What are the dangers of medicine and food mixing inside my body?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

The benefit of most medicines often hinges on how well it is absorbed, metabolized and eliminated from the body. From the moment a medication is digested and all the while it travels through the body and bloodstream, it bumps into other chemicals along the way. Sometimes the union is intended; for instance a drug that first requires an enzyme or other substance to break it down before it becomes active. But sometimes the mixing has an entirely new, unintended and potentially toxic action in the body, one that can increase or decrease the amount of the drug or turn it into something else. The unplanned interaction not only causes treatment failure, it can also have lethal consequences.

There are a few types of interactions to be aware of: ones that occur when drugs combine with other drugs (drug-drug interaction) and ones that occur when they combine with ingredients in foods or beverages (drug-food interactions). Many of the foods charged with sabotaging the effectiveness of certain medications are eaten every day. And millions of Americans taking lifesaving medications may inadvertently put their lives at risk if they don't take precautions.


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