Biotech Updates

Fungi may Hold Key to Reducing Grapefruit Juice Interactions with Medications

November 20, 2009

Grapefruit juice has been found to contain furanocomarins (FCs) that interfere with the metabolism of certain medications used to treat a wide range of conditions such as allergies, abnormal heart rhythm, depression, hypertension, infections, heart disease, and high cholesterol.

Agricultural Research Service chemists Kyung Myung and colleagues have found that the fungus Aspergillus niger binds and breaks down the FCs in grapefruit juice. Research is now geared towards the identification of the enzymes in the fungus and to confirm findings that fungal proteins could be responsible for removing the FCs from the grapefruit.

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