Evaluating Grapefruit Seed Extract
Even though this supplement has been in my main ‘must have’ supplements for a long time, it is actually one of the most difficult supplements to write about. This is because it is shrouded with controversy from every direction. But today I am going to take it on because I personally believe it is wonderful and I would not hesitate to use it as needed. So I am going to share with you a variety of links touting both sides and also tell you how I decided to look at it objectively on a need to know basis for my own health.
GSE is the shortened name for this product. It makes it quick to type and talk about but it is HUGE in varied opinions. So later in this blog, I am going to tell you why I took it and what it did for me.
If you have read this blog from end to end you would know that in April 2013 I had fascia surgery and wound up with an infection called Pseudomonas. Honestly I had never heard of it before then but I was warned that I needed serious strategies in my care, so as not to allow this infection out into my blood stream. I did not understand how serious it was until I looked it up. Then to make matters worse, I had the worse general care physician in the world, who did not help me and would not follow my doctors’ orders. I wrote all about it last year so I am not going to bore you again as it is all here on this blog.
Anyway because the treatment did not get underway soon enough due to this awful doctor, I wound up taking eight times the normal dosage of an antibiotic drug called Gentamicin. It is an old drug that comes back into play when someone has these serious infections and are in grave danger. My new local doctor did not take dosing me with this drug lightly and decided I should be in a hospital for two days before I could go home and have the treatment continue for a total of fourteen days. During that time, blood tests were done frequently to check the levels in my blood. The fear was that I would have hearing damage. However I wound up with something else. This will explain it.
Gentamicin is a commonly used antibiotic medication. Gentamicin toxicity is the most common single known cause of bilateral vestibulopathy, accounting for 15 to 50% of all cases. Bilateral vestibulopathy, discussed in more detail here, occurs when the balance portions of both inner ears are damaged. The symptoms typically include imbalance and visual symptoms. The imbalance is worse in the dark, or in situations where footing is uncertain. Spinning vertigo is unusual. The visual symptoms, called oscillopsia, only occur when the head is moving. Quick movements of the head are associated with transient visual blurring. This can cause difficulties with seeing signs while driving, or recognizing faces while walking.
When a person has bilateral vestibular damage, such as may result from Gentamicin toxicity, they may experience oscillopsia. When the head is moving, objects blur. When driving, one may be unable to see signs clearly on a bumpy road. Other than gentamicin, there are numerous other ototoxins, but most mainly affect hearing. This one is me and it makes life very difficult. In fact it has changed just about everything in my life and worse yet there is NO cure. I will give you the link at the bottom of this blog.
Hindsight being what it is, had I known how debilitating this would be to my life, I would rather have been taking a large dosage of GSE and hope for a cure, than wind up like I am, but I took the large dose of gentamicin out of fear of sepsis. However, now I look at the world and drugs in a whole different way and I cannot turn back the clock. It is because of this blog that other women have been saved the same fate of this drug as me and when they read about what happened to me, they had their treatment changed.
But back to GSE. It is very strange to me that this particular herbal supplement has been so highly evaluated and discussed. It can be extremely confusing to say the least, and scary. However, IF THEY SCRUTINIZED every antibiotic in the same way, I have no doubt the public results would be far more shocking. I also wonder why this supplement has been so heavily evaluated. Could it be that the drug company’s worry it will cut into their profits if we the people decide to try it instead of taking their antibiotics? I definitely wonder. So that is how I decided to think about GSE and I later turned to it when I worried about my health a couple of months later.
First up is a site who has given a description and general use. This is a paragraph from this link.
General use: GSE is a broad spectrum bactericide, fungicide, antiviral, and antiparasitic compound. When used in vitro, GSE has been shown to be highly effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria, including Staphyloccus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, Salmonella typhi, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Shigella dysenteriae, Legionella pneumoniae, Clostridium tetani, Diploccus pneumoniae, and many others. GSE also strongly inhibits many types of pathogenic fungi and yeast.
Examples of external uses of GSE include:
mouth and lips: mouthwash, mouth ulcers, thrush, bad breath, cracked lips, sunburned lips, and cold sores
teeth and gums: plaque, tooth decay, toothaches, tooth extraction, gingivitis, and toothbrush cleaner
nose and sinuses: sinusitis, runny nose (rhinitis), and nasal ulcer
throat: sore throat, tonsillitis, coughs, hoarseness, and laryngitis
ears: ear cleaning, earaches, and inflammation of the middle ear (otitis media) in conjunction with internal use
face: acne and shaving
scalp and hair: shampoo, dandruff, itching scalp, and head lice
skin: small cuts, skin abrasions, scratches, minor burns, rashes, dermatitis, psoriasis, shingles, eczema, nettle rash, insect bites and stings, tick and leech bites, leg ulcers, warts, and skin fungi
feet: athlete’s foot, sweaty feet, calluses, corns, blisters, nail fungi, and cuticular infections
vagina and genitals: vaginitis, yeast infections, vaginal parasites, feminine hygiene, and fungal and parasitic diseases in the male genital area
Examples of internal uses include:
acute and chronic inflammations in general
colds and flu
vastritis and gastric and duodenal ulcers
Candida albicans and other fungal diseases
Note: Psudamonas is on the list.
Next up an article about cancer and I took the following paragraph about that subject and GSE.
Thanks to research coming out of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, and published in the medical journal Cancer Letters, those suffering from colon and rectal cancers might soon be able to ditch the cancer-causing ‘medicine’ called chemotherapy, and instead utilize a simple herbal extract with better success. Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) has recently been proven to prohibit cancerous cell growth and to instigate cancer cell death.
The bioactive compounds in grapefruit seed extract are what make chemotherapy seem like an archaic form of treatment, especially considering that chemo and radiation treatments can backfire and cause cancer to come back from remission 10 times stronger than when it was first detected. These treatments kill healthy cells, but GSE compounds including curcumin and resveratrol leave healthy cells in tact while demolishing cancerous ones.
GSE is so effective that it treats stage IV cancers with astonishing success. One of the doctors involved with the study stated “It required less than half the concentration of GSE to suppress cell growth and kill 50 percent of stage IV cells than it did to achieve similar results in the stage II cells.” They go on to explain that GSE targets multiple mutations in cells to eliminate them and stop their proliferation in the body.
Next up, infections and GSE. Link will be provided at the bottom of this blog.
How grapefruit seed extract can help combat antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are something I first reported on nearly 20 years ago. And from the reports I receive, the problem is continuing to get worse. As you probably know, the problem stems from the misuse (abuse) of antibiotics in both humans and farm animals. The way that this antibiotic abuse produces super-strains of bacteria reminds me of the old saying, “If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger.”
Antibiotics don’t kill all the targeted bacteria right away. Instead, some survive a bit longer, perhaps for a few hours or a few days. And when patients who are given antibiotics don’t take the drug properly—in particular, stopping the drug when they begin to feel better, instead of finishing the entire prescribed course—the more resistant bacteria that survived the initial exposure are the ones left to reproduce. Repeating the process in hundreds or thousands of patients produces a new, mutated strain of bacteria that’s completely resistant to the given drug.
Last up the never ending question concerning the controversial way GSE is manufactured and any resulting chemical.
As you can see, this isn’t a truly natural process, it being treated with hydrochloric acid and ammonium chloride. After all the chemical reactions occur, the final composition of the extract is made up of about 60% diphenol hydroxybenzene, a chemical classified as a quaternary ammonium chloride–the same as benzethonium chloride. In fact, it is nearly chemically identical to benzethonium chloride. This is one possible reason that lab tests have shown GSE to be “contaminated” with benzethonium chloride–the equipment possibly misread the diphenol hydroxybenzene.
Typically, when a truly natural extract is made, plant matter is let to steep in a solvent such as water (as in making tea), in alcohol (like the vanilla extract you’d use in baking), or in glycerin (like with many herbal supplements you’d find at the health food stores) to extract the plant’s beneficial or desirable compounds, whether it be a flavor, smell, or antioxidant. It’s a one or two step process that doesn’t involve other chemical processing. GSE is clearly not a natural extract, but a synthetic ingredient, considering it goes through 7 steps of processing and the extract doesn’t retain the original compounds present in grapefruit.
So now you have to decide how you feel about taking this supplement or if you want to take it, but I am now going to tell you when I took it and why.
Around two months after my last surgery last year I was struggling to get well. Then I began having some symptoms of another problem. I read up and knew I was having gall bladder problems and it was agony. The thought of having yet another surgery was way too much for my mind and my body, so I tried some of the remedies I found on line and none worked well, so when I woke up during one night and could barely walk across the floor, doubled up in pain, I reached for two capsules of GSE and took them with water on an empty stomach. I lay down and the symptoms improved within an hour and within a couple of hours I was fine. So I took it for a few days and did well. If I even suspected a small rebound, I took one capsule. Within a couple of weeks I stopped taking it and have not taken it since. I have had no more gall bladder problems since and I am very grateful.
GSE is not something I would take every day, but now I know more and the consequences of gentamicin, I would certainly have tried it before that drug. It’s a lesson learned.
This is the one in my cabinet, 100mg strength.
I began looking at all drugs differently after the ototoxicity and ‘no cure’ of the drug damage by gentamicin and look at them the same way I view the prescription drug adverts on TV. People who seem to be living in a paradise fantasy world shown in those touting the wonderful cures of the advertised drug, versus the terrible side effects listed at the bottom of the ad. My eyes are now open and I can see! I no longer look at one thing, I look at them all and base decisions I make with what I have to live with after the side effects. I hope you will do the same.
Description & general use of GSE
Cancer and GSE read this
Infections & GSE read this
Last the controversial chemical issue with GSE read this
How bad can Pseudomonas get when it goes into the bloodstream? This bad
Want to know more about gentamicin and other drugs in the same family and the results of Ototoxicity to them? Read this