Interactions of food and dietary supplements with drug metabolising cytochrome P450 enzymes

Ceska Slov Farm. 2007 Jul;56(4):165-73.


Drug side effects and toxicity and often the drug efficacy are highly dependent on drug metabolism determining the activation and/or elimination of the respective compound. In humans, cytochromes P450 are the most important drug metabolizing enzymes of the first phase of drug biotransformation. Their activity can vary due to interindividual genetic differences, but it can be changed also by inhibition or induction of the enzymes by their substrates or other compounds that are not only drugs themselves and/or drugs taken concomitantly. Often, influence on drug metabolism by compounds that occur in the environment, most remarkably in the food, is forgotten. Some commonly used herbs, fruits as well as e.g. alcohol may cause failure of the therapy up to serious alterations of the patient's health. This review presents a brief overview of potentially dangerous nutrition factors including herbs (incl. teas, infusions) that should be considered when indicating individual drug therapy. Examples include primarily grapefruits, pomelo, star fruit, pomegranates and some other fruits, St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum), caffeine, as well as alcohol and cigarette smoking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Food-Drug Interactions*
  • Herb-Drug Interactions*
  • Humans


  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System