Last updated September 24, 2018 by Lisa Richards, CNC   Reviewed by Katie Stone, ND.

The Top 4 Benefits Of Grapefruit Seed Extract

Grapefruit seed extract for Candida and bacterial infections

What do you do with the seeds from your grapefruit? If you throw them out, you might be missing out on all kinds of health benefits. In many ways, the seeds themselves are the most health-promoting part of the fruit. The good news is that you don’t need to crunch your way through a mountain of grapefruit seeds to get those benefits.

Grapefruit seed extract is a well-researched supplement that has been used successfully for decades. Evidence of its incredible antifungal actions has won over both doctors and patients around the world. It was originally used in the agricultural industry to prevent mold growing on foods, then in hospitals as an antiseptic for surgical equipment. Now, grapefruit seed extract is used to treat a wide variety of ailments including Candida overgrowth, athlete’s foot, and UTIs.

Studies on grapefruit seed extract’s antimicrobial capabilities have shown it to be as effective as 30 pharmaceutical antibiotic drugs and 18 fungicides. The added bonus? Grapefruit seed extract was shown to have none of the side effects of those prescription drugs.

As well as killing off yeast and fungal pathogens, grapefruit seed extract is loaded with important vitamins and minerals. These are particularly beneficial during and after your Candida cleanse treatment, as they help to boost your immune system and reduce the chance of re-infection. It also helps to repair any liver cells that may have been damaged in the detoxification process.

What Are The Benefits Of Grapefruit Seed Extract?

Here are the main benefits of grapefruit seed extract:

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  1. Fights intestinal fungal infections like Candida overgrowth and athlete’s foot
  2. Helps with urinary tract infections and topical bacterial infections
  3. Contains valuable nutrients and phytochemicals
  4. Improves the digestive symptoms associated with candida overgrowth

Let’s take a look at those in more detail.

1. Grapefruit Seed Extract Fights Fungal Infections

A 1990 study published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine found GSE to be “highly effective” against a variety of yeasts and molds including Candida, Geotrichum, Aspergillus, and PeniciIlium sp.

This was supported by a 2001 study in which Polish researchers found that GSE extract used at a concentration of 33 percent had strong antifungal effects against Candida albicans overgrowth. The study concluded that GSE is able to fight Candida by attacking yeast cells directly, effectively destroying those that have already taken over.

If you’re suffering from an intestinal Candida overgrowth, grapefruit seed extract could be a useful addition to your natural antifungals. Many choose to combine it with other natural antifungals like caprylic acid or oregano oil. Grapefruit seed extract may help to prevent Candida albicans from switching to its fungal form and spreading through your gut.

Grapefruit seed extract can also be used for topical fungal infections like athlete’s foot. Applying full strength grapefruit seed extract to the affected area, 2-3 times each day, can provide relief from the itching, burning, and other symptoms associated with athlete’s foot.

2. Grapefruit Seed Extract Is A Natural Antibiotic Too

Another study in 2002 showed grapefruit seed extract to be useful as an all-round antimicrobial, thanks to its antimicrobial action against a wide range of harmful bacteria. Amazingly, it appears to do this within just 15 minutes of contact, even when diluted.

The American Research Institute also reports that GSE can be used effectively to kill over 800 bacterial and viral strains, and 100 strains of fungi, as well as killing and preventing the growth of many different parasites. Researchers believe that GSE has the ability to interfere with the membrane of the bacteria, destroying the cell by breaking it apart. Other studies indicate that the GSE kills intestinal cells that have been absorbed by the yeast.

This antibiotic property also means that grapefruit seed extract can be used for UTIs, along with bacterial infections of the skin, throat, nose, and mouth.

3. Grapefruit Seed Extract Is A Nutritional Powerhouse

The nutritional content of grapefruit seed extract is not something to be sniffed at, either! Rich in nutrients and phytochemicals, GSE trumps many other natural antifungals because it helps to heal your body, too. One of its most important compounds is the bioflavonoid hesperidin, a powerful immune system booster.

Grapefruit seed extract also contains vitamin C and E, which are essential for the healthy repair of mucous membranes. Researchers have also found that GSE contains certain sterols, citric acid, limonoids, and other trace minerals that aid healing and general wellbeing.

4. Grapefruit Seed Extract Can Improve Your Digestive Health

Grapefruit seed extract is also great for your digestive health: GSE is naturally acidic, which can restore the normal pH of the stomach and gut. If your intestinal acidity is out of balance, due to Candida overgrowth or some other factor, GSE can bring acidity levels back to where they need to be for good digestion.

What Is Grapefruit Seed Extract?

Grapefruit seed extract is made by mixing the grapefruit seeds, white membrane and pulp into a thick, highly acidic liquid. If made in a laboratory, the seed and pulp may be ground and mixed with vegetable glycerin. This helps to reduce the bitterness and acidity. In its purest form, GSE is a yellow, viscous liquid that has a strong, bitter taste.

Grapefruit seed extract is available as either as a liquid concentrate or in capsules and tablets. All forms of GSE will contain vegetable glycerin, but the liquid concentrate is a more potent form of extract as tablets or capsules contain a small amount of filler (such as organic brown rice protein). In these tiny amounts, both are OK on a Candida diet.

Here is a short explanation of the typical recommended dosages for Grapefruit Seed Extract in liquid form and in tablet form. Always read the label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Liquid concentrate: 10 drops in a cup of water taken 3 times a day.
  • Tablet/capsules: 100-200mg 1-3 times a day should be sufficient.

Who Should Not Take Grapefruit Seed Extract?

Grapefruit seed extract is non-toxic and considered safe in most cases. An independent laboratory found that you would need to take 4,000 times the recommended amount of grapefruit seed extract before the dosage became poisonous.

However, as with any form of supplementation, GSE is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Those with serious health conditions are also advised to seek advice from a health professional before commencing GSE treatment. It is possible for GSE to interact with certain medications, so these should be checked first.

Side-effects of GSE are rare. One study reported patients suffered no side-effects during a four-week treatment with GSE. Instead, they noticed an overall improvement in digestive health symptoms, including constipation, flatulence, abdominal discomfort and night rest.

Remember that grapefruit seed extract is known to have a large number of drug interactions. In many cases, GSE substantially reduces the effectiveness of prescription medication. If you are taking any medication, make sure to check with your healthcare provider.

Adding Grapefruit Seed Extract To Your Candida Plan

There are lots of factors to take into consideration when you start a Candida treatment plan. Will your antifungals interfere with existing medications? Should you take one antifungal at a time, or several at once? How do they interact with probiotics, and how can you get the best from both?

For lots more information on how to use natural antifungals to rebuild your gut flora and get your health back, take a look at our Ultimate Candida Diet treatment plan.

Filed under: Antifungals
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