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Furanocoumarins are a group of organic compounds produced by certain Furanocoumarines 1 Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition caasnplants as a defence mechanism to protect themselves from external organisms. The importance of furanocoumarins is their interactions with metabolism of some medications. They induce enzyme inhibition, which means they block the liver enzyme cytochrome P450, interfering with the metabolism of some medications.

Subtypes:

Subtypes are bergamottin, dihydroxybergamottin, bergapten, isobergapten, angelicin, and psoralen.

Food Sources:

Fruits: grapefruit (bergamottin and dihydroxybergamottin), Seville oranges (bergamottin and dihydroxybergamottin), pomelo (bergamottin and dihydroxybergamottin), and fig (psoralen).

Vegetables: celery (bergapten and psoralen), parsnips (isobergapten and psoralen), fennel seeds (psoralen), parsley (psoralen), and wild carrot (psoralen).

Health Benefits:

  1. Psoralen helps with the treatment of certain skin disorders, such as psoriasis, eczema, alopecia and vitiligo.
  2. Bergapten may increase photosensitivity.
  3. For drug interactions, see “Grapefruit” under the section of “Fruits”.