I was recommended grapefruit-seed extract by several people and did some research. It convinced me to a level I'm willing to try it but there was something that puzzled me:

A "Grapeseed-Extract-Guy" (Robert Franz) does an interview and tells that, in contrast to Germany, in the US and in Brazil, grapefruit-seed extract is successfully used in the hospitals for disinfection: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iD-I_uqJ5Co&t=2s (Minute 1:00, in German)

I looked into it and it seems grapefruit seeds really do have disinfection purposes. But is it correct that it's used in hospitals? And are there sources for that?


1 Answer 1


In summary, there is no reliable evidence to say that grapefruit-seed extract has any disinfection efficacy. It was found out that some commercial products have been adulterated with artificial disinfectants.

Some sources mention that grapefruit-seed extract has been used in hospitals in the United states; not to prevent/treat skin infections but to disinfect laundry and carpets.

According to Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, there is insufficient evidence to say that grapefruit-seed extract is effective in prevention or treatment of infections or other skin conditions.

This review Grapefruit Seed Extract as an Antimicrobial Agent (ReliasMedia, 2009) provides summaries of various studies - I added the links:

Researchers at a German Institute of Pharmacy tested six commercially available grapefruit seed extracts.10 Five of the six products showed strong antimicrobial activity against a range of bacteria, yeast, and other microbes. However, further analysis of these five active samples found they contained between 1.25% and 10% benzethonium chloride. The one sample which contained no benzethonium chloride also showed no antimicrobial activity. The researchers made their own grapefruit seed extract and it had no antimicrobial activity. (Pharmazie, 1999)

Of nine commercial grapefruit seed extract products purchased in the United States, seven contained benzethonium chloride (0.3-22%), three contained triclosan (0.01-1.13%). (Pharmazie, 2007)

Another investigation was conducted into grapefruit seed extracts used in farming as organic antimicrobial sprays.4 Nine products were tested, of which seven contained various synthetic chemicals, most commonly benzethonium chloride. (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2006)

In the most recent analysis published, 41 various products were purchased in Japan.12 These included food additives, cosmetics, dietary supplements, and disinfectant sprays. All but three contained one or more synthetic antimicrobials. (Shokuhin Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2008)

According to another review: The Adulteration of Commercial “Grapefruit Seed Extract” with Synthetic Antimicrobial and Disinfectant Compounds (American Botanical Council, 2012):

A significant amount, and possibly a majority, of ingredients, dietary supplements and/or cosmetics labeled as or containing grapefruit seed extract (GFSE) is adulterated, and any observed antimicrobial activity is due to synthetic additives, not the grapefruit seed extract itself.

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