JUNE 22, 2010
When Food and Pills Clash
Fresh Concerns on How Diet and Medicines Interact, From Pepper to Pomegranate
By SHIRLEY S. WANG
Wall Street Journal
Americans increasingly view the food they eat as medicine to help lower cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure and control blood sugar. But as with prescribed drugs, the health-improving qualities of foods such as olive oil, nuts and fruit can interact with other medications, causing possible problems.
Pharmacists often warn people not to mix anti-cholesterol drugs known as statins with grapefruit juice. Newer research suggests that other fruit juices, including cranberry and pomegranate, as well as olive oil may also interfere with how statins work in the body. Other laboratory studies show that certain popular teas can block the effect of some medications, including the flu drug Tamiflu. And switching to a low-fat diet, itself a healthy lifestyle change, could reduce the potency of some medications...