A quick post tonight to bring some badly needed information to the dog lovers who read this blog; if you’ve read anywhere that Grapefruit Seed Extract is a good, safe, “natural” product to use with your dogs, think again.
First a rundown on what people use GSE for. It’s been promoted chiefly as an antimicrobial agent, with often lengthy listings of it’s merits (and most of these are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic, but some of the more extreme (and unreliable sites) list “cancer, immune support, anti-viral” as well. To read these pages, you would think GSE is almost a panacea for everything that ails us. Some raw feeders actually soak the meat in a solution containing CSE, ostensibly to kill bacteria, although knowledgeable owners would understand the dogs own GI tract can deal effectively with most of those.
In short, GSE has been touted as a pure, natural safe antibiotic, antifungal, miracle product.
This is not, however, the truth of the matter.
“GSE is not safe to ingest, it’s not safe to put on your skin, and it’s not even safe to use in any manner where it will be released into the environment. Please don’t use it for parasites, don’t use it as an ingredient in “natural detergents” (Bio-Kleen uses GSE), in soaps and by no means expose your infants to it to “fight thrush”. Most GSE is more heavily laden with chemicals than Lysol.”
Jim MacDonald, Michigan herbalist http://www.herbcraft.org/index.htm
Wow – not exactly “natural” – triclosan? Parabens? REALLY?
The bottom line here is, that most commercial products are adulterated, and any that are not, truly don’t have the antimicrobial activity people seek from this product. So in a nutshell, either it’s dangerous because it’s loaded with noxious chemicals, or it’s dangerous in another sense because it doesn’t do what it’s purported to (if unadulterated).
“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. Tests conducted in multiple laboratories over almost 20 years indicated that all commercial GFSE preparations that exhibited antimicrobial activity contained one or more synthetic microbicides/disinfectants, while freshly-prepared extracts of grapefruit seeds made with a variety of extraction solvents neither exhibited antimicrobial activity nor contained the antimicrobial synthetic compounds found in the commercial ingredient materials.”
American Botanical Council article, 2012 http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbalgram/issue94/QUALCONTROL_gfse.html?ts=1397091232&signature=21eeeaed2c82b5b5582c8e583e6de7da
I have not posted about this sooner because it seemed to me, everybody knows about this now…fifteen years ago we were all using GSE, even a decade back – but much like mega-dosing dogs with VitaminC or feeding an all-chicken diet, we know now that GSE is bad stuff. But I was in error – I actually came upon mention of GSE just recently…all the more shockingly, to me, in that it was encouraged by a practitioner of natural health, a professional. I know we all get busy and that it can be hard to keep up with current information all the time, but come on…we’ve known about GSE for years. Please don’t use it – and be careful what information you trust.
NOTE: don’t confuse Grapefruit Seed Extract with Grapeseed extract – these are two very different products, the latter is a healthy and safe supplement that can be used supportively for cardiovascular health and for its potent antioxidant properties.
Here’s to happy, healthy, safe dogs – always.