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What to Know About Statins and Grapefruit
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Grapefruit and grapefruit juice contain what organic chemical compound?
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What to Know About Statins and Grapefruit
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Hi, I'm Laureen Wallravin, Certified Nutritional Therapist and founder of RelishedFood.com. I'm here today for About.com to talk about Statins and grapefruit. Let's begin with the basics and talk about Statins.Statins are a type of enzyme inhibitor, often prescribed to individuals who have high cholesterol. The specific enzyme that Statins work to block is HMG-CoA Reductase, which is necessary for the natural production of cholesterol within our livers. By inhibiting this enzyme, you inhibit your body's cholesterol production, and you should therefore see a decrease in your LDL and triglyceride levels.Now let's take a look at grapefruit. Grapefruit, as well as grapefruit juice, contain the organic chemical compound Bergamottin. Bergamottin inhibits a key enzyme within the small intestine that's needed to break down certain pharmaceutical drugs. This interaction is referred to as the "Grapefruit Juice Effect," and in some instances can lead to health problems. Whether or not this effect is likely to occur with Statins is debatable.If you currently take Statins, and love grapefruit or grapefruit juice, talk to your doctor about the possible side effects. Current research suggests that less than eight ounces of juice or half a grapefruit per day has little effect on Statin toxicity. Ultimately, your individual health needs will be the determining factor, and should be analyzed by your primary care physician before you reintroduce or remove grapefruit from your diet.Also, keep in mind there are several options when it comes to Statins. If your doctor has instructed you to avoid grapefruit with your current Statin prescription, ask about alternatives such as Crestor or Lescol, which have been proven to have little-to-no interaction with grapefruit or grapefruit juice.
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