Protective effect of grapefruit on gastric mucosa

In the treatment of gastritis and ulcer diseases, there is a growing tendency to strengthen the gastric mucosa and thus buffer the irritant effect of gastric acids. Plant substances are used to contribute to cytoprotection of the mucosa, improve microcirculation in the gastric mucosa and accelerate cell renewal, especially in the ulcer development phase (2). Grapefruit seed extract plays an important role in this indication framework. Extract is produced from the seeds and flesh of Citrus paradisi (grapefruit) in a patented process. The polyphenols contained are converted into a stable quaternary compound. These bioactive plant substances (phenols, flavonoids) have antioxidant properties and have a particularly strong cytoprotective effect on the mucosa cells of the gastric mucosa. This is probably caused by an improved effect of the neurotransmitter NO and an increased microcirculation in the tissue (3). The latter appears to be caused by an improvement in the formation of certain neuropeptides by plant flavonoids (4). Flavones naringin and hesperidin have also been identified as active ingredients (5). The antibacterial and antifungal properties of grapefruit seed extract have also been proven in studies.

The extract is effective against more than 800 bacteria and virus groups, 100 fungal species and a large number of single-cell and multicell parasites (1). The active principle seems to be the breaking open of the bacterial membranes by certain substances of the grapefruit seed extract within 15 minutes (1). The effectiveness against yeasts has also been demonstrated (5).


1) Heggers, J. P. et al. 2002. The effectiveness of processed grapefruit- seed extract as an antibacterial agent. J Altern Complement Med. 8(3):333-40

  1. Wagner, H., Wiesenauer, M. 2003. Phytotherapie. Phytopharmaka und pflanzliche Homöopathika.
  2. Zayachkivska, O. S. et al. 2004. Influence of plantoriginated gastroprotective and antiulcer substances on gastric mucosal repair. Fiziol ZH. 50(6):118-27
  3. Zayachkivska, O.S. et al. 2005. Gastroprotective effects of flavonoides in plant extracts. J Physiol Pharmacol. 56 Suppl 1:219-31
  4. Cvetnic, Z., Vladimir-Knezevic, S. 2004. Antimicrobal activity of grapefruit seed and pulp ethanol extract. Acta Pharm. 54(3):243-50