Hepatitis: Grapefruit can fight it as well as drugs

A grapefruit may be all it takes to fight chronic hepatitis C.  Currently sufferers have to take a powerful drug such as pegylated interferon, which comes with a range of side effects from nausea, anaemia, depression and skin rash.

But researchers reckon that a grapefruit or another citrus fruit could be just as effective, if not more so.  The fruit contains the flavonoid, naringenin, which is responsible for the fruit’s bitter taste.

Naringenin has the ability to block a pathway in the life cycle of the hepatitis C virus, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have discovered.

(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2008; 299: 1532).