Do You Know Nutrition: Pomegranate juice has great health benefits

By Phylis Canion
May 1, 2012 at 12:01 a.m.

Phylis Canion

Phylis Canion

I am taking a hypertensive medication and was told that I should not drink grapefruit juice. I started drinking pomegranate juice because of its health benefits, but then I read that it interferes with absorption of the medication also. Is that correct? I really enjoy drinking the pomegranate juice.

Continue your enjoyment. Because pomegranate juice has different properties than grapefruit juice, it has no effect on the absorption of any medications, according to David J. Greenblatt, M.D., Professor of the Department of Pharmacology at Tuft's University.

The problem with drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit is that it inhibits a chemical in the intestine needed to break down the medication, which results in an increased blood level of the medication.

This caution of grapefruit also applies to certain cholesterol medications, so it is very important to consult with your physician or pharmacist about possible interactions.

Just as a footnote, I would also recommend that you avoid Seville oranges as it interferes with the absorption of certain medications as well.

If I eat anything with MSG, I will develop a migraine headache. I am diligent in reading labels and try to avoid processed foods, but sometimes I will eat something that even though it does not list MSG on the label, I still get a migraine. Are there others names for MSG, and if so, could you please list them?

Monosodium Glutamate, MSG, is considered an excitotoxin and is an ingredient known to cause nerve damage by overexciting nerves, which is exactly how MSG enhances the taste of foods by overexciting the taste buds of the tongue.

When you look at a food label, any of the following words indicate another name for MSG: hydrolyzed vegetable protein, maltodextrin, textured protein, sodium caseinate, glutamic acid, gelatin, carrageenan (processed), ultra-pasteurized, pectin protease, stock, whey protein isolate, whey protein, barley malt, malt extract, natural pork, beef or chicken flavoring, citric acid (when processed from corn), protease enzyme, flavoring, hydrolyzed yeast extract, tortula yeast, autolyzed yeast, yeast extract, soy protein, pea protein, wheat protein, corn protein, soy protein concentrate, textured soy protein, anything protein fortified, anything fermented and dextrose.

When any product contains 79 percent free glutamic acid with the balance being made up of salt, moisture and up to one percent contaminants, the product is called Monosodium Glutamate. If you are interested in learning more about the toxicity of MSG, "The Slow Poisoning of America" by John and Michelle Erb, details studies that indicate that MSG is addictive (and MSG manufacturers openly admit it) and laboratory studies that MSG triples the amount of insulin the pancreas secretes resulting in obesity.

Thought for the week: A good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help another up.

Call 361-576-2100 today to sign up for the next free nutrition class, scheduled for May 14, at the Organic Emporium, 2918 N. Laurent St., Victoria.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, email her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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