Grapefruit seed extract and gut flora

Answered on February 24, 2015
Created October 17, 2012 at 12:03 AM

Some protocols for treating pathogenic gut flora (particularly candida) include the use of grapefruit seed extract.

I used it about two years ago. I was in a sort of desperate and reckless state of trying to improve my health, so I a) did not use it very consistently and b) did not control other factors in a way that I could accurately observe the effects. I didn't document my experience with taking it either, so I don't really remember how I was taking it and for how long. What I do remember is that I generally maxed out the dosage recommended by the protocol I was loosely basing my usage off of (Attogram/Lahoz anti-candida protocol). All fabulous decisions, I know, but hey, those were dark times.

Somewhere in that time I started experiencing new symptoms which at this point I attribute to a change in either hormones, gut flora, or both. The most notable were the appearance of acne and remarkably toxic gas. I also started having strange digestive problems with some foods that didn't bother me before - beans (but don't eat them anymore anyways), certain nuts - macadamias, cashews, pistachios, and garlic and onions.

I've been supplementing with probiotics and cultured foods (kombucha and saurkraut) for about the past year and have greatly improved the gas problem. The acne worsens and improves for reasons I have yet to fully understand.

In trying to trace the onset and possible cause of these problems, I've wondered about the GSE. It seems plausible that it could have eradicated both pathogenic and beneficial gut flora and caused a negative change in my inner ecology, although protocols that recommend it purport that it is an anti-fungal and therefore shouldn't affect beneficial bacteria.

Does anyone have any experience using GSE? Any evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, about its benefits or risks? Thoughts on my theory?

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2 Answers


on March 12, 2013
at 04:23 PM

Your theory sounds correct. GSE probably upset your flora balance. Alternatively, it might have worked but if you kept on the same diet, even with probiotics, you might have continued to irritate your gut.

If the candida diet/GAPS/FODMAPS diets don't help you out, then resort to more extreme measures. Until then I suggest treating your whole system instead of trying to nuke the candida. Even though it feels weird to have an invasive species dwelling in our innards, they can be symptoms of other imbalances. We all have some number of them usually.

Also, I suggest taking it easy on the kombucha because it's sweet and caffeinated.

In my case, my worst enemy in terms of skin and gut flora is stress. It's hard to treat, but can really wear on a person.



on February 24, 2015
at 07:55 PM

As counter intuitive as it may sound, there are some strains of fungi in a healthy gut,exisisting symbiotically. the colonic biome is CRAZY COMPLEX!! multiple bacteria fungi, and {Archae?} crossfeed from each others metabolic wastes, and eventually produce the classic 'healthy colon food/environment' (lactic+acetic acid, butrates and other SCFA.). We know a thousand times more about the colonic biome then we knew 10 years ago ....but we still know nothing . heck recently it was descoverd that one byproduct of colonic fermentation is moderate amounts of aminobutryic acid, a neurotransmitter. ?? for me , the thing that cured(mostly), my daily, explosive diareah(due to antibiotic 'genocide') was increasing my fermentable fibre intake(type 2 resistant starch) . as far as im concerned, taking STRONG probiotics is useless/counterproductave. colon-ising(yep that was a gut joke) with a random percent of a random bacteria is a bad idea.it wasnt good for me anyway.the idea is to try reset the bacterial balance. to me the most logical place to start, is to revive all suppressed "factory settings" bacteria, which should redress the inbalance? Fermentation of ,FERMENTABLE fibre/stach, generates a defensive, acidic colon environment. the SCFA byproducts are also essential for colon health(google it, dammit!) since you are posting on the paleo forum, im guessing that your diet consists mainly of meat, and fat? i read a study which indicated that a flora inbalance , caused by eating mostly meat,could result in "good bacteria" surviving by fermenting bile, and the intestinal muccosal layer YIKES!!!! according to another study carnivores feed their gut bugs with "animal fibre"UURRGGH!! ALL The foods you have a problem with HAVE LARGE AMOUNTS OF FERMENTABLE FIBRE.Sounds like your gut CURRENTLY isnt propperly configured to convert all the metabolites to something usefull.i would suggest that you SLOWLY add all these foods to your WITH A FERMENTED FOOD/WEAK lactic acid forming PROBIOTIC (5 B CFU) to reduce gas.another tip is , dont suppliment with only 1 type of fermentable fiber, it will cause an inbalance! examples of fermentable fibres are ...FOS ,GOS ,inuin , pollyphenols,LACTOSE!!!,xylatol.....................................FRUIT&VEG!!!! Currently i consume roughly 150 grams of lactose a day, which my gut seems to like.it doesnt like resistant starch anymore? (posible bifido inbalance?) I digress. it is possible that you some a benificial fungus????? Other OPTIONS: i have read that some homemade kombuchas have dodgy strains of bacteriaand yeasts. be carefull. if you can,rather consume kefir, seems safer, also it contains many more strains of benificial yeast and bacteria. exposure to rural dirt is probably a good way to get good bug exposure. Last , and hopefully never is "fecal transplant therapy" i read that some American medical schemes are trying to get FCT to be recognised as treatment for ibs .uc,chrons... Good luck. We are both swimming in uncharted waters M

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