Someone asked me the other day “why can’t people eat grapefruit with certain medication?” It’s a great question, and when we acknowledge that there is incredible power within the foods we eat to help our body heal, the answer makes a lot of sense. Grapefruit has constituents in it which actually help the liver process through medication faster, so the current dose a person may be taking, will not have the same effect. In essence, grapefruit is helping the body detoxify a toxic chemical (the pharmaceutical drug), which the person is taking to produce a certain effect. The effect of the medication will be altered (usually decreased) when eating grapefruit.

The Effects of Grapefruit Lasts a Little Longer

The effects of eating grapefruit can happen up to 3 days after eating it, so you can’t just take medication at a different time of day. Not all medications interact with grapefruit. Here is a brief list of some common medication typesthat may be affected. This is not a list of all medications which may be affected, and you should look at the contraindications/interactions and adverse effects lists of all medications you are taking to help you know which foods and supplements to avoid.

Cholesterol medications: particularly statins

High blood pressure medications

Amiodarone(for heart arrhythmias)

Buspironeand Sertraline(for depression and anxiety)

Saquinavir(HIV) and other immunosupprants



Goodbye, Grapefruit?

If you are taking a medication and you like eating grapefruit in the morning, it does NOT mean that you can’t. Talk with your doctor, and the dosage may be adjusted to account for the interaction with the grapefruit. This is especially easy if you are eating the SAME amount of grapefruit EVERYDAY.

Node Smith, associate editor for NDNR, is a fifth year naturopathic medical student at NUNM, where he has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine amongst the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend campout where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Three years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision.

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