Grapefruit is a type of citrus fruit that is most commonly used as a type of food. It is commonly found in grocery stores all over the world. People consume the flesh and zest of the fruit, but extracts from the peel and the seeds are sometimes used as a form of medicine for certain conditions. Most commonly, medicinal use comes from grapefruit seed extract, which is obtained as a byproduct of processing the grapefruit seeds and pulp when grapefruit juice is made.
Among the reasons for which grapefruit seed extract is taken is for bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, as well as yeast infections. That said, more recently, it has started to make its way into the weight loss supplement industry. This could be because some people believe that eating grapefruits can help to reduce cholesterol due to the vitamin C, fiber, pectin, potassium, and antioxidants that it contains. It could also be because the high level of fiber and citric acid is sometimes considered to be helpful in detoxing efforts by certain people – a highly controversial practice that is used at the start of many diets.
That said, it is important to point out that it has not been proven effective for use either as a weight loss supplement or as a cholesterol reducing ingredient. While grapefruit is deemed to be safe for most healthy people when taken as food, it is considered to be only possibly safe when it is taken orally for medicinal purposes.
Moreover, the use of grapefruit is considered to be possibly unsafe if it is taken orally in large amounts. Not only is there a chance of adverse reactions simply because too much has been taken – and the maximum safe amount has not yet been identified – but it also comes with a considerable risk of interactions with other medications.
Grapefruits – both the fruits and the extracts – interact with a very long list of medications, many of which are highly common, such as blood pressure medication. This fruit has been found to change the way that many medications function and it could, therefore, be dangerous for many dieters to take, depending on their medical histories and the prescription and nonprescription pills that they are taking.
Before taking grapefruit seed extract supplements for any reason, it is highly recommended that you speak with a doctor, as there are many reasons for which this ingredient could be potentially harmful to an individual who seems to be healthy, otherwise.