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Bergamottin is a natural furanocoumarin found principally in grapefruit juice. It is also found in the oil of bergamot, from which it was first isolated and from which its name is derived. To a lesser extent, bergamottin is also present in the essential oils of other citrus fruits. Along with the chemically related compound 6’,7’-dihydroxybergamottin, it is believed to be responsible for the grapefruit juice effect in which the consumption of the juice affects the metabolism of a variety of pharmaceutical drugs.
Additional recommended knowledge
Chemically, bergamottin and dihydroxybergamottin are linear furanocoumarins functionalized with side chains derived from geraniol. They are inhibitors of some isoforms of the cytochrome P450 enzyme, particularly CYP3A4.  This prevents oxidative metabolism of certain drugs by the enzyme, resulting in an elevated concentration of drug in the bloodstream.
Normally, the grapefruit juice effect is considered to be a negative interaction, and patients are often warned not to consume grapefruit or its juice when taking medication. However, some current research is focused on the potential benefits of cytochrome P450 inhibition. Bergamottin, dihydroxybergamottin, or synthetic analogs may be developed as drugs that are targeted to increase the oral bioavailability of other drugs. Drugs that may have limited use because they are metabolized by CYP3A4 may become viable medications when taken with a CYP3A4 inhibitor because the dose required to achieve a necessary concentration in the blood would be lowered.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bergamottin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|