Grapefruit Seed Extract: Benefits & Risks

by Vanya Sharma last updated -

What do you do with the seeds after you eat your grapefruit? You throw them, don’t you? But what if we told you that the grapefruit seeds come with a long list of health benefits and especially in the form of grapefruit seed extract! Thanks to the rich nutrient composition of grapefruit seeds and their amazing antioxidant capacity, this extract can be one of the healthiest new additions to your life. Let’s take a look at its health benefits, uses, and more below.

What is Grapefruit Seed Extract?

Grapefruit seed extract, also known as citrus fruit extract, is a highly concentrated liquid extract made from the pulp and seeds of grapefruit (Citrus paradisi). The extract was first discovered by an American immunologist named Jacob Herich in 1980 as per a study conducted on the effects of grapefruit seed extract on the growth of yeast. [1]

There are two main compounds in this extract, namely, limonoids and naringenin, that give it the ability to fight the infections in the body. Its antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties help in fighting candida, treating earaches and throat infections, and reduce the risk of diarrhea. Many people even compare the abilities of this extract to that of the grapefruit essential oil, which is widely praised for its health benefits. [2]

Bottles of grapefruit essential oil, slices of grapefruit and a bowl of sea salt on a yellow background

Grapefruit essential oil is an orange-tinted, citrus-scented oil frequently used in aromatherapy. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Grapefruit Seed Extract Benefits

There are many benefits of grapefruit seed extract, let’s take a detailed look at them below.

Fights Candida

According to a report published in the Journal of Environmental Research And Development, grapefruit seed extract is considered as a plant with anticandida activity. Candia is a fungal infection that can affect both men and women in various parts of the body such as nails, mouth, ears, vagina, or the gastrointestinal tract. The presence of antimicrobial and antifungal properties in this extract are what are known to fight against this dreadful condition by killing the yeast cells present in the body, although further research is still required. It can also be used as a treatment for thrush caused by the candida virus. The correct dosage is five to fifteen drops in a one-ounce glass of water. [3] [4] [5]

Helps Treat Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Grapefruit seeds are known to be beneficial in the cases of urinary tract infections (UTI). According to a research published by NIH, preliminary data on the effectiveness of grapefruit seed extract in treating urinary tract infections (UTI) showed satisfactory results among the patients who were given this extract orally for two weeks. [6]

Prevents Stomach Damage

As per research published by the NIH, grapefruit seed extract has gastroprotective properties which fight against ethanol and gastric lesions. It also protects the stomach from damage caused by excessive alcohol or stress. [7]

Lowers Blood Sugar

Preliminary animal study suggests that grapefruit seed extract can reduce the blood sugar and cholesterol levels in the body. Another research also compared the efficacy of this extract with that of the drug metformin when it came to lowering blood sugar in the body. Although its efficacy on humans is yet to be proved, various researches suggest towards it. [8]

Helps Treat Fungal Infections

According to research, grapefruit seed extract is effective in providing relief from nail fungus and eczema. It can be applied to the affected area two to three times a day until it gets better. You can also use it for athlete’s foot, as it is known to get rid of the pain, irritation, and burning caused by it. It can also help with other fungal infections, which is caused by a weakened immune system. You can take about 100 milligrams or add five to ten drops of this extract to water for proper results. [9]

Grapefruit Seed Extract Uses

There are many uses of grapefruit seed extract, let’s take a look at them below.

  • Treating agricultural fungi and infections
  • Throat gargle
  • Cosmetics
  • Mouthwash
  • Ear drops
  • Vegetable and fruit cleanser
  • Shower gels
  • Nasal sprays
  • Natural preservative
  • Skin cleansers

Grapefruit Seed Extract Side Effects

It is very important to undertake a certain amount of caution while having grapefruit seed extract, otherwise it can have some serious side effects. As a cautionary:

  • Children are not advised to take this extract
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult their doctor before making use of this extract

Side effects may include: [10]

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Allergic reactions

As a final note, it shouldn’t be taken with any medication as it may have a dangerous interaction with them, especially with heart or estrogen medicines and sildenafil (Viagra). [11] Protection Status
About the Author

Vanya Sharma is a writer at heart with interests in the health and nutrition domain and has experience in content creation, collaboration, and content strategy. Vanya has completed the “Introduction to Food and Health” certificate program from Stanford University, US. She aims to bring unbiased and helpful information to all those seeking to make their health and lifestyle a priority.

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