What is Grapefruit Seed Extract?
Grapefruit seed extract is a natural antioxidant with antimicrobial and antifungal properties. While the name implies it only comes from the seeds of the grapefruit (Citrus paradisi), manufacturers also extract it from the membrane and pulp. Grapefruits are rich in phytochemicals that make them resistant to fungi, bacteria, and viruses. These include ascorbic acid (vitamin C), citric acid, flavonoids, limonoids, sterols, tocopherols (vitamin E), and other minerals.
Grapefruit Seed Extract Benefits
Grapefruit seed extract has antifungal and anticandidal properties that may combat yeast overgrowth. Candida is a type of yeast that can cause numerous unpleasant conditions when imbalanced. Yeast fungi can afflict the mouth, throat, gut, vagina, and other parts of the body. Thrush, yeast infections, and athlete’s foot are some of the more common conditions associated with candida imbalances. One older study noted that oral grapefruit seed extract proved beneficial when dealing with fungal skin problems, too. Additionally, research has noted that grapefruit seed extract suppresses multiple gut microbes and improves their related symptoms, such as bloating and constipation.
Grapefruit seed extract also exerts antimicrobial effects and may act against bacteria as well. One study reported that grapefruit seed extract repressed bacterial growth. Other research has explored grapefruit seed extract as a deterrent against catheter-induced urinary tract infections and found that it played a strong antibacterial role.
Did You Know?
Grapefruits are an accidental hybrid between the sweet orange fruit and the pomelo fruit. They originated in Barbados, where they were known as the forbidden fruit.
Grapefruit Seed Extract and Oral Health
Grapefruit seed extract also supports oral health. It acts as an antioxidant to help kill germs and protect oral tissues against oxidative stress. One small study reported that participants taking grapefruit seed extract experienced less plaque buildup and gum inflammation. Participants also reported better breath.
Other Potential Grapefruit Seed Extract Benefits
Preliminary research shows grapefruit seed extract may support weight loss. It may also boost energy levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Additionally, grapefruit extract may support heart health and inhibit the formation of stomach ulcers.
Grapefruit Seed Extract Side Effects
Grapefruit seed extract did not cause side effects in clinical trials. Grapefruit juice has many known drug interactions, and extracts may produce the same reactions. These include certain immunosuppressants, sedatives, antiepileptics, medications for high blood pressure, and medications that reduce lipids (fats).
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