Update 3rd February 2009
Grapefruit Seed Extract used to be known as GSE until Grape Seed Extract became popular.
Please note the differences:
Grapefruit Seed Extract is now known as GFSE
Grape Seed Extract is known as GSE.
GFSE is from Grapefruits
GSE is from Grapes
Two totally different fruits with different nutritional properties.
Processed GFSE is known for its antimicrobial properties which the article below shows comes from the chemical used in conjunction with grapefruit seeds. In layman’s language is it used to kill germs.
GSE is used as an antioxidant. In layman’s language to combat the effects of oxidants which can be cancer causing.
When I first wrote this article in 2007 I used the letters GSE to describe Grapefruit Seed Extract. For the sake of clarity I have changed the abbreviation in this article to GFSE.
Sometime ago I bought some Organic Grapefruit Seed Extract – cold pressed and no chemicals used in the process. It purported to have the same anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties as the product called Citricidal or the non-organic grapefruit seed extract but without the nasty chemicals.
I used it on myself and found no benefits whatsoever.
I had in the past used Citricidal for stomach upsets and for athlete’s foot when I ran out of tea-tree to great effect.
I asked a friend of mine to test the cold-pressed organic grapefruit seed extract for anti-microbial activity in the lab where she worked. She could only test it for anti-bacterial effects.
It proved not to have any, infact the Organic Cold-Pressed grapefruit seed extract grew bacteria, it didn’t kill it.
What follows is an email string to another company who produce grapefruit seed extract using a chemical or something to extract the extract.
To Company A
Dear Sir or Madam
Can you explain why an organic cold-pressed grapefruit seed extract when tested in a laboratory had NO anti-bacterial effects and actually grew bacteria?
Doesn’t this prove that the chemically extracted grapefruit seed extract has anti-microbial effects because of the chemical benzethonium chloride which is also known to have anti-microbial effects itself?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Mrs Marianne Gutierrez
Please see this Certificate of Analysis http://www.pureliquidgold.com/Rebuttal.htm for our product! I stand by what the manufacturer says in our product i cannot speak for other accusations!
Thank you for the link, I read that report.
What I don’t understand is that the cold-pressed organic grapefruit seed extract had no anti-bacterial effect. How do you explain that?
Surely if grapefruit seeds had an anti-microbial effect then chewing a grapefruit seed would be helpful? So why doesn’t everyone do that?
I look forward to your response.
With good wishes
Grapefruit seed extract is manufactured using a proprietary process that enhances it’s potency as shown below!
How is Grapefruit Extract Made?
Grapefruit extract (GFSE) is made by first converting grapefruit seeds and pulp into a very acidic liquid. This liquid is loaded with polyphenolic compounds, including quercitin, helperidin, campherol glycoside, neohelperidin, naringin, apigenin, rutinoside, poncirin, etc.
The polyphenols themselves are unstable but are chemically converted into more stable substances that belong to a diverse class of products called quaternary ammonium compounds. Some quaternary compounds, benzethonium chloride and benzalkonium chloride, for example, are used industrially as antimicrobials, but are toxic to animal life. The B vitamin choline is also a quaternary compound, but is nontoxic and even essential for maintaining healthy neurological function and fat metabolism.
Grapefruit extract features the best of both worlds. While evidencing none of the toxic side-effects of chemically-derived quaternaries.
The finished product is a viscous, yellow-amber colored liquid that features a taste that is both bitter and acidic. Pure vegetable glycerin is added to reduce the bitterness and acidity to a tolerable level and to reduce the possibility that incidental contact could cause irritation to the skin or mucous membranes. Grapefruit seed extract has a slight citrus smell.
I really don’t mean to be a pain but I don’t understand.
Surely the proprietary process that enhances the potency of GFSE is benzalkonium chloride?
If it is present in chemically derived GFSE but not present in organic GFSE it proves the presence of benzalkonium chloride?
How is the conversion made? Surely the answer is: with benzalkonium chloride.
How is grapefruit seeds and pulp converted into a very acidic liquid? Surely the answer is: with benzalkonium chloride?
How are the polyphenals chemically converted? Surely the answer is: with benzalkonium chloride?
Why doesn’t the grapefruit seed extract have none of the toxic side-effects of chemically derived quaternaries?
I really don’t mean to be a nuisence. I would love to trust GFSE because it could be such a useful product but the side-effects of benzalkonium chloride I do not want.
Thank you for your help.
Maybe you should ask the people who keep claiming that GFSE contains these chemicals to prove their point! I can only offer manufacturer information! I am not in a position to offer any further information. If you want you can read the manufacturers page for more information http://www.biochemresearch.com/citricidal.htm Personally i view all this as nothing less than a smear campaign by big pharma that cannot tolerate the low cost alternative? I get rather tired of defending our product against unfounded claims made by anyone and everyone!
To Company B
Dear Sir or Madam
I am interested in grapefruit seed extract but because of CFS/ME do not want to take in chemicals of any kind in the same way that I try and avoid foods with pesticides and choose organic produce where possible.
I know that a chemical benzalkonium chloride is used to extract the extract from the pulp and seeds of grapefruits in ‘ordinary’ grapefruit seed extract.
However what I don’t understand is the differences between organic cold-pressed grapefruit seed extract and ‘ordinary’ grapefruit seed extract.
In a laboratory the cold-pressed grapefruit seed extract showed to have NO anti-bacterial effect. So what is causing the anti-bacterial effect in ‘ordinary’ grapefruit seed extract?
Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
Mrs Marianne Gutierrez
Dear Ms Guttierrez
Our product is synthesized from grapefruit through a proprietary process that produces a quaternary compount. Our product does not use nor contain benzalkonium chloride.
Pure cold pressed grapefruit seed extract has no antimicrobial properties.
Confused? So am I. I think I am being blinded with science. However the last statement says it all really.
So as cold pressed grapefruit seed extract has no antimicrobial properties then with non-cold-pressed grapefruits it must be the unnatural process itself that is used to obtain the extract that must have the antimicrobial activities. Therefore antimicrobial properties have never been naturally present in the natural grapefruit seed itself.
You must decide for yourselves. I would love to have your thoughts.
However in the meantime, an excellent, very safe antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal product is Colloidal Silver Everyone should have this in their First Aid cupboard.