Fact Check: Can grapefruit remove all plaque from arteries?

Quick Take

Social media users claim that grapefruit can remove plaque from blood vessels. We fact-checked and found that the claim is half true.

The Claim

“Did you know? Eating 1 Graperfruit (sic)… A day for 9 months can clear all plaque in one’s arteries,” reads a Facebook post. The post is given here and a screenshot is given below.

Fact Check

What are plaques in arteries?

Plaque in the arteries is a fatty, waxy substance that forms deposits in the artery wall. These deposits can narrow the artery and reduce blood flow. Plaques can also rupture and create a blood clot at the rupture site, as your body’s natural processes try to repair the “injury.” 

Can Grapefruit clear all plaques from arteries?

Yes. Research has shown that grapefruit positively influences serum triglyceride level in patients suffering from coronary atherosclerosis. However, there is no research supporting the claim that grapefruit can clear ‘all plaques’ from blood vessels.

Can diet clear plaque from arteries completely?

Diet cannot cleanse blood vessels completely of plaque. It may reduce plaque to certain extent or prevent from further building up. It is almost impossible to remove plaque from blood vessels without medical intervention.

Moreover, grapefruit is known to react adversely with multiple medications including prescribed medications for heart diseases. Hence, researchers and medical professionals cautions against eating grapefruits without consulting doctors especially when you are under medication.

Voomika Mukherjee

Voomika Mukherjee, Nutritionist and Holistic Health & Wellness Coach, says, “Eating any specific food can’t reverse the plaque. But by lifestyle modification which includes eating healthy, nutritious and balanced meal along with workout and taking right medical treatment can help a person treat or manage further heart complications. This is related to eating junk or processed foods that create leaky gut which over time, gets worse. Plaque buildup can lead to thickened or hardened arteries.”

Is it safe to depend on diet to remove plaque from arteries?

Voomika adds, “It depends on the cholesterol levels. If it’s on borderline or if anyone has a family history, then that person can work on his/her health by changing their lifestyle towards healthy, which I define as “Holistic Wellness”. But if it’s worsened then one should contact a doctor, a dietician and a yoga/fitness expert as all together can work as a team and help one get out of the further complication.”

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