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Naringin is the major flavonoid glycoside in grapefruit and gives grapefruit juice its bitter taste. It is metabolized to the flavanone naringenin in humans. Both naringenin and hesperetin, which are the aglycones of naringin and hesperidin, occur naturally in citrus fruits.
Studies have shown that naringin interferes with enzymatic activity in the intestines and, thus, with the breakdown of certain drugs, resulting in higher blood levels of the drug. A number of drugs that are known to be affected by the naringin in grapefruit include calcium channel blockers, estrogen, sedatives, medications for high blood pressure, allergies, AIDS, and cholesterol-lowering drugs.