December 23, 2009

When you should drink grapefruit juice with drugs

Here's an interesting tidbit that might save you lots of money.

Many years ago, I told my readers they shouldn't drink grapefruit juice with their drugs. Why? Because grapefruit juice has phytochemicals that increase your liver's production of certain enzymes. These enzymes break down drugs. So, consuming the juice could lead to unwanted high levels of hazardous drugs.

But what if you're taking a drug that's rather costly and you need high levels of it?

A small study investigated a very expensive (and poorly absorbed) drug that treats cancer, rapamycin. The study shows that drinking grapefruit juice daily slows the drug's metabolism and raises its blood levels. In fact, the juice could raise the blood level from two to four times. That could translate into far less cost and a much smaller dose for certain drugs.

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Here's one case in point. I've reported on artemisinin as a treatment for cancer in the past. The lab studies on it are phenomenal. Artemisinin has a peroxide structure which, once inside cancer cells, can unleash a torrent of free radicals to kill the wayward cell. And it doesn't affect normal cells. Artemisinin is a cure for malaria. Unfortunately, absorption and liver metabolism can be poor.

I've heard from many patients who have read my reports on artemisinin. One patient may have gotten around the absorption problem by combining his artemisinin dose with MCT (medium chain triglyceride oil) or coconut oil (perhaps 1/2 teaspoon of either). These can help with absorption of the fat-soluble molecule and bypass its metabolism in the liver.

I've also suggested they try grapefruit juice to slow its liver metabolism, just as in this study.ÿ Artemisinin is not a cure all. But, there is a continuing trickle of apparent cases in remission that come to my attention. This suggests that science would do very well to further study artemisinin and the various factors that make it more or less successful, including grapefruit juice.

If you are on a drug that's very expensive, or a product that simply needs high levels for ideal effectiveness (like artemisinin), consider adding some grapefruit juice. But heed this warning — don't even consider doing it unless your doctor agrees to monitor its effectiveness. It's possible the grapefruit juice could give you too much of the drug, causing a dangerous situation. But it's quite likely the juice can give you much better bang for your buck.

Yours for better health and medical freedom,

Ref: University of Chicago Medical Center, 20 April 2009 23:14.

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