October #106 : Forbidden Grapefruit - by Bill Strubbe

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Crime no. 69

Who’s Afraid of HU?

Six Nights in Bangkok

Their Patients, Their People

Thar She Blows!

HU Handbook

Top Black MDs

Heartbreak Hotel

Quilt Trip


No PEP Rally


Show & Tell



Pos & Neg

Meth-od Actor

West Denial Virus

Bangkok Big Top


Private Parts

Forbidden Grapefruit

Quick Study: Prostate

Alzheimer’s Drug Does HIV

Body Eclectic: Lungs

Get Flu-ent

If You Knew Sushi


Trip or Treat

Scared Straight

Hitched & Bewitched


Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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October 2004

Forbidden Grapefruit

by Bill Strubbe

Grapefruit juice (GFJ to its friends), like all citrus, bursts with crucial nutrients like vitamins C and A, antioxidants and potassium. But if you’re on HIV meds, squeeze an orange, lemon, lime or tangerine instead of a grapefruit. GFJ jacks up bloodstream levels of some HIV meds—especially protease inhibitors—too quickly, increasing the potential for harmful side effects. An equal-opportunity booster, GFJ also increases levels of antihistamines and drugs for blood pressure, high cholesterol and anxiety.

Blame bioflavonoids—compounds that provide anti-inflammatory and antiviral punch and help your body process vitamin C. Those in the juice and rind of grapefruit (naringenin, quercetin and kaempferol) inhibit a liver and intestinal enzyme vital to drug metabolism—and the resulting med-boosting effect lingers for days. The culprits also hide in bioflavonoid and quercetin supplements. But the grapefruit-seed extract NutriBiotic (liquid drops or capsules, which I use to soothe sore throats and sinus infections) is safe. The bummer bioflavonoids are too tiny there to matter. Now, orange you glad you know this?

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