What You Need to Know About Grapefruit and Hepatitis C
Grapefruit: to eat, or not to eat? That is the question on the minds of many people who read the most recent research results of a Massachusetts Hospital study. The study contends that eating grapefruit will help reduce the spread of the hepatitis virus within the body of an infected person.
Many people like to start their day by eating this tart citrus fruit, as it has earned the reputation of being a very healthy food. No longer just for overall health, grapefruit is now being touted as having liver-friendly qualities. While this recent news sounds promising, there are a few facts you should know before you head straight to your grocery store to stock up on grapefruit.
The basic details of the recent research are that a compound in grapefruit, called naringenin, can block the secretion of very low-density lipoproteins, commonly known as vLDL, when metabolized by the body. You may be familiar with the term vLDL; physicians refer to it as the "bad" form of cholesterol. The Hepatitis C virus binds to vLDL, which then takes the virus on a ride through the bloodstream, giving it a chance to infect new liver cells. It appears that naringenin has the ability to inhibit the secretion of vLDL from infected liver cells, which can significantly reduce the spread of the virus to new cells.
This new research sounds exciting, however this seemingly almighty fruit is not appropriate for everyone, and can actually be quite dangerous when combined with certain medications. Grapefruit juice blocks one of the enzymes involved in the metabolization process, allowing substances, including prescription drugs, to circulate in the bloodstream at much higher than intended levels, possibly causing near overdose.
Researchers are hopeful that the results of this study will become a major breakthrough in finding a way to eradicate the Hepatitis C virus. Nevertheless, proceed with caution and be sure to consult your physician before adding this fruit to your diet. Learn more about how grapefruit can slow the progression of HCV, as well as the long list of medications this fruit should never be combined with.