Food Safety: Food & Drug Interactions

People are finding out that different foods can be more than just a source of essential nutrients for the body. Various foods are being studied in more detail for possibly enhancing or altering the effects of certain drugs. Several examples include the interaction between grapefruit and cholesterol-lowering drugs, anti- histamines and calcium channel blockers, dairy products with certain anti-fungal drugs, and soy products with breast cancer drugs. As September is recognized as Food Safety Month, it is good to be reminded that although foods contain many essential and beneficial qualities, they may also interact with prescription and nonprescription drugs in various ways. Fats, minerals and other natural compounds found in common foods are potentially able to interact directly with the drug, enhancing or reducing its effectiveness. Clinical and/or epidemiological studies done through post-marketing surveillance need to be studied in detail for any indications of food and drug interactions, with any positive findings confirmed through risk assessment studies and reflected in the labeling statements.