Nutrition Phytonutrients

The benefits of grapefruit seeds

The benefits of grapefruit seeds

by in Nutrition - Phytonutrients

last updated: October 25, 2016

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Grapefruit seed extract: natural capacity to prevent the side effects of antibiotic therapies and to eliminate antibiotic resistance

Today, we'll be dealing with another component we've been given by Mother Nature, which, when used properly, can help and often replace antibiotics that are not strictly necessary or are useless (e.g. for viral infections) or in subjects in whom the debilitating side effects of antibiotic therapy should be avoided (e.g. athletes): the extract of grapefruit seeds is better known as GSE.

GSE is the trade name of a standardised extract, consisting of 60% grapefruit seeds, with the addition of cell membranes from the grapefruit and a 40% aqueous solution of plant glycerine. It is also available in the form of capsules for those who prefer this type of administration.

Several studies by the Office of Medicine have shown that grapefruit seed extract has a bactericidal action and a broad-spectrum bacteriostatic action, as well as an effective activity against many influenza virus (in fact, GSE is able to shorten the course of seasonal influenza).

Its activity has been analysed, and it was clearly demonstrated that GSE can wreak havoc on bacterial membranes, causing leakage of the cytoplasmic material within 15 minutes of contact, even at low dilutions.

The seeds contain several active substances, among which the most important are flavonoids: naringin, quercetin, hesperidin and apigenin, which along with numerous others, give the plant complex its antimicrobial properties.

Extract of grapefruit seed has been shown to act on a wide variety of harmful microorganisms, like bacteria, fungi, viruses, yeasts, moulds, and even parasites like worms (Pinworms) and lice, as well as protozoans like amoeba, that can cause diarrhoea and dysentery, and are particularly widespread in countries where sanitation is poor or absent.

Crucially, GSE shows a selectivity that is not found in synthetic antimicrobials (antibiotics) which indiscriminately exterminate harmful microorganisms as well as microorganisms that are useful to us (an example of all this is the classic dysbiosis that arises after antibiotic therapy); in this regard, a study published in the "Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine" # 5 in 1990 demonstrated that GSE was effective against hundreds of pathogenic bacteria, while virtually harmless towards physiological bacteria, that is, those that are useful for our body.

If we add to all of this, the absolute lack of toxicity, contraindications, side effects, interactions with other drugs and the fact that it doesn't create any resistance, we realise that we have a natural remedy here that is more effective, more complete and a safer alternative to traditional antibiotic treatments, wherever they are not strictly necessary (traditional medicine must never be demonised, as unfortunately many pseudo-naturopaths tend to be replacing doctors of medicine, even in cases where there is an obvious need for care, by administering potions, coloured water etc ...).


Antibacterial action:

Earlier, we emphasised the importance of leaving the antibiotic resistance spiral and seeking viable alternatives for treating the most common bacterial diseases, and GSE is, at this time, certainly the most appropriate.

Antibiotic resistance unfortunately is spreading at an alarming rate, due to improper and excessive use of antibiotic therapies, which are followed badly or taken when unnecessary; the result is that, in severe cases, where an antibiotic is the only solution, it often has no effect because the bacteria has been "strengthened" by precisely such poorly executed or incorrect therapies.

In these cases, finding a molecule to which the bacterium in question is sensitive can become a lottery.

We have to place an importance on strengthening our defence system, as these barriers are subjected to many threats: the complex of beneficial bacteria present in the gastrointestinal tract is our first line of defence against external aggressors.

Factors that reduce colonies of good bacteria are diverse (incorrect foods, poisoning, allergies, stress, etc.); if this is then combined, as often happens, with a therapy based on antibiotics, we can witness the devastation of beneficial bacteria, which leaves the field open for pathogenic microorganisms.

After the first line of defence, the bacteria will travel across to our immune system, and now weakened, this will leave the field open to diseases.

GSE, with its selective bactericidal action, may also be useful in prevention because it can be considered as a sort of "scavenger" in the gastrointestinal tract; it destroys pathogenic micro-organisms and favours development of physiological bacterial flora and, therefore, increases our natural defences.

Of particular interest then, for the purpose of prevention, would be a combination of GSE with lactic acid bacteria (for an intake of beneficial bacteria), natural elements that stimulate the immune system, plus (in cases of bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, flatulence) fibre, fermented maltodextrin, or other prebiotics.

GSE has been observed to inhibit the growth of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

Moreover, the activity of GSE is not affected by the pH of the environment in which it acts, unlike many other antimicrobial molecules that can operate at a defined pH.

Antiviral action:

GSE has been shown to be effective against many viral strains, such as Herpes Simplex type 1, Rhinovirus (colds) Swine Vesicular Disease, African Swine Fever and Avian Flu.

Often, too often, antibiotic therapies are used against viral diseases (mostly self-medication by the patient themself) in spite of the fact that an antibiotic is not capable of interfering with a viral infection; the only effect such cases have is to create antibiotic resistances.

However, GSE is effective in such cases, while avoiding the side effects and resistance that would be created by using antibiotic therapies inappropriately.

Antifungal action:

GSE has effectively combatted hundreds of moulds and yeasts including Candida albicans, which, as we know, is a normal inhabitant of the human body which, in the event of alterations to the intestinal flora and immune system (maybe just after antibiotic treatment) takes over and causes several problems.

It has also been shown to resolve 99% of cases of chronic Candidiasis (Dr. Leo Galland, New York).

Disinfectant action:

GSE has also been used to test extending the shelf-life of many foods; in these studies, it proved itself entirely capable of controlling some of the strains that frequently cause problems in humans, even serious ones: Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, Vibrio cholerae, Staphylococcus (typical pimples and abscesses), Streptococcus, Lysteria, Shigella dysenteriae, Chlamydia, etc .. Some studies have even confirmed its efficacy against Salmonella Enteritidis (good quality extracts with high levels of naringin and hesperidin).

For this purpose, we nebulise it over a foodstuff before packaging (without affecting its characteristics) or use films that are pre-impregnated with GSE.

A further gem:

In addition to the activities analysed here, it has also been confirmed that GSE displays a gastroprotective action in cases of gastric diseases and gastric ulcers, by inhibiting the secretion of highly inflammatory factors and favouring the activity of protective anti-inflammatory and repairing factors.

This set of effects, coupled to its confirmed antimicrobial activity gives us reason to believe GSE has a good reputation in the therapeutic field.

Method of use:

GSE can be used in several ways:

Orally, in doses from 2 to 10 drops, 2/3 times a day (in 100 ml of water or with a teaspoon of honey), alone or in combination with propolis and tea tree oils, in the event of chills, urinary infections ( cystitis due to faecal bacteria such as E. coli, S. faecalis, Proteus, Klebsiella, Enterobacter), urological infections, gastrointestinal infections.

Topical use:

On pimples, wounds, for douching (Candida), oral rinses (Oral Candida, Thrush), ear infections.

Inhalation route:

Best inserted in an aerosol form, alone or in combination, in the case of bronchial and / or breathing disorders.

Northview Pacific Laboratories has carried out a toxicological study that showed GSE is safe at levels exceeding 5,000 mg per kg of body weight.

Therefore, a person weighing 60 kg would be safe, even with a dose of 300,000 mg per day, (it is usually thought that the typical daily consumption of GSE should not exceed 1000 mg).

In other words, toxicological research has confirmed that GSE has no toxicity at the recommended doses over the short or long term.

Even the opinion of homeopaths does not object to treatment with GSE, as it does not interfere with homeopathic therapy.


A combination of grapefruit seed extract and concentrated cranberry juice as a potential antimicrobial preservative for the improvement of microbiological stability of hypromellose
gel.Bernatoniene J, Keraite R, Masteiková R, Pavilonis A, Savickas

A.Carbohydr Polym. 2014 Feb 15;102:708-16. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2013.10.099. Epub 2013 Nov 8.
Antimicrobial and physical-mechanical properties of agar-based films incorporated with grapefruit seed extract.

Kanmani P1, Rhim JW2.

Antimicrobial activity of grapefruit seed and pulp ethanolic extract.
Cvetnic Z1, Vladimir-Knezevic S.

J Altern Complement Med. 2002 Jun;8(3):333-40.
The effectiveness of processed grapefruit-seed extract as an antibacterial agent: II. Mechanism of action and in vitro toxicity.

Heggers JP1, Cottingham J, Gusman J, Reagor L, McCoy L, Carino E, Cox R, Zhao JG.


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