What types of food should I avoid when taking statins?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Statins are a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs people take to lower triglyceride and LDL cholesterol, the types of cholesterol that can damage blood vessels supplying the heart and brain. Statins (and many other drugs) are broken down by the enzyme cytochrome P450. It is believed that the juice and pulp of grapefruit, pomelos and Seville oranges (not regular oranges) contain a chemical that inhibits the enzyme, so the statin doesn't get a chance to clear out making the dose circulating in the blood much higher and more potent then intended. The increase persists even when consumption of the fruit is separated from the statin by hours or days. While it seems like more statin would be a good thing, but high doses can affect the liver and cause painful muscle damage and weakness. Alcohol should be used moderately (no more than 1 drink daily for women, 2 for men) if at all, as statin drugs cause liver inflammation in some 2% of those who take them.

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