I would like to try pomegranate juice for its health benefits. Will it interact with Lipitor?
Pomegranate juice can lower blood pressure and delay atherosclerosis. But it interacts with drugs much as grapefruit juice does (Drug Metabolism and Disposition, May 2005). Grapefruit juice can raise blood levels of some cholesterol-lowering drugs, including Lipitor, Zocor and Mevacor (lovastatin), and increase the risk of side effects.
Are there any natural treatments for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)? I've had it for several years, and there is little to be done for it.
Research suggests that peppermint can ease spasms in smooth muscle, especially the digestive tract. Enteric-coated peppermint oil has been helpful for people with IBS in some trials, and it might be worth a try.
Another option might be beneficial bacteria called probiotics. We heard from a reader who reported that probiotics helped his IBS: "While I'm not cured, the symptoms are now much easier to handle."
A new study showed that a probiotic product containing Bifidobacterium infantis was significantly better than placebo for symptoms of constipation and diarrhea associated with IBS.
What can you tell me about ginger for nausea, especially during pregnancy?
Ginger root has been used for centuries in China to combat nausea. Several studies suggest it may also fight morning sickness.
Joe Graedon, a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon, an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition, can be reached at http://www.peoplespharmacy.com or care of this newspaper.