Grapefruits made safe for people on meds

Updated: Nov 12, 2011, 17:18 PM IST

Ottawa: Many people are often barred from eating common grapefruit as it can negatively interact with their prescription drugs, but there may now be some hope for those with a longing for the tangy citrus.

Scientists at the University of Florida have bred a new type of grapefruit that they expect will enable people on meds to enjoy the fruit without any drug interaction.

“There are certain relatives of grapefruit that we call pummelo, some of which are very, very low or have no furanocoumarins in them at all. And we’ve crossed these with ordinary grapefruit,” Scientific American quoted Fred Gmitter, a citrus geneticist at the University of Florida as saying.

These new hybrid grapefruits have even less of the compounds than do other foods that don’t get special warnings, and are also seedless, which should make them an easy switch for consumers to swallow.

“Doctors don’t generally tell their patients not to drink lemonade or not to eat celery. So these should be as safe or safer than lemons or celery,” he said.

The study has been published in the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science.

ANI