Can eating a grapefruit a day clear all plaque in your arteries?

By May 9, 2024 Health, Lifestyle

This post on X has been viewed over 1.8 million times and claims that eating grapefruit daily can clear “all plaque” in one’s arteries in 9 months.Arterial plaque occurs when deposits of cholesterol, fatty substances, and other cellular waste products build-up over time. This can lead to dangerous thickening of artery walls, which in turn can reduce or block blood flow to the heart, causing coronary artery disease or even heart attacks and heart failure.

Current medical advice to lower risk factors for plaque formation include decreasing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, exercising regularly, and a diet low in saturated fats, and high in fresh produce. Individuals with a family history of heart issues can also get tested for arterial plaque and take steps to manage it. One such way is through taking statins, which are medicines that can specifically help to target and clear LDL cholesterol.

However, can consuming a grapefruit daily for nine months actually clear all plaque instead?

According to multiple medical sources, there is no way to completely remove or clear arterial plaque. Instead, treatment typically involves preventative measures to stop further plaque build-up. The reduction of LDL cholesterol has also been shown by some studies to shrink (but not eliminate) plaque. Based on this medical consensus, the claim made by the post appears to be untrue.

However, we also searched for possible sources for the claim. There is no study which specifically covers a 9-month period, nor one which finds that arterial plaque can be completely cleared. Some research has found that grapefruit can positively impact fat levels in blood – such as a study from 2006 which gave their research subjects a single serving of grapefruit every day for 30 days. While this could be a possible source for the “1 grapefruit a day” claim, the study’s actual findings do not at all support the notion that grapefruit alone can clear all plaque.

Therefore, we give this claim a rating of false. While grapefruit is a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and fibre, eating a grapefruit a day for 9 months will not clear all arterial plaque.

The post further suggests that there is a conspiracy to keep people on statins to prevent the “hidden truth” of grapefruit’s healing properties from being known. This is because individuals taking statins are sometimes advised against consuming grapefruit juice.

The theory that the nefarious pharmaceutical industry is pushing people to use statins instead of grapefruit is suspect. For one, given that grapefruits cannot clear arterial plaque, statins remain an effective and proven treatment method. Further, while research has shown that some (although not all) statins can be negatively impacted by grapefruit juice, consuming grapefruit in moderation is unlikely to be fatal or dangerous if done in consultation with a medical professional.The hyperbolic framing of the claim post illustrates the dangers of medical misinformation, particularly when paired with a compelling conspiracy – bringing together both the untrue grapefruit fact and a broader theory about medicines being intentionally promoted over equally effective “natural” alternatives. This can make the claim feel more convincing and plausible, especially to audiences who are already predisposed to believe certain conspiracies.

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