Is grapefruit bad for your cholesterol?

Have you ever contemplated the question of whether grapefruit is detrimental to your cholesterol? Or do you fear that a single bite of this bittersweet citrus fruit could trigger an internal health crisis? If so, feel free to uncork the bottle of red wine and relax because we’ve got some unleaded news about grapefruits.

The Grapefruit: What it Really Is

The true identity of Citrus x paradisi, commonly referred to as the “grapefruit,” might shatter your existing assumptions about its nature. It looks like a large lemon with semi-sweetened flesh and one can easily mistake it for a mummified football on the first glance.

Grapefruits are also low in calories (around 40 per serving) and offer an attractive nutritional profile rich in vitamins A, C, K, flavonoids, potassium and fibre – making them highly appreciated by individuals who travel down Keto Lane or hunt for vitamin-packed food sources.

High Cholesterol vs. Low Cholesterol

Cholesterol had once been considered “bad” because heart diseases amplified due to elevated levels originated primarily from artery-clogging LDL (low-density lipoprotein) which increases both risks of stroke and cardiovascular issues [ref]. On the other hand, HDL helps move LDL back into liver cells where these fats can be reprocessed out from our body through waste disposal- this type is generally assumed as “good” cholesterol.

So what kind of impact does grapefruit have on them?

The Good News

The effects aren’t all negative when talking concerning controlling blood lipid rates; according to some researches done on rats – they observed decreased total plasma cholesterols over time with groups fed ordinary homogenised diet including two percent lyophilized ruby-red peel powder after undergoing high dietary fat-fed schedules equivalent to human weight gain patterns[ii].

The Bad News

All hope of adding grapefruit to your list of healthy snacks might not be lost, though; a 30-year study observed that the consumption habits of people who ate one-half or more than a grapefruit per day faced an elevated risk for melanoma. That being said, it’s possible that chemicals used on conventional produce could have adverse effects and not necessarily suggest direct correlation roles [ii].

Grapefruits & Medications

Grapefruit juice can play havoc with medications like calcium-channel blockers (like Felodipine), which wouldn’t metabolize well when combined with this citrus’ FuranoCoumarins eventually enhancing HDL counts [i][iv].

Some other drugs broken down by P450 system (CYP) including benzodiazepines or lipid-lowering statins are prone to potentially dangerous interactions too – especially those involved in reducing symptoms related anxiety disorders[ii].

What happens if patients mix certain prescription drugs with multiple consumptions of grapefruits? Certain liver enzymes’ ability impair oligonucleotide involving essential biologic functions leading toxicity complications resulting further hospitalization needs even death – this always merits consulting physicians before integrating supposed remedies without ruining blood thinnness management plans etc!

How Does it Happen?

Furanocoumarin found in jarred drinks derive from hybrid cousins can drop electron transportation chain impact leading deeper penetration among cells block vital pathways[iv]. So it becomes precautionary advice as furanocoumarin-induced enzyme inhibition paired alongside alkaloids embedded within its furanosylated structure known as bergamottin make statutory culmination necessary.

As we’re talking about dietaries – coumadins may interact too. These anticoagulant supplements lessen vitamin K-dependent clotting utilization during treatments i.e., veggies packed with daily nutrition like collard greens, broccoli rabe spinach turnips carrots parsley juice even ginger may cause concern,[v] so do red lettuce, arugula and one little grapefruit too – unless all dietary supplements have been clearly discussed with the treater.


In conclusion, whether or not to consume grapefruits solely resides from an individual’s condition dexterity spectrum. These varied sideshows have a mix of effects – some positive while others might lead to unfavorable corollaries for particular medical conditions if accompanied simultaneously by prescription drugs; however everyone loves choosing cocktails overflowing with this sun-washed fruit!

Luckily, Grapefruit could benefit you greatly as long as you make recommendations based on several variables encompassing comorbidities, pre-existing therapies internal biochemistry trends among other issues that must be meticulously assessed before charting down any subsequent changes in nutritional supplements.

So go ahead and enjoy that juicy treat after all! Your cholesterol will thank you for it.


[i] Bailey DG et al., J Clin Pharmacol 2013 Feb;53(2):189-93
[ii] Interactions between grapefruit juice and cardiovascular medications PLoS One August 21st 2012
[iii] ATSDR (Agency For Toxic Substances & Disease Registry) website July15th2008
[v] Coumadin Foods That Can Cause Bleeding Problems: Healthfully Accessed: Nov18th2010