Natural products-friends or foes?
A trend in the general population has been observed in recent years regarding the orientation toward preventive measures in health; in this context the increased interest from the users and researchers concerning the active effect of food supplements on the health state and on longevity, is noticeable. All over the world, the consumption of natural foods and of vegetal supplements has increased spectacularly over the last 5-10 years. The decreased prevalence of cardio-vascular diseases associated with Mediterranean diet, as well as the French paradox convinced researchers to scientifically document the beneficial outcomes pointed out by traditional use of plants, and to try to develop supplements that would have the same positive effects as these noticed for diet components. The intense research dedicated to this topic revealed the fact that food supplements are linked to some problematic aspects, such as toxicological side effects when associated with classical synthetic drugs. The food supplement-drug interactions are submitted to complex issues regarding pharmacokinetic interactions leading to changes in absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion processes with direct impact on effect and toxicological potential. The present review based on recent literature aims at discussing the food-drug interactions with direct impact on efficacy and toxicity of drugs. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.