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Grapefruit Juice and Drug Interaction Experiment

Postby MVLawrence » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:29 pm

There is a compound in many citrus fruits called furanocoumarins that affects the activity of the P450 enzyme(which metabolizes drugs). For my science experiment, I'd like to know the properties of this chemical compound(furanocoumarins). How could I dissolve furanocoumarin?


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Re: Grapefruit Juice and Drug Interaction Experiment

Postby SciB » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:53 pm


Your question sounds more like chemistry than biology, but I was a chemistry major so I should be able to answer it. The furanocoumarin (FC), naringenin, is present in grapefruit and is able to inhibit a cytochrome p450 enzyme in the liver. The FCs are organic molecules with complex ring structures and they are poorly soluble in water. Scientists dissolve them in ethanol, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) or dimethyl formamide (DMF). You can make aqueous solutions of FCs by first dissolving them in DMSO or DMF and diluting this solution with an aqueous buffer like phosphate-buffered saline to a final concentration of about 0.5 mg/ml:

Grapefruit seed extract (GSE), available through some supplement companies, contains a certain amount of naringenin and might be a good source of the compound if you plan to use it in experiments. You can find a source of GSE online, just make sure the supplier is reputable and the supplement contains the amount of naringenin that it is supposed to.

Hope this helps,


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