going to sacrafice with these meds??? The medical and pharm. culture has done a great job of instilling false fear in people so that we will continue to contribute to their greed.

When having my blood pressure checked during my three monthly visit to the doctor three months ago, both he and I were surprised to see that my usually normal blood pressure had risen to 140 over 90. He told me to buy a monitor and take a reading at approximately the same time every morning, and if it got any worse over the following two weeks, I should go back and see him.

There is always useful information on line, so I searched and came across the wonders of the simple grapefruit. At first I ate one a day, then eased off to one every second day or so.
Last week, when my blood pressure was “officially” checked at the surgery, it was back to 120 over 70, as I knew it would be.
Whether it was the grapefruit alone that done the trick, or if it is also the fresh squeezed lemon juice mixed with a teaspoon of pure raw honey in a large glass of pure spring water I now drink faithfully every morning , is anyone’s guess.

If I had told my doctor what I had done, no doubt he would have poo, pooed the possibility of something so simple doing the trick, so I didn’t.

I don’t know about BP meds, but I know for sure grapefruit causes a similar problem with statin drugs. It does seem to have the effect of increasing the strength of the drugs, which can cause liver damage, which is why you are warned so much. That’s why you better not take the chance to eat grapefruit and still take the meds…

I am now off statins, but have yet to enjoy grapefruit again. Thanks for the reminder, People’s Pharmacy! :)

Not all statins interact with grapefruit. Pitavastatin, pravastatin and rosuvastatin do not.

The study reported in pub med used citrus paradisi and not another variant which showed no effect. How to differentiate these two in the super market?

what I didn’t understand in the PAST is why Doctors would not try Natural Alternatives, before turning to man made medications? I’ve been on BP medications since 2005 and I’m Fifty Three now, These Medications are so expensive if you don’t have Good Insurance. Now that I know how much these Medications are, NOW I understand and know the answer, Grape Fruits 99 cents, so lets say 30 dollars a month for a Natural Remedy that is not likely to cause you other problems VS Man Made MEDICTION that costs over 100 dollars per month for Medications that in time may cause other problems that might cause you to have other issues that you’ll have to take MORE Medication for! And there is THE ANSWER! I’ll take GRAPE FRUIT THANKS!!

I am taking nifedipine 30mg for BP medication for 4-5 years now. Lately the medicine can’t control my BP so my doctor added lisinopril and kept my BP to a safe level but lisinopril has a side effect that makes me cough so I went back to my MD to change the lisinopril with something else. Instead of changing she increased the dose of nifedipine to 60mg and discontinued the lisinopril. My BP was in the 150/90 range. The past few weeks while buying groceries I can’t resist the temptation to buy grapefruit which I love to eat. My medicine bottle says “avoid grapefruit”! I continued my medication and eat grapefruit too. After 2 days my BP has been 118/67, 126/72, 114/68! So I said I need to add a section of grapefruit to my medicine. I ran out of grapefruit and haven’t eaten for a week and my BP now, just right now 5:23am 3/17/2016 are 222/119, 218/119, 214/118! I was shocked to find out! So need to go and buy some more grapefruit.

These drug companies just want to sell their stuff. They don’t tell us about alternatives so we continue to buy their products. I’ve been researching why grapefruit is contraindicated with my medicine. All the websites, but one, only say “avoid, don’t mix grapefruit with nifedipine” without explanation. Thank you People’s Pharmacy, and you guys for your inputs. Loved reading them.

This is a very good starting place for people on BP meds and wanting more info on grapefruit interactions … Not enough info in my opinion so talk to ur Dr Pharmacist & research … I won’t take ANY RX or non RX meds without thoroughly researching side effects/interactions and if I have the slightest feeling something isn’t right for me I’ll find another med … Good luck people use common sense & always research ur meds & have a list in your car purse wallet of ALL RX & Non RX meds vitamins herbal medicine that u take in case something happens in an emergency and you cañt talk to 1st responders That list can save your life in an emergency…

What foods wood be an alternative for meds for Diabetes?

I found eating or drinking any type of grapefruits aggravated my osteoarthritis. Would like to know your thoughts on this from The People’s Pharmacy.

I am in my eighties and have been on blood pressure medications since about 50 years if age, I, too, have been told to stay away from grapefruit (which I love to eat), however, have refrained from eating grapefruit all these years due to advice of my doctors. Please advise of any home remedies I may try while still on my medications. Thanks….

If you eat grapefruit and it interacts with your BP meds so much that it drops your BP so much that you faint?….Then perhaps you need to eat grapefruit and nix the BP meds

I think it’s important to check to see if grapefruit reacts negatively to some prescription drugs one is taking. It is contraindicated in various drugs.

I was under the impression that grapefruit would cause issue with your heart/blood pressure meds. Has this thought changed? I love grapefruit but stay away from it due to these intereactions. Please update.


I started eating a grapefruit a day to help with weight loss. Soon after I starting fainting. It’s only then I realized my blood pressure, which was always on the low side, was dropping dangerously low. Had to give it up.

I really don’t know if Gfruit juice helps or not but I started enjoying 100% Florida Ruby Grapefruit only about a month ago and I see my BP going down. I didn’t know anything about it doing anything for BP until I read about it on the net. I just was curious as to what Grapefruit juice was good for. I am impressed.

While being told I would need to start b.p. meds….I began to search for alternatives to meds. Grapefruit obviously kept coming up. I insisted to my doc that alternatives would be exhausted before starting a med regime. I was already eating 80% vegan/raw vegan so I was certain something out there would be better. Grapefruit was the trick….combined with what I was already eating. 2 a day keeps the meds away!

You might know already but heres a table about the interactions
It seems there no interaction with calan, and given the doses are small, less yet (the problem with gfruit is that it lets more of the medicine into the bloodstream so in some cases it can drop bp dangerously)
About the other drug you should check the ingredients with the table, or better yet with your doctor..

How very interesting. I love grapefruit but was always told to stay away from it if you are on blood pressure medications.

Interesting: My MD told me the same;
Stay away from grapefruits!! May be, we have hit another way, without BP MEDS. That would be great!

I had high blood pressure after some stressful life events and was on medication for about a year. I hated the way it made me feel–tired and nauseous and also I got severe leg cramps. Then I read about grapefruit. I have half a glass for breakfast and eat half a grapefruit later in the day for a snack. My blood pressure today was 135 over 71, and I have been on a stressful automobile trip along the gulf coast with many delays due to icy roads. I thought for sure it would be way up, but the grapefruit does the job.
Why don’t health care people want you to know this simple way to treat high blood pressure? You can only guess. It would sure cut down on the number of patients they treat, and the drug companies would see greatly reduced profits.

I just want to know does Grape Fruit really lower Blood Pressure? It’s hard to believe that but very curious I just really want to know the truth!!
People’s Pharmacy response: Yes it can. Here is the study abstract:

I always heard that that Grapefruit interferes with some blood blood pressure medicines.

Since I stopped taking Coumadin, would it be correct to assume that I can now indulge freely in Grapefruit, which I know you can’t eat if you’re on Coumadin. In other words, may I assume that grapefruit merely interferes with the Coumadin itself and does not directly make the blood thicker? I’m taking many things for blood thinness already, e.g., Vita E, gingko, aspirin, cranberry, garlic and krill oil.

Meta, did you NOT READ the admonition by the People’s Pharmacy above???? They mentioned CAUTION when taking meds!!!! Paying attention to all details helps!

Please give us more grapefruit info. I take Calan & Coumadin, very small doses; and I miss my formerly daily grapefruit!

curious about follow up re grapefruit not being good re other issues

The way I understand it grapefruit, seville oranges, possibly pom juice & piperine inhibits the enzyme (cyp3a4) that breaks down some drugs therefore making it stronger. It sounds dangerous to keep taking the medications unless they are some of the ones that do not use that enzyme. I have researched all my hubby’s meds and two or three make it a no no….
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Quite right. You do need to make sure your drugs don’t interact. The letter writer has been discussing this with his doctors, though.

I have been told that grapefruit interferes with certain medications, I would love to have grapefruit but it seems to make my blood pressure pill more potent. Isn’t this true?

What about admonitions about the adverse affects of grapefruit on other meds?

I also have high blood pressure and have been on medication since 2000. I was always told not to have grapefruit when you are on blood pressure medications. I love grapefruit but have given it up and now I hear that they are wonderful and lower pressure. What do I believe?

Interesting… eat grapefruit/juice and it improves B/P along with the meds.
Stop eating/drinking grapefruit juice because it makes your B/P meds un-effective.
Opposites. Which to do, which to do.

Or maybe grapefruit makes your meds even stronger?

It might be difficult to find a balance to get off or reduce meds.

Work with your doctor.

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