Grapefruit and its funky effects on the liver!

Grapefruit has some funky effects on the liver!

Almost every liver detox plan that I can find on the web says that one should eat grapefruit. Seriously, it boggles my mind in light of more recent science that to this date people are still claiming that grapefruit juice is not only great for the liver but that one should consider cleansing with it.Grapefruit.jpg.CROP.rectangle3-large

Grapefruit juice has been found to be an inhibitor of the intestinal cytochrome P – 450  system, which is responsible for the first stage metabolism of many drugs.

The problem lies in chemicals in the fruit called furanocoumarins. These are produced by plants often as a defense mechanism against predators. This is very important to anyone who is taking prescription medication, as it will mean that the medication that you are ingesting is more toxic. 

Think of that production conveyor belt system that we discussed in The Liver post. If any parts of this system are inhibited, the toxic effects of medication are going to be enhanced. 

For example, researchers have shown that taking the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin with a 200ml glass of grapefruit juice every day for three days increased the drug’s concentration in the blood three-fold. The upshot is that an 8 oz glass of grapefruit juice can decrease stage one activity by 30%

An I saying that grapefruit is bad for you!? Of course not, but I am saying that most pharmaceutical drugs are, and that eating grapefruit can make them more toxic, so cleansing with grapefruit is not a great plan.

Here are a list of drugs that grapefruit may make more toxic;

Dasatinib (leukaemia)
Erlotinib (lung cancer and pancreatic cancer)
Everolimus (kidney cancer)
Lapatinib (breast cancer)
Nilotinib  (leukaemia)
Pazopanib (kidney cancer)
Sunitinib (kidney/gastrointestinal cancer)
Vandetanib (thyroid cancer)
Venurafenib (skin cancer)


Erythromycin (antibiotic)
Halofantrine (malaria)
Maraviroc (HIV)
Primaquine (malaria)
Quinine (malaria)
Rilpivirine (HIV)




Amiodarone (heart rhythm disorders)
Apixaban (anti-clotting)
Dronedarone (heart rhythm disorders)
Eplerenone (heart failure)
Felodipine (high blood pressure/angina)
Nifedipine (high blood pressure/angina)
Quinidine  (heart rhythm disorder)
Rivaroxaban (anti-blood clotting)
Ticagrelor (anti-blood clotting after heart attack)


Oral Alfentanil (painkiller)
Oral fentanyl (painkiller)
Oral ketamine (painkiller, sedative)
Lurasidone (schizophrenia/mental health problems)
Oxycodone (painkiller)
Pimozide (schizophrenia/other mental health problems)
Ziprasidone (schizophrenia, mania, bipolar disorder)


Domperidone (anti-nausea)


Cyclosporine (post organ transplant, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis)
Sirolimus (post organ transplant)
Tacrolimus (post organ transplant)


Solifenacin (urinary frequency/incontinence)
Silodosin (enlarged prostate)
Tamsulosin (enlarged prostate)

References on this:

Effect of grapefruit juice on cytochrome P450 2A6 and nicotine renal clearance

Grapefruit juice and drug interactions. Exploring mechanisms of this interaction and potential toxicity for certain drugs.

Grapefruit juice and drugs: a hazardous combination?At the same time however, it is said that grapefruit can aid Stage Two detoxification…

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