Side Effects of Grapefruit Seed Extract

Overview

Grapefruit is high in vitamin C, soluble fiber, and antioxidants which makes it a good addition to any diet. A 2006 study in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” found that grapefruit can help lower blood triglyceride levels, especially in patients suffering from coronary artery disease. As a dietary supplement, it is available as grapefruit seed extract in pill, liquid or powder form. You should always consult your doctor before you take any supplement.

Effect on Enzymes

Grapefruit can inhibit the activity of certain liver and small intestine enzymes, reports a 1996 study in the journal, “Drug Metabolism and Disposition.” Enzymes are catalysts that cause reactions to occur. In this case, the effect is on the digestive system. By inhibiting this enzymatic activity, concentrations of medications which rely on this mechanism for digestion can reach higher concentrations in the blood. According to Drugs.com, adverse reactions may result if you are taking calcium channel blockers or estrogen. The reduction of enzymatic activity can lead to elevated concentrations of these drugs in your blood.

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