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Scientists deliberately remove natural compounds from grapefruits to accommodate pharmaceuticals that cause negative interactions

Saturday, December 03, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: grapefruits, furanocoumarins, drug interactions

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(NaturalNews) Grapefruits, lemons, celery, and certain other fruits and vegetables contain compounds known as furanocoumarins that can cause a negative reaction when consumed along with certain medications. But rather than examine the medications to see whether or not they themselves are safe, scientists have instead focused on developing genetically hybridized grapefruit that contains little or no furanocoumarins as the solution.

Researchers from the University of Florida (UF) have successfully crossed the genes of an ordinary grapefruit with those of a pomelo, a citrus relative of the grapefruit, according to Scientific American. Since pomelos are naturally low in furanocoumarins, the resulting fruit is also low in furanocoumarins, which means patients taking the interacting medications can safely eat them.

Published in the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, the unveiling of this new hybrid grapefruit is a welcomed invention for those who have had to restrict their grapefruit consumption. After all, furanocoumarins tend to increase the potency of certain medications by up to 500 percent, which can result in serious injury or death.

But to others, the new fruit points to the complete lunacy of modern medicine, which is more focused on making nature coexist with synthetic drugs rather than the other way around. Instead of lowering the dosages of interacting medications to accommodate furanocoumarins, for example, doctors and scientists have typically advised patients to just stop eating grapefruits.

According to Dr. Ray Sahelian, coumarins are health-promoting nutrients that can provide amazing health benefits. They are said to possess anti-HIV, anti-cancer, anti-hypertension, anti-arrhythmia, and anti-osteoporosis characteristics. They can also provide natural pain relief, as well as prevent asthma and antisepsis (http://www.raysahelian.com/coumarin.html).

Furanocoumarins are slightly different in that they are photo-reactive relatives of coumarins, but they, too, can provide health benefits. Plant oils containing furanocoumarins, though potentially harmful on healthy skin exposed to sunlight, can actually be used to naturally treat psoriasis and other skin conditions, according to Dr. Bryan Hanson in his book Understanding Medicinal Plants: Their Chemistry and Therapeutic Action.

"I strongly agree that we should change the drug instead of natural food, just like you would never reshape your feet to adapt to your shoes," said one commenter at Scientific American concerning the hybridized grapefruit.

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