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Grapefruit "natural flavor" and Lithium?

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I know you're not supposed to have grapefruit or grapefruit juice while on Lithium, as it can make the concentrations of Lithium higher in your blood. But what about the Grapefruit flavored La Croix? It says "naturally flavored", but is that enough to make it a no-no for me to drink? I've had a few of them and wondered. Nothing bad has happened, but I don't know how far the 'no grapefruit' thing really goes...

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Hi Alien - 

Where are you hearing this about grapefruit and lithium?  The grapefruit interaction is because grapefruit interferes with enzymes that metabolize drugs in the liver.  Lithium is an ion and therefore is not metabolized by the liver.  It is excreted unchanged by the kidney.

I think it may interact with Valium though, which is metabolized by the liver.

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Grapefruit affects an enzyme in the liver that many drugs use. This lowers or raises blood levels of the drug. Wellbutrin uses this enzyme. No argument there, there will be changes in blood level. If possible,  avoid grapefruit

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I'm sorry I don't have an answer for your original question.

FWIW ...

I have a grapefruit sometimes with no problems with any meds.  NOT saying that is true for everyone.

But from previous posts written above, I can see how having grapefruit all the time could be a problem for some people.

Edited by melissaw72
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19 hours ago, Alien Navel Cord said:

What about 'natural flavor' of grapefruit? It's not necessarily the juice itself at all...


I could not find a lot on this, but did find these 2 articles:

Do these help?




Nootkatone is a flavor compound found in grapefruit. But it can also be made from oranges and still be considered a natural flavor.



A company in the United Kingdom can transform chemicals found in oranges into the coveted flavor of grapefruit. By mixing the orange compounds with molecules made by living organisms, Oxford Biotrans creates natural flavors without having to ever crack open a grapefruit

And they’re not the only people using biology to make one natural ingredient out of another. Other companies are using microbes to forge scents and flavors normally found in roses and other plants or animals.


And both natural and artificial flavors are prepped by chemists in the lab. “You can’t take an orange and stuff it into a pop bottle and sell it as orange pop,” Reineccius says. “You have to do some isolation of the natural flavoring material to be able to use it.”

They aren’t identical—artificial flavors tend to be simpler (and only made from ingredients that have been tested for safety). A plant’s natural flavoring might contain 1,000 different chemicals.

To make natural grapefruit flavor, Oxford Biotrans isolates a chemical called valencene from oranges. They also use a kind of enzyme—molecules that living creatures use to spur chemical reactions inside their bodies—found in bacteria, plants, and animals. The team has made a few tweaks to its complex structure and engineered E. coli to make the improved version. When mixed with valencene, the enzymes prompt a chemical reaction that adds oxygen to the orange flavor to turn it into nootkatone. “In essence it’s the same process that must occur inside the grapefruit, but we’re doing it outside of a cell,” King says.




Here is one other ...


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  • 4 weeks later...

Just an update: I drank some Gose beer that was brewed with cactus and grapefruit. I probably shouldn't be messing with grapefruit, but I didn't think there's be enough concentrated in a beer to make my levels rise too much, and if they did - I don't think I felt anything different with any of my meds.. Thoughts?

Edited by Alien Navel Cord
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