Grape Seeds Fight Yeast Infections and Candida in Mice, Study Shows
In small quantities, many yeasts that live your digestive system are harmless. However, under the right conditions, some of them, such as Candida albicans, may begin to multiple in an uncontrolled manner and cause health problems, such as yeast infections (candidiasis). If you're prone to getting regular yeast infections, take note: In a recent study, grape seed extract (GSE) was found to fight yeast infections caused by Candida albicans in mice. Obviously, this does not prove that grape seeds will have the same effect in humans, but the results of this study are nevertheless promising. Here's the full scoop:
Study set-up and results
In a 2007 study, a researcher from Dongduk Women's University in Seoul, Korea, investigated the effects of grape seed extract on the growth of Candida albicans and candidiasis (thrush) in mice, both with and without Amphotericin B. Amphotericin B, or Amp B for short, is a popular drug for fungal infections, but it can cause severe side effects such as renal damage. To mitigate these side effects, Amp B is often combined with azole anti-fungals, but research shows that Candida albicans are becoming increasingly resistant to azole. The aim of the author of the Grape Seed & Candida study, which was published in the November 2007 issue of the journal Phytomedicine, was to evaluate whether it could make sense to use grape seed extract in anti-candida formulations in place of azole anti-fungals.
The results seemed promising: The grape seed extract alone was shown to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans cells in mice, and those mice that received grape seed extract before getting candidiasis were found to survive longer than the mice in the control group. This anti-candida effect of the grape seed extract was found to be dose-dependent, meaning that the protective activity against yeast infections became stronger as the dose of grape seed extract was increased.
The results of the combination therapy – administration of grape seed extract plus Amp B – were also striking. Infected mice treated with the combination formula survived on average 38 days – that is 24 days longer than the control group that only received Amp B.
Don't be too hasty to draw conclusions
Despite the promising results of treating yeast infections with grape seed extract demonstrated in the murine model, it is still too early to say whether grape seeds can help prevent or control Candida overgrowth in humans. However, even if grape seeds turn out to be a poor remedy for yeast infections in humans, there are still many reasons why you might want to snack on fresh grapes (including the seeds!). To learn more, check out the in-depth article Eating Whole Grape Seeds Offers Many Health Benefits.