Grapefruit Seed Extract Benefits Controversy: Adulterated Products on the Shelf

Grapefruit seed extract benefits(GFSE) have been praised for being antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-fungal—and has long been used by natural health advocates to treat cold sores…thrush…gingivitis…and gastrointestinal disturbances.

But according to the website Natural News, “a new review published in the American Botanical Council (ABC) journal HerbalGram claims that many, if not most, GFSE products on the market today contain synthetic preservatives, microbicides, and disinfectants that are not necessarily listed on their labels.” Natural News reports:

The idea behind grapefruit seed extract benefits is that it contains natural antimicrobial, antiseptic, and alkalizing properties that render it highly beneficial in a variety of clinical applications. Many GFSE users who take it internally say it has helped eliminate chronic infection, clear up colds and sinus infections, and even cure candida and other yeast and fungal overgrowth’s inside the body.

But the new review, compiled by Dr. John H. Cardellina, Ph.D., a natural product, organic, medicinal and analytical chemist, suggests that most commercially available GFSE products contain synthetic chemical components that are the true active ingredients. Actual grapefruit seed extract, suggests the review, does not contain antimicrobial properties, and is not the ingredient responsible for the beneficial effects that users experience.

The report states that, “A significant amount, and possibly a majority, of ingredients, dietary supplements and/or cosmetics labeled as or containing grapefruit seed extract benefits(GFSE) is adulterated, and any observed antimicrobial activity is due to synthetic additives, not the grapefruit seed extract itself.”

grapefruit seed extract benefits Although this report was recently released, the controversy about grapefruit seed extract benefits is actually long standing. Over the last 20 years, tests conducted in multiple laboratories have indicated that all commercial grapefruit seed extract benefits preparations that exhibited antimicrobial activity contained one or more synthetic microbicides/disinfectants.

In contrast, freshly prepared extracts of grapefruit seeds made with a variety of extraction solvents neither exhibited antimicrobial activity nor contained the antimicrobial synthetic compounds found in the commercial ingredient materials.

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