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Estrogen and Grapefruit

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Saturday, July 07, 2018 | 0 comments

Image: Grapefruit, Pomelo, by Victoria Rachitzky Hoch, on Flickr
Photo credit: Grapefruit, Pomelo, by Victoria Rachitzky Hoch
Quercetin - Studies have shown that grapefruit juice significantly increases estradiol levels in the blood. 1, 2 One of the flavonoids found in grapefruit juice is quercetin.

In a test tube study, quercetin was found to change estrogen metabolism in human liver cells in a way that increases estradiol levels and reduces other forms of estrogen.

This effect is likely to increase estrogen activity in the body.

However, the levels of quercetin used to alter estrogen metabolism in the test tube were much higher than levels found in the body after supplementing with quercetin.

There is evidence from test tube studies that another flavonoid in grapefruit juice, naringenin, also has estrogenic activity.

It has yet to be shown that dietary or supplemental levels of quercetin (or naringenin) could create a significant problem.

Grapefruit - In a small, controlled study of women with surgically removed ovaries, estradiol levels in the blood were significantly higher after estradiol was taken with grapefruit juice than when estradiol was taken alone. These results have been independently confirmed, suggesting that women taking oral estradiol should probably avoid grapefruit altogether.

Source: Interactions with Supplements

How the Drug/Grapefruit Interaction Works

Cytochrome P-450 is a group of enzymes located throughout the body, with the largest concentration found in the liver and the intestinal walls.

This family of enzymes is responsible for triggering the chemical reactions required to breakdown (metabolize) many different compounds, from food to drugs.

CYP3A4 is the most abundant member of the cytochrome P-450 enzyme family and is responsible for breaking down approximately 60% of the drugs we take.

Grapefruit — more specifically a compound in grapefruit that has yet to be identified — inhibits the activity of CYP3A4.

This means that when grapefruit or grapefruit juice is consumed, a compound within the grapefruit disrupts the CYP3A4 enzyme’s ability to metabolize a drug.

If a drug is not adequately metabolized, higher levels of the drug than intended may enter the bloodstream, which can lead to a potentially dangerous situation.

Grapefruit/drug interactions have been observed within a few hours after consuming grapefruit and may last for up to 24 hours.

As little as eight ounces or 250 milliliters can have an effect on the metabolism of some drugs.

Drugs that Interact with Grapefruit Juice:
Hormone replacement: cortisol, estradiol, methylprednisolone, progesterone, testosterone

Source: Is Grapefruit Dangerously Interacting With Your Medications?

Image: The Fertile Kitchen Cookbook: Simple Recipes for Optimizing Your Fertility, by Cindy Bailey and Pierre Giauque. Publisher: 3L Publishing (November 20, 2009)The Fertile Kitchen Cookbook: Simple Recipes for Optimizing Your Fertility
by Cindy Bailey and Pierre Giauque

-- Are you one of the millions of couples desperately trying to conceive a baby? Are you aware that diet plays a critical role in fertility? Would you like to unlock the secrets to changing your diet and potentially increasing your chances of success?

Co-authors Cindy Bailey and Pierre Giauque -- when confronted with Cindy's medical prognosis of a two percent chance of conceiving a baby on her own -- unlocked those secrets to develop a fertility diet that four months later produced a viable pregnancy, and soon after a healthy baby.

The Fertile KitchenCookbook includes a variety of simple-to-make tasty dishes that make the diet easy to follow. In this cookbook, the authors share these flavorful recipes, along with the dietary guidelines that helped them succeed. Additional tips and even a section on cooking basics are included.

You will learn: The importance of diet in conception and pregnancy, what foods you can and cannot eat to enhance fertility, how to identify and shop for healthy ingredients and food items, how to prepare the nutritious and fertility-enhancing recipes included.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 185 pages
Click to order/for more info: The Fertile Kitchen Cookbook

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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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