The Power of Nutrition
by David Dunaief
Feb 24, 2021 | 5917 views | 0 0 comments | 803 803 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dr. David Dunaief is located in Downtown Brooklyn and focuses on the integration of medicine, nutrition, fitness and stress management.
Dr. David Dunaief is located in Downtown Brooklyn and focuses on the integration of medicine, nutrition, fitness and stress management.
We hear all this talk about nutrients, but it’s just food, right? How powerful can a single type of food be?

This topic occurred to me a few years ago as I was eating a grapefruit while on antibiotics. At this point, you are asking yourself, how do antibiotics and grapefruit relate?

Grapefruit is cleared through the liver, affecting a system called the cytochrome P450 3A4 pathway. The grapefruit and grapefruit juice inhibit this pathway.

Many common drugs also clear through this same system, including warfarin (Coumadin), statin drugs like atorvastatin (Lipitor), antihistamines such as fexofenadine (Allegra), a class of blood pressure medications called calcium channel blockers like nifedipine (Procardia) and many others.

They also interact with some antibiotics, fortunately, not with the one I was taking.

What does this mean? The grapefruit can actually cause increased levels of the medication, possibly to toxic levels, causing serious adverse reactions. Therefore, you should consult your physician and pharmacist about the interactions with grapefruit while taking medications.

The fruit and its juice also have beneficial effects. In a small prospective study, grapefruit and grapefruit juice showed a significant increase in HDL, the good cholesterol, by 6.2 and 8.2 percent, respectively. The participants consumed 127 grams per day, which translates into approximately a half-cup of juice or one half of a grapefruit.

What about probiotics?

Since I mentioned my antibiotic use, what about probiotics to prevent diarrhea with this type of medication?

Antibiotics tend to throw the natural flora (bacteria) in the gastrointestinal tract out of balance. Probiotics help populate your gut with favorable flora (bacteria), restoring the balance and decreasing the incidence of diarrhea.

In a meta-analysis of 34 clinical trials, probiotics reduced the incidence of diarrhea by 52 percent. Since C. difficle, a painful infection, may be caused by antibiotic use, probiotics may reduce the occurrence of this dangerous strain of bacteria.

Where do you get probiotics? Foods that contain live cultures, such as yogurt, fermented milk and fortified foods, such as soy yogurt. You can also take probiotics in pill form - about 1 to 2 billion colony forming units of lactobacillus acidophilus per day.

There are many different strains which may be effective with other disorders, but it is more complicated and requires the assistance of your physician.

Don’t underestimate strawberries!

In a prospective small study presented at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) 2011, strawberries reduced the risk of esophageal cancer. This study was done in patients who had mild dysplasia (abnormal cells) and moderate dysplasia in the esophagus.

These were high-risk patients for esophageal cancer. Eating 60 grams a day, or approximately two ounces of strawberries, for six months caused a downgrade, a tremendously powerful effect, in the dysplasia of most of these patients.

They used freeze-dried strawberries, which are more concentrated, but fresh strawberries probably would have the same effect, according to the study’s author. These are preliminary results, however this was not just a prevention trial, it was a prevention trial in patients who already had abnormalities in their esophageal squamous cells.

Popeye was right, and then some!

In a meta-analysis of six cohort studies, green leafy vegetables reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes. These vegetables included spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.

Adding a modest 1.5 servings, or about four ounces, of these type of vegetables to the diet resulted in a 14 percent reduction in occurrence of diabetes.

Whether your goal is to prevent or treat a disease, nutrients matter. Foods are powerful; they may interact with medication and may even have effects equivalent to some medications.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet