Grapefruit is a citrus fruit that provides many health benefits. People eat grapefruit for various reasons: as a form of weight control, to provide antioxidants, and to enjoy as a delicious snack. Eating grapefruit may also have other effects on health, which may not be readily apparent while taking certain medications. Check with a physician about the effects grapefruit may have on prescription medicines.
Grapefruit is a type of citrus fruit that is high in vitamins A and C. It is approximately 90 percent water and has few calories, but is high in fiber. Many people add grapefruit to their diet to promote a healthy lifestyle, or they may eat only grapefruit as a means of quickly losing weight. Grapefruit can also interact with several medications, causing an increase in distribution and intensifying effects. Some drugs that manage cholesterol; certain blood pressure medications; and selected medicines used to treat depression are some of the types affected by grapefruit. Persons taking new medications should consult a physician about the effects of grapefruit, advises holisticonline.com 1.
Grapefruit has many benefits for reproductive health. According to the University of California in San Diego, adding one or two servings of grapefruit daily along with a nutritious diet can help to control weight. Maintaining an optimal weight is important for reproductive health as well as overall fitness. Grapefruit also provides sources of iron and folate, which are important especially in the early stages of pregnancy.
Among women who are trying to conceive, drinking grapefruit juice is recommended as a practice that will aid in conception. Although grapefruit juice is not considered a regulated practice for increasing the chances of pregnancy, many women claim that it helps while trying to conceive. Some women report that drinking grapefruit juice changes the consistency of cervical mucus, making it thinner 2. This provides an optimal environment for sperm to travel, increasing the chances of fertilization.
Drinking grapefruit juice may have an effect on the efficacy of some types of birth control. According to the Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics, or CERT, drinking grapefruit juice regularly can potentially interact with some types of birth control, which alters levels of the drug in the bloodstream 24. CERT states that grapefruit juice is responsible for lowering levels of CYP3A, a part of the intestine that helps to metabolize medications 4. Changes in CYP3A reduce the body’s ability to control the concentrations of medicine in the bloodstream. Women who use oral contraceptives should consult with a physician about the safety of grapefruit with those medications.
Grapefruit as part of a regular diet may also affect other medications related to reproductive health. Estradiol is a type of estrogen supplement that is used to treat the symptoms associated with menopause, such as vaginal dryness and hot flashes 3. It is also used for the symptoms and treatment of breast cancer for some women. Side effects may include vaginal bleeding; headaches; nausea and vomiting; and breast pain. Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice regularly may intensify some of the side effects associated with estradiol, increasing levels of discomfort 3. Users should consult with their doctor about their diet before adding grapefruit.
Grapefruit as part of a regular diet may also affect other medications related to reproductive health. According to the Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics, or CERT, drinking grapefruit juice regularly can potentially interact with some types of birth control, which alters levels of the drug in the bloodstream . Although grapefruit juice is not considered a regulated practice for increasing the chances of pregnancy, many women claim that it helps while trying to conceive.
- grapefruit image by Witold Krasowski from Fotolia.com