Can Grapefruit Essential Oil Help Manage Symptoms Of Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic illness that occurs when your glucose levels are too high. This condition can be categorized as either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. (via Mayo Clinic). Symptoms can vary depending on which type you have, but can include frequent urination, mood changes, lethargy, and blurred vision, to name a few. While some people may have no symptoms of diabetes at all, others may wonder if there's anything they can do to better manage them.

As it turns out, grapefruit essential oil may help reduce the effects of certain chronic health conditions such as diabetes, according to Medical News Today. This type of oil is produced as a result of cold-pressing grapefruit peel (via WebMD). While much of the existing research is limited, it does suggest that grapefruit oil may help you manage diabetes better, particularly when it comes to weight-management and slowing the growth of infections.

Weight management benefits

According to Mayo Clinic, weight gain from taking insulin is a common occurrence. However, some research shows that grapefruit essential oil could help in managing weight while living with diabetes (via Medical News Today). A 2015 study from the Journal of Medicinal Food tested obese rats and the effect that consuming grapefruit extract had on their weight. During the 5-week study, researchers concluded that the rats who consumed the extract had reduced weight gain, a lower level of insulin resistance, and less inflammation. 

Further compelling, a 2007 study from the Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing may help attest to the benefit of grapefruit oil for weight loss. The study examined the effects of topically applying a blend of essential oils, including grapefruit oil. For the duration of the study, participants who used this oil blend to massage their abdomens twice a day for five days, and who received a once-weekly full-body aromatherapy massage by a researcher with the blend, lost more belly fat and had a reduced waistline over the course of six weeks.

It can help fight infections

A person with uncontrolled diabetes is more likely to be affected by an imbalance of Candida albicans (per Cleveland Clinic).  This is a type of yeast that resides in small amounts on different parts of the body. Some of the most common areas include the mouth and skin, and when it starts to outgrow your body's healthy bacteria, it develops into an infection. One of those infections can be a vaginal yeast infection, which are common for those with diabetes (via Healthline). 

However, one study shows that grapefruit essential oil's antimicrobial and antibacterial properties could be effective in fighting against Candida albicans. According to a 2016 article published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, 30 different vaginal strains of Candida albicans were tested for sensitivity to 12 essential oils. Grapefruit essential oil was one of three essential oils, along with basil and tea tree, that effectively prevented the growth of yeast by 35%. The results show that these reductions were more than twice the effectiveness of a commonly used drug for Candida albicans, clotrimazole.  

Despite this research, there is still much to learn about grapefruit extract's role in treating infections. Thus, you always want to speak with a healthcare provider about the best treatment options, particularly when it comes to the safe use of essential oils