Also called citrus seed extract, grapefruit seed extract is a supplement that comes from the pulp and seeds of grapefruit. It is a great source of antioxidants and essential oils with tons of health benefits. Unfortunately, a lot of people believe that it is harmful to your body and could even give you some health risks. Find out if grapefruit seed extract is good for you below.
All You Need to Know About Grapefruit Seed Extract
As mentioned, grapefruit seed extract (GSE) is a combination of grapefruit seeds and grapefruit pulp with water. These are mixed to become an extract.
GSE is known for treating and preventing infections. Others said that it is antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial. Most of the time, it is applied to your skin or places in your body that have wounds. Sometimes, the extract is consumed orally to treat several infections including the gastrointestinal tract.
Even better, the extract is known to be a medicinal alternative to chronic candida. It is a condition in for unusual gastrointestinal symptoms. The extract kills the fungi while still keeping the gastrointestinal species intact. Other conditions that can be treated by GSE are toenail fungus, wounds, and blood lipids.
Health Benefits of Grapefruit Seed Extract
Those mentioned above are not the only perks that you can get from grapefruit seed extract. It also has these benefits:
Surprisingly, grapefruit seed has compounds that can eliminate more than 60 types of yeasts and bacteria. Based on various studies, GSE can be used as an antibacterial medication or antifungal. It can kill bacteria through breaking bacteria in the membranes to immediately burst after 15 minutes.
When the extract kills yeasts, it causes apoptosis which is a process where the cells self-destruct. Just take note that the extract has only been tested on animals so further studies are needed to see if it can really have an effect as a supplement.
Another important benefit that you can get from grapefruit seed extract is that it has tons of antioxidant that have the capability to protect your body, especially oxidative damage that is usually linked to different chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.
Also, GSE contains vitamin E, polyphenols, flavonoids, and essential oils that can act as antioxidants in the body. In fact, polyphenol naringin in responsible for giving the extract a bitter taste. It also has antioxidant properties that can protect your body’s tissues from radiation damage.
3. Urinary Tract Infections
According to a study, the extract can treat urinary tract infections in most people. Since GSE has antimicrobial and antioxidant compounds, it is no longer a surprise that it can kill infectious bacteria, especially urinary tract infections.
4. Stomach Damage
Research shows that GSE can protect your body from damages that can come from stress and alcohol. The purpose of GSE is to protect the lining of your stomach from lesions and ulcer. When this happens, your blood flow will increase and the damage will be prevented by free radicals. It also has the tendency to kill bacterium H. pylori that is one of the main causes of ulcer and stomach inflammation.
5. Heart Disease
Heart disease has a lot of major risk factors including diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol. Some research shows that the extract can reduce the risk of the major factors, even heart disease.
6. Protect Restricted Blood Flow
Some studies proved that GSE can reduce the restriction in your blood flow. When this happens, your blood can freely move nutrients and oxygen around your body. Otherwise, you might end up having different conditions like a blood clot, stroke, or other conditions in relation to your cells.
Take note that these advantages appeared on animal tests and not on humans. Research is further needed to confirm that these health benefits can appear on humans as well.
Disadvantages of Grapefruit Seed Extract
Unfortunately, grapefruit seed extract does have its own set of dangers. Here are some that you should be aware of.
1. Certain medications
Another compound that you can find in this extract is benzethonium chloride. It is said to be capable of interfering with your body’s capacity to excrete and process medications. So it is best that you consult with your doctor first before trying out GSE as a medication.
2. Can be contaminant
Although GSE can be bought as a supplement, these are not regulated for purity and quality. A lot of studies showed that GSE supplements have a lot of antimicrobial compounds and preservatives.
Just remember that these disadvantages might still be untrue considering the fact that the extract has not been exposed to a lot of humans. Although you must always take precautions before using these. It is best that you consult with your doctor first before trying out GSE or any extract.
All in all, grapefruit seed extract is produced from the pulp and seeds of grapefruit. To become an extract, it is then combined with water. Afterward, it can be used to treat skin diseases and other infections. The good news is that the extract has a lot of benefits for you.
The only problem is that the extract has been used to animals through studies. So it is not really reliable to be used on humans. So to answer the question, “is grapefruit seed extract good for you?” the answer is that it is too early to say for now.
Although there are a lot of studies to back up that it can be great for you. It is best that the extract is studied further to know if it can really provide you great health benefits or are you most likely to get the disadvantages.
What you can do right now is to be careful when planning to GSE. Or you can ask a specialist to help you. Remember that prevention is always better than cure and that being safe and cautions on medicines or extracts like GSE is better than experiencing or having conditions in the future.