Grapefruit tree or “forbidden fruit” is a citrus tree. Hence, its fruit gives a lot of benefits. Therefore, we can use its juice, seed, and pulp. Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) is a supplement. By mixing the ground grapefruit seed, pulp to glycerin, it becomes the GSE. Also, it serves as a dietary supplement and an ingredient in cosmetics.
1. Germ Killer
One use of grapefruit seed extract is it helps in killing microbes. It has compounds that may kill 60 types of bacteria and yeasts. Therefore, it breaks down the outer membranes of the bacteria. As a result, they explode after exposure to GSE.
2. Source of Antioxidants
GSE has lots of antioxidants. Hence, these antioxidants protect the body from free radicals. There are cases where levels of free radicals in your body grow too high. Additionally, it will cause oxidative damage and may lead to diseases. Diseases include heart disease and diabetes. Also, grapefruit extract is a good source of vitamin E and other nutrients. It also has an ingredient, which gives the fruit its bitter taste. However, it has strong antioxidant abilities. In a study, it protected the tissues of mice from radiation damage. Still, there must be more studies on how it affects humans.
3. Protects Stomach
Moreover, based on animal studies, it can protect the stomach from alcohol and stress. These two causes damage to the stomach. Also, it increases blood flow in the stomach lining. As a result, it prevents ulcers and other lesions. This extract can kill bacteria that cause stomach inflammation and ulcer.
4. Treats Some Infections
For people with UTI, taking the grapefruit diet may treat their infection. In this study, participants ate six grapefruit seeds every eight hours for two weeks. It is not true that the seed can cure all infections. There is still a lack of proof for this statement.
5. Good for the Heart
GSE may reduce risk factors of heart disease. These risks are high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes. Studies in animals show that grapefruit seed extract can reduce these risk factors. As a result, it also lowers the chance of having heart disease. The lab rats used the extract for 31 days. It lowered their blood sugar and cholesterol levels. As a result, they also weighed less compared to rats who did not get GSE. There must be more research to prove this benefit in humans.
6. Increases Blood Flow
GSE increases blood flow to tissues. It may prevent injuries in humans. Our body needs a steady flow of blood to do its job. But during blood clots or stroke, there is a limit in the blood flow. Later, the cells in a certain area may die. In a study, GSE reduced damage and inflammation from rats with limited blood flow.
7. House Cleaning
Grapefruit extract is not only a germ killer in the body. You may use it in the house. You can add or use it to your laundry as a humidifier or kill germs on surfaces.
8. Potential Contaminants
Unlike prescription drugs, the market sells GSE as a supplement. So, its quality and purity are not regulated. There are reports where commercial GSE had synthetic compounds and preservatives.
9. Effect with Other Medication
Moreover, due to the lack of research done in humans, its side effects with other medications are also lacking. Ask a doctor or pharmacist before taking GSE along with other drugs.
10. May Kill Good Bacteria
We need good bacteria in our bodies. As GSE can kill germs, it can also kill good bacteria if taken for a long period.
11. Abnormal Heart Rate
Taking grapefruit juice can increase the risk of having a problem with the heartbeat. That is why it is important to take grapefruit juice in moderation.
12. Hormone Sensitive Cancers
Too much of the grapefruit diet may increase hormone levels. This raise increases the risk of hormone-sensitive conditions. This juice may increase estrogen levels in women’s bodies. There is less breaking down of estrogen. High levels of this hormone may increase the risk of breast cancer.
Pregnant women must talk to a doctor before taking GSE. GSE is good for your health. However, it needs more studies to prove some of its uses. Do not take too much GSE.