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Originally published March 30 2013

Hybrid grapefruits being developed for people on Big Pharma drugs

by Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) A growing number of people are reportedly unable to eat grapefruits because the tangy citrus fruit contains natural compounds that interfere with the effectiveness of statins, antibiotics, and other pharmaceutical drugs. But rather than look for ways to help people get off these deadly medications, researchers from the University of Florida (UF) have instead come up with a way to modify the natural components of grapefruits to accommodate the millions of drug-addicted Americans who can no longer eat them.

The man-made grapefruit, known as UF914, will probably not be available on the market for another five or six years. But the hybrid of both a red grapefruit and a pomelo is said to contain far lower levels of a class of organic compounds known as furanocoumarins than normal grapefruits. It is these furanocoumarins that are believed to inhibit enzymes in the body from breaking down the chemical compounds found in certain medications, which can lead to their entering the bloodstream in much higher doses than intended.

People who take such drugs and eat normal grapefruits, in other words, risk suffering severe side effects such as kidney or respiratory failure, and possibly even death. And with at least 85 drugs now known to have interactions with grapefruit, according to a report recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and 43 that cause serious side effects, it is more pertinent than ever that something be done for the safety of the public.

According to reports, initial safety tests of juice from UF914 have thus far been successful, and no harmful side effects have been observed in human cell cultures. But clinical trials still need to be conducted before the crossbreed food is ready to hit the market. And even though UF914 still contains some furanocoumarins, it is said to be safe to eat for people who take pharmaceutical drugs.

"I've gotten phone calls from all around the country ... saying, 'Oh my gosh, I miss my Florida grapefruit, when can I have this grapefruit, I miss grapefruit so much,'" says Fred Gmitter, a citrus researcher and breeder from UF, about early responses to the fruits initial unveiling. "What is sorely needed is funding to conduct the all-important human clinical trials that would be necessary to make any claims about its safety."

Editor's note: If people ate more fruits and vegetables in the first place, they wouldn't need all the drugs! To blame a fruit for the overdose toxicity of a pharmaceutical is absurd.

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