Edible fungus foils dangerous grapefruit-drug interactions

February 2, 2009
An edible fungus added to grapefruit juice could reduce side effects people have when drinking that juice while taking prescription drugs, scientists report. Credit: Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

Scientists in Florida report that adding an edible mushroom-like fungus to grapefruit juice may help to reduce the serious side effects that can occur when people taking certain prescription drugs drink grapefruit juice. Their study is in the January 14 edition of the ACS' bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

In the study, Kyung Myung and colleagues explain that furanocoumarins (FCs) — chemicals found in grapefruit and some other citrus — block a key enzyme critical for metabolizing, or breaking down, certain prescription medications. This "grapefruit/drug" interaction — sometimes called the "grapefruit effect" — can turn normal drug doses into toxic overdoses. Researchers have tried to remove FCs using chemical, physical and microbiological methods. Myung and colleagues, for example, had previously discovered that an inedible fungus can be used to remove most of the FCs from grapefruit juice.

Now they report that the edible fungus Morchella esculenta, which is from the same major fungal group as the previously tested inedible fungus, removed most of the furanocoumarins from the grapefruit juice. It also reduced grapefruit juice's inhibition of the enzyme by 60 percent. Dried M. esculenta also worked, leading the researchers to suggest that it could be useful in removing the compound from grapefruit juice and identifying the specific components in the fungi that bind to furanocoumarins.

Article: "Removal of Furanocoumarins in Grapefruit Juice by Edible Fungi", pubs.acs.org/stoken/presspac/presspac/full/10.1021/jf802713g

Source: ACS

Explore further: Fungi May Hold Key to Reducing Grapefruit Juice Interactions with Medications

Related Stories

Grapefruit juice boosts drug's anti-cancer effects

April 20, 2009

In a small, early clinical trial, researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center have found that combining eight ounces of grapefruit juice with the drug rapamycin can increase drug levels, allowing lower doses of ...

Molecular modelling to help create better, safer drugs

May 24, 2013

(Phys.org) —How our bodies break down the common drugs ibuprofen, diclofenac and warfarin is the subject of a new study from the University of Bristol, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The research ...

Recommended for you

What happens when your brain can't tell which way is up?

October 13, 2015

In space, there is no "up" or "down." That can mess with the human brain and affect the way people move and think in space. An investigation on the International Space Station seeks to understand how the brain changes in ...

Facebook to test mobile app shopping tab

October 12, 2015

Facebook said Monday that it will begin testing a shopping tab for its mobile app as it works to ramp up advertising and online commerce offerings.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.