If this week's Wall Street Journal Health and Wellness section feature, When Food and Pills Clash, is any indication, those really annoying drug commercials are about to add a dozen foods to their even more annoying “You should not take if” lists. According to the article, grapefruit juice has been joined by “other fruit juices, including cranberry and pomegranate, as well as olive oil” as possibly affecting how cholesterol medications (statins) interact with the body. There's even an interactive game that allows you to match salmon with its possible drug nemesis (anti-clotting drugs) should you care to have a little fun at your next dinner party.
Fine. Who cares about cholesterol drugs if you're just hitting your prime bacon-binging years? Because black pepper is also on the list (antihistamines), as is chocolate (anti-depressants, stimulants, sleep aids). And black tea (“potentially all drugs”).
The article notes that the new research (other than grapefruit juice, a widely known food that interacts with statins) was primarily done in petri dishes or on lab animals (piperine, a primary component of black pepper, doubled the potency of the allergy medicine Allegra in rats). Which of course means the very operative word here is may interfere. And like so many things that may or may not happen, like say, unicorn meat showing up on grocery store shelves, the good news is you get to believe scientific findings at your own risk. So go ahead, grind as much black pepper on that spaghetti with Pecorino as you'd like. It's allergy season.