We showed previously that grapefruit and orange juices inhibited human enteric organic anion-transporting polypeptide (OATP)1A2 in vitro and lowered oral fexofenadine bioavailability clinically. Inhibition of OATP1A2 transport by flavonoids in grapefruit (naringin) and orange (hesperidin) was conducted in vitro. Two randomized, crossover, pharmacokinetic studies were performed clinically. In one study, 120 mg of fexofenadine was ingested with 300 ml grapefruit juice, an aqueous solution of naringin at the same juice concentration (1,200 microM), or water. In the other study, fexofenadine was administered with grapefruit juice, with or 2 h before aqueous suspension of the particulate fraction of juice containing known clinical inhibitors of enteric CYP3A4, but relatively low naringin concentration (34 microM), or with water. Naringin and hesperidin's half-maximal inhibitions were 3.6 and 2.7 microM, respectively. Fexofenadine area under the plasma drug concentration-time curves (AUCs) with grapefruit juice and naringin solution were 55% (P<0.001) and 75% (P<0.05) of that with water, respectively. Fexofenadine AUCs with grapefruit juice and particulate fractions were 57% (P<0.001), 96% (not significant (NS)), and 97% (NS) of that with water, respectively. Individuals tested in both studies (n=9 of 12) had highly reproducible fexofenadine AUC with water (r(2)=0.85, P<0.001) and extent of reduction of it with grapefruit juice (r(2)=0.72, P<0.01). Naringin most probably directly inhibited enteric OATP1A2 to decrease oral fexofenadine bioavailability. Inactivation of enteric CYP3A4 was probably not involved. Naringin appears to have sufficient safety, specificity, and sensitivity to be a clinical OATP1A2 inhibitor probe. Inherent OATP1A2 activity may be influenced by genetic factors. This appears to be the first report of a single dietary constituent clinically modulating drug transport.