Sunday, February 22, 2009

Grapefruit and Prilosec

Naomi during the game the other day compliments of the AA News

I just finished my last yummy red Texas grapefruit thanks to Katy. Grapefruit ingestion must be done cautiously however as it contains a substance that inactivates cytochrome 450, which is responsible for the first pass metabolism of many drugs, especially statins. If the drug isn't metabolized as expected, blood levels of the drug might rise to dangerous levels. In the case of statins, one wants them to be metabolized in the liver, not the muscles in which a dangerous side effect can occur leading to muscle wasting. This came to light about 8 years ago when I was a guinea pig for the company testing the bioavailability of a new formulation of their infamous statin. Suddenly I was advised I could not eat grapefruits and they would pay me $200 extra for the pain of grapefruit deprivation. Fine, any other fruit that you would pay me not to eat? Bananas perhaps? (hate them) Further guinea pig studies tacked on a 'no xanthine' clause. This I found intolerable as I am a xanthine addict-caffeine as my xanthine of choice though the xanthine in chocolate is nice too (not for dogs). (Another reason I refused to be a guinea pig again is that my new company-the one that had swallowed up my nice, old company to grab its statin and then throw the rest away-reported my guinea pig income as 'self-employment'. We had ignorantly treated it as ordinary income and this had serious tax consequences that ended up turning the whole experience into 'negative income' giving me yet another reason to hate our conqueror.)

My round about point is there are consequences to ingesting certain foods and/or supplements that are only now beginning to be understood. I didn't eat the grapefruits until I was sure the Taxol had cleared and on days in which I was not taking the Prilosec-also metabolized by Cytochrome 450. Prilosec was prescribed for the Red Devil's nasty side effect of destroying my stomach lining. It blocks the acid and thus the pain I would have when the acid hits the destroyed stomach lining. The onc said I should keep on taking it but I am taking it only every other day now. Prilosec seems benign but I watching House the other day. True this show is only very loosely based on fact and I haven't yet the time to research this latest scare. A patient develops heart failure due to Brucellosis (an endearment my father had for my brother along with 'you little bastard')-rare in the US as our milk is pasteurized. However this particular patient had been in Italy feasting on the cheeses made from unpasteurized milk. (While in Italy I did the same but they insisted that the long ageing process kills pathogens). Usually the stomach is acidic enough to kill off the Brucellosis organism but in a strange product placement opportunity, the show mentioned that this patient was on Prilosec and therefore his stomach wasn't acidic enough to kill off Brucellosis, and now he was in big time trouble as he needed a heart transplant and the ethics committee thought him too old to waste one on him. House of course saves the day giving him a heart noone else would want as it was riddled with venereal disease. So far all I have found in regards to the evil side of Prilosec is that it interferes with the absorption of some minerals that need to be acidic to work. My work continues but I have lots of other fish to fry-like the role of alcohol, Prem-Pro, hypothyroidism, ibuprofen, etc in my current situation. Another post.

I got a note yesterday from Naomi's counsellor-a situation that made me freeze as I opened the envelope as it is interim time. Naomi insisted her grades are good and they are now monitored daily by her bball coach but once burnt, twice shy.. The grades are good ( a B average-all is relative) but she has not filed clear post-graduation plans yet so I have to come in and deal with that. It is now spring break for most of the Huron River Rats. Lots of the seniors are now on Caribbean Islands-Josh had gone to the Bahamas on his. But for the bball team-work, work, work. Three games next week and practice everyday. Only Saturdays are free.

Finally all of our 1099s are in so we worked on taxes. Steve did ours and I got all the paperwork and accounting together for my parents' separate estates which were finally closed last year. The snow messed up my walk (which would have been a run)but I did some shovelling and then walked where the cars had flattened the snow. Shanna's new place will be right on the water-there is a 38 mile trail there (Harborwalk) that hugs the coast so I will have a scenic place to run or at least walk Oliver.

My Oscar Party tonight. Come when you can .

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