Hidden Sources of Grapefruit in Some Beverages May Harm CKD, Dialysis And Kidney Transplant Patients



Most Dialysis patients know that grapefruit can greatly complicate their Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis health outcomes. Unfortunately, grapefruits (including grapefruit juice and other grapefruit-containing products) contain a number of compounds that inhibit certain enzymes in the liver and intestines which can be very dangerous and costly for Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis and Transplant patients. Well, a piercing study has found that there are hidden sources of grapefruit in common beverages. Some of them are considered to be "okay" for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients.

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Grapefruit which is considered a high potassium fruit, was found in Twenty-three (23) beverages and many did not carry the word "grapefruit" in their product name. For instance, the following is just a few products named that contained verifiable amounts of hidden grapefruit or grapefruit extract ingredients:

  • Squirt/ Diet Squirt 
  • Ruby Red Squirt 
  • Sun Drop/ Diet Sun Drop
  • Citrus Blast 
  • Canada Dry Citrus Blend
  • Nestea Citrus Green Tea
  • Country Time Lemonade
  • Crush
  • Snapple (citrus tea flavors)
  • Sierra Mist
  • Stewart’s
  • Sunkist 
  • Multiple flavors of 7-up 

Refer to the following short list of common medications taken by Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients which are disrupted due to consuming grapefruit or its byproducts:

  • Immunosuppressants: cyclosporine (Neoral), tacrolimus (Prograf)
  • Pain medications: methadone
  • Statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs): lovastatin (Mevacor), atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor, Vytorin)
  • Calcium channel blockers (blood pressure drugs): nitrendipine, felodipine (Plendil), nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia)
  • Antiarrhythmics (treat abnormal heart rhythms): amiodarone (Cordarone)
  • Psychiatric drugs: buspirone (BuSpar), triazolam (Halcion), carbamazepine (Tegretol), diazepam (Valium), midazolam (Versed), sertraline (Zoloft)

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It may cause Immunosuppressant Drugs to become less effective and compromise a life preserving Kidney Transplant. In other cases, for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients, grapefruit may inhibit the effectiveness of heart medication causing catastrophic Cardiovascular (Heart) Events. Also, pain medication can be diluted after ingesting grapefruit causing unnecessary discomfort and pain.  

Recommended Reading: Improved Immunosuppressant Medication Is Found To Cut Risks & Improve Transplanted Kidney Survival

Although in some cases, patients may overcome complications of beverages interacting with their medication regimen by "spacing out foods [beverages] or medications by a few hours," according to Pillpack.com. However unfortunately, in the case of grapefruit, the chemical that disrupts medications can stay in a patient's system for days, so depending on spacing grapefruit from medication is still very risky.

Recommended Reading: These Medication Interactions May Be Increasingly Harmful To CKD And Diabetic Patients

Patients may avoid complications associated with hidden grapefruit in common beverages by sharing the list of beverages in question with their Healthcare Team and asking for safer alternatives. Also, Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients should check the labels of all drinks before consumption since this list highlights the fact that even if a drink does not look like it contains grapefruit - it still may.

Recommended Reading: Good And Bad Foods To Boost Energy Of Chronic Kidney Disease And Diabetic Patients

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