Grapefruit seed extract: Infection and prevention

HSI e-Alert Week in Review


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In several e-Alerts, HSI Panelist Allan Spreen, M.D., has recommended grapefruit seed extract (GSE), which he describes as a “natural antibiotic made from an extract of grapefruit seed.” GSE use developed from the observation that something in grapefruit keeps bacteria at bay for extended periods of time.

But can a natural antibiotic like GSE contribute to antibiotic resistance? An HSI member named Juanita starts off an HSI Forum thread titled “Grapefruit Seed Extract” with this comment and question:

“I have used Grapefruit Seed Extract in the past for an infection with good results, but wonder if I could be creating a resistance problem further down the road if I don’t take the GSE for a long enough period of time (such as suggested by prescription medications). My main issue with the prescription antibiotics is that they seem to wreak havoc with my system for almost 60 to 90 days after taking them, but I don’t have that particular problem with GSE.”

In the e-Alert “Be AfraidBe Very Afraid – Part II” (10/17/02), Dr. Spreen noted that resistance has not occurred against GSE. A member named Tami has found this to be the case after using GSE for some time. She writes: “I can tell you from my experience, it seems to become more effective as I have used it more. I have recovered from sinus infections withOUT the antibiotics the doctors say you must have to recover from them, and now I regularly use the GSE nose spray and have not had a sinus infection for over a year! For someone who had gotten them 4-5 times a year for about 6 years, this borders on miraculous!”

A member named Graham follows up Tami’s posting with this question: “Can anyone tell me how to mix and use GSE to combat sinus?”

Tami’s answer: “For sinus, I buy the nasal spray, then I’m not worrying about proper mixing.”

For general usage, Dr. Spreen recommends taking GSE in capsule form, following the suggested dosage on the label. He adds, “The full-strength liquid GSE is bitter beyond comprehension, and must be diluted. The advantage of GSE is that there are different forms available, such as throat spray, ear drops, topical, etc.”

Other topics on the HSI Forum this week include:

  • What is gout pain like?
  • Glyconutritionals
  • How to take rice bran oil
  • Best bargain for organic meats?
  • Psoriasis
  • Question about how to handle stress
You can easily reach the Forum on our web site at Just click on “Forum,” and join in with any of the dozens of discussions about nutrition and natural health care.


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Saturday, February 5, 2005

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Jonathan V. Wright, M.D., is nothing less than a legend in the fields of naturopathic medicine and nutritional biochemistry. While pioneering safe and natural therapies, Dr. Wright has developed lifesaving protocols for thousands of patients. Find out more about Dr. Wright’s secrets to health and longevity in his monthly newsletter, Nutrition & Healing.

Monday, February 7, 2005
Cool Under Pressure

High blood pressure risk may be alleviated by increasing your intake of a key nutrient proven to promote heart health. We’ll look at a Harvard study of more than 93,000 women that confirms this link, and tell you about the foods that contain the highest concentrations of the nutrient.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005
Show of Support

Hepatitis C is a common blood-borne infection that can lead to cirrhosis (a debilitating liver disease) and can even transform into primary liver cancer. When an HSI member asks about nutritional support for hepatitis C, HSI Panelist Allan Spreen, M.D., reviews the supplements that may help manage this critical condition.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005
Cell Mate

A new study reveals that a mild iron deficiency – well short of anemia – may be all that’s needed to impair cognitive function. But simply loading up on iron isn’t the answer. In fact, too much of the wrong kind of iron can do more harm than good. We’ll give you the lowdown on which nutrients provide safe and effective prevention of anemia.

Thursday, February 10, 2005
Power Point

As we grow older our cells need help in maintaining the mitochondria that serve as cellular powerplants. When the mitochondria break down, chronic disorders such as heart muscle disease and type 2 diabetes are the result. We’ll tell you about the simple steps you can take to prevent the loss and impairment of vitally important mitochondria.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
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