Paleo and Alcohol
In order for vanilla extract to be called pure, the FDA requires it to consist of at least 35% alcohol and 100g of vanilla beans per liter of extract. Although alcohol fits into the “maybe” category, vanilla beans are absolutely Paleo-friendly, and since you’re not chugging bottles of vanilla extract, you don’t have to worry about the alcohol content, although they might check your I.D. when you go to buy a bottle (true story).
Health Benefits of Vanillin
The vanilla flavor of vanilla extract is provided mostly by vanillin, which has some proven health benefits, but only in ridiculously high quantities. You probably won’t be consuming enough to ward off heart disease or cancer, but it’s good to know that this stuff is beneficial, rather than harmful.
Mark Sisson answered some questions on vanilla extract in this post.