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Bitter orange Promote weight loss

Description of bitter orange

Bitter oranges are the fruits of sour oranges. From its origins in Southeast Asia, through Egypt, Arabia, and Syria, this tree's cultivation and the culinary, aromatic, and medicinal uses of its fruit have conquered Asia and Europe.
Various essential oils were produced in the Mediterranean, where the sour orange has been cultivated since the XIII th century. Bitter orange oil is extracted by cold pressing the peel; small grain oil is extracted by distilling the leaves; and neroli oil is extracted by distilling the flowers.
Bitter orange essences are used to flavor a variety of beverages and culinary preparations, as well as in the formulation of perfumes. It is used in the pharmaceutical industry to mask the unpleasant taste of certain drugs. Sedative, digestive, antidepressant, and antispasmodic properties are also attributed to these essential oils. These essential oils have enjoyed some popularity in the West in the past, particularly as light sedatives, but they are less popular today, and they are primarily used in the food and perfume industries.

bitter orange

Bitter orange's history

For millennia, an extract of immature bitter orange (Zhi shi) or its peel (Zhi qiao) has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat a variety of digestive and cardiovascular diseases. In China, cooked immature bitter oranges are frequently used in culinary recipes.
Synephrine, a chemical found in bitter oranges, has a dilating impact on the airways. Synephrine, like ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, is used in decongestant medications for this reason.
Medical authorities in various Western countries began to be concerned about the negative effects of ephedrine when combined with caffeine in the late 1990s. These two chemicals were found in products designed to help people lose weight (see our Ephedra sheet). Manufacturers then came up with the notion of substituting a bitter orange peel extract for the ephedra or ephedrine in their product, saying that it had a thermogenic effect (which increases metabolic activity and therefore , helps to burn more calories by the body).
The prohibition on the sale of ephedra-containing products (enacted in Canada in 2002 and in the United States in 2003) has resulted in the proliferation of preparations containing caffeine and an extract of bitter orange peel. To learn more about the safety of these products, read our pharmacist's opinion.
The bitter orange peel includes synephrine and N-methyltyramine, which led to the development of an adrenergic pharmaceutical medication by Chinese doctors towards the end of the 1990s (stimulating action similar to that of adrenaline ). They got an extract that was in reality a true sympathomimetic medication by concentrating these two chemicals using a hemisynthesis technique, and which has since been utilized in Chinese hospitals in the form of injection to counteract the symptoms of anaphylactic shock.

bitter orange

Research on bitter oranges

** Inconclusive efficacy Weightloss. There have been four reviews published on the slimming properties of bitter orange peel. Only a few tiny, short-term clinical trials, ranging from 2 to 8 weeks, were found. Furthermore, all except one included a food restriction or activity regimen, and all contained weight reduction drinks that did not contain bitter orange. The outcomes of one of these trials were inconclusive. As a result, the body of research addressing the specific usefulness of this herb as a weight-loss supplement is at best inconclusive.
A single dose of bitter orange extract was also used to test its influence on basal metabolism, or energy expenditure when it is at its lowest: at rest and on an empty stomach, and at an ambient temperature of 18 ° C. Canadian researchers discovered that the extract enhanced subjects' basal metabolism in two studies.
However, a combination including bitter orange, green tea, guarana, and cocoa extracts had no benefit in a preliminary placebo experiment in 10 obese men at rest and during exercise. (Xenadrine-EFX®) Xenadrine-EFX® Xenadrine-EFX® X Furthermore, this product shifted energy consumption away from fats and toward sweets, which was the exact reverse of the anticipated results.
It's also worth to remember that bitter orange peel has a long history of use as an appetite stimulant, as evidenced by Commission E and centuries of clinical practice, and that it's also used as a digestive tonic in traditional Chinese medicine, which isn't exactly the ideal profile for a substance meant to aid weight loss.
Pay attention to the bitter orange extract concentration!
The type and dose of bitter orange extract can be problematic: a dry extract of bitter orange peel typically includes 1.3 percent to 6% synephrine.
However, some thermogenic product makers claim that their bitter orange extract contains up to 30% or 40%, raising the possibility of adulteration (eg, concentration or addition of synephrine ).
In such circumstances, how do you determine the appropriate dosage? The difference between a dose of 1000 mg of an extract containing 1.3 percent synephrine and a dose of the identical extract having 40 percent is significant! In commercial preparations, however, there are currently deviations in this order. Some manufacturers list the amount of synephrine in milligrams per dose on their labels: this doesn't make the supplements any safer, but it does make them more transparent.
** Digestion and appetite loss The German Commission E approved the use of bitter orange peel to treat loss of appetite and dyspepsia-related disorders in 1990. This usage is uncommon in North America. Bitter orange essential oil has been shown in animal studies to increase mucus production by the gastric mucosa, giving it a protective effect.
** Aromatherapy. Bitter orange peel and neroli (leaves) essential oils are frequently used to decrease anxiety, particularly in Brazil. This historic use has been confirmed by several animal tests (oral or inhalation)
** Various. The results of a study on 60 people with diverse fungal diseases that did not include a placebo group suggest that applying an essential oil of bitter orange peel to their skin could help them feel better.

bitter orange

Warnings and Special Precautions

The combination of bitter orange and caffeine can create cardiovascular difficulties due to the comparable actions of ephedrine and synephrine. Between January 1998 and October 2006, Health Canada received 31 reports indicating a possible link between the consumption of bitter orange or synephrine-containing products and adverse cardiovascular effects such as tachycardia, cardiac arrest, fibrillation, transient collapse (pressure drop), and fainting.
Health Canada banned the import of Thermonex ®, a slimming cocktail containing synephrine, high doses of caffeine, and additional substances that enhance synephrine's effects, in May 2004.
Other examples of major ill effects perhaps linked to the usage of bitter orange and caffeine-containing weight-loss products have been documented since then, mainly in the United States.
For example, in 2008, a South African bodybuilder died of a heart attack, which could have been caused by a coronary spasm produced by continued usage of this sort of supplement. This young man was in good health and had no heart disease risk factors. Despite the lack of certainty regarding the causal relationship between these adverse effects and bitter orange-containing goods, vigilance is advised.
Furthermore , some products on the market include yohimbine and a caffeine source in addition to synephrine (guarana, cocoa, etc.).
These cocktails have a significant risk of causing serious heart problems.
Yohimbine is a prohibited ingredient in over-the-counter products in Canada
** Pregnancy: When consumed in the amounts found in food, bitter orange is most likely safe. However, it may be hazardous when taken orally in therapeutic doses. To be on the safe side, limit your food intake during pregnancy.
** Breast-feeding: There isn't enough credible information to say whether bitter orange is safe to use while breast-feeding. To be on the safe side, avoid using it.
** Headache: Bitter orange consumption may cause headaches, including migraines and cluster headaches.
** High blood pressure: In healthy persons, bitter orange, especially when combined with coffee, may raise blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, avoid using bitter orange, especially when combined with stimulants like caffeine.
** Glaucoma: Bitter orange has been linked to a deterioration of glaucoma. If you have this illness, stay away from it.
** Cardiac disease: Taking bitter orange, especially when combined with coffee or other stimulants, may raise the risk of serious adverse effects in persons who have “long QT interval syndrome,” a type of heart condition.
** Irregular heartbeat (heart arrhythmia): In healthy persons, bitter orange, especially when combined with coffee, might raise heart rate. If you have an irregular heartbeat, avoid consuming bitter orange, especially when combined with stimulants like caffeine.
** Surgery: Because bitter orange is a stimulant, it may interfere with surgery by raising heart rate and blood pressure. Stop using bitter orange at least two weeks before your surgery.

bitter orange


People with the following conditions should avoid bitter orange peel extracts: – coronary thrombosis; – cardiovascular disorders; – arterial hypertension; – narrow-angle glaucoma; – diabetes; – thyroid disorders; – depression, anxiety, and agitation.
Bitter orange peel should also be avoided by those using monoamine oxidase inhibitors (a type of antidepressant); children under the age of six; and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

Headaches, restlessness, a racing heart, and palpitations are among side effects of synephrine.
The results of three clinical experiments on bitter orange peel extracts found that they have a hypertensive impact.
Taking a product containing, among other things, synephrine and caffeine at a high dose induced a very minor increase in blood pressure and blood glucose levels as a result of “moderate intensity physical exercise,” according to a crossover trial on 10 subjects.

Herbal or supplement interactions

The combination of bitter orange peel with caffeine-containing plants, foods, or supplements (coffee, tea, guarana, mate, cola nuts, chocolate, etc.) may produce elevated blood pressure and other problems. cardiovascular.

bitter orange
bitter orange

Medication Interactions

High blood pressure and cardiovascular difficulties may result from combining bitter orange peel with stimulants, hypertensives, sympathomimetics, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors.
If you're taking medicines and bitter orange extracts at the same time, tell your doctor because the latter, like grapefruit juice, contains fucocoumarins.
The metabolism of the following medications (not exhaustive list) is affected by these substances: – antihypertensives – chemotherapeutic agents
glucocorticoids – antifungals
If any of the following symptoms occur: fast or irregular heartbeat, chest discomfort, severe headache, shortness of breath, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, or nausea, stop therapy immediately.
Colic, convulsions, and even death have been reported in youngsters who have consumed huge amounts of bitter orange peel.
In those with fair skin, the zest and essential oil from bitter orange might have a photosensitizing effect when applied to the skin.
Major Interaction
** BITTER ORANGE interacts with antidepressant medications (MAOIs).
The compounds in bitter orange stimulate the body. Some antidepressant drugs can cause an increase in these substances. When these drugs are combined with bitter orange, significant side effects such as a rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure can occur.
Phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Zelapar), and tranylcypromine are examples of MAOIs (Parnate).
** BITTER ORANGE interacts with midazolam (Versed).
Bitter orange can slow down the breakdown of midazolam in the body. Taking bitter orange with midazolam may exacerbate the drug's effects and negative effects.
Moderate Interaction
** BITTER ORANGE reacts with caffeine.
Bitter orange is an energizing fruit. Caffeine is a stimulant as well. When these products are used simultaneously, blood pressure rises and the heart beats faster. This can result in significant consequences such as a heart attack or a stroke.
** BITTER ORANGE interacts with dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, and others).
Bitter orange may slow down the breakdown of dextromethorphan in the liver. Taking bitter orange with dextromethorphan may enhance dextromethorphan's effects and adverse effects, such as anxiety and sleepiness.
** BITTER ORANGE interacts with Felodipine (Plendil).
To get rid of felodipine, the liver breaks it down. Bitter orange may slow down the liver's elimination of felodipine. Taking bitter orange with felodipine may exacerbate the drug's effects and adverse effects.
** BITTER ORANGE interacts with Indinavir (Crixivan).
To get rid of indinavir, the liver breaks it down. Bitter orange may slow down the breakdown of indinavir in the liver. Taking bitter orange with indinavir may exacerbate the drug's effects and negative effects.
** BITTER ORANGE interacts with medications that are modified by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates).
The liver changes and breaks down several drugs. Bitter orange may affect how quickly certain drugs are broken down by the liver. This might alter the medication's effects and side effects.
** BITTER ORANGE interacts with medications that might induce an irregular heartbeat (QT interval-prolonging medicines).
Bitter orange may have an effect on cardiac electrical currents. An irregular heartbeat is more likely as a result of this. This is a side effect of certain drugs. When these drugs are combined with bitter orange, the chance of a significant cardiac problem increases.
** BITTER ORANGE interacts with stimulant medications.
Amphetamines and cocaine are stimulants that speed up the neurological system. Stimulant medicines can raise blood pressure and speed up the heartbeat by speeding up the neurological system. The nervous system may also be accelerated by bitter orange. Taking bitter orange alongside stimulant medicines might lead to dangerous side effects such as an elevated heart rate and high blood pressure.
** BITTER ORANGE interacts with diabetic medications (antidiabetes medicines).
Bitter orange has been shown to help reduce blood sugar levels. If you take bitter orange with diabetic medicine, your blood sugar may drop too low. Keep a tight eye on your blood sugar levels.
** BITTER ORANGE reacts with colchicine.
Colchicine levels may be affected by bitter orange. Colchicine may have less advantages and more adverse effects when used with bitter orange.
** BITTER ORANGE interacts with sildenafil (Viagra).
To get rid of sildenafil, the body breaks it down. Bitter orange might slow down the body's breakdown of sildenafil. Taking bitter orange with sildenafil may enhance the drug's effects and negative effects.
** BITTER ORANGE interacts with medications that are modified by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) substrates).
The liver changes and breaks down several drugs. Bitter orange may affect how quickly certain drugs are broken down by the liver. This might alter the medication's effects and side effects.

bitter orange
bitter orange

Is bitter orange a safe and efficient weight-loss supplement?

While some study shows that bitter orange (Citrus aurantium) can aid in minor weight reduction when paired with diet and exercise, the danger is probably not worth it. This is due to the fact that bitter orange has the potential to create major health problems. So, if you're attempting to lose weight, avoid the bitter orange and stick to healthier alternatives.
Bitter orange extract is frequently used in weight-loss products.
Synephrine, found in bitter orange, is identical to the primary component found in the plant ephedra (ma-huang). The United States Food and Drug Administration prohibited ephedra because it elevates blood pressure and has been connected to heart attacks and strokes.
Synephrine, like ephedra, may increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Some people have had strokes and heart attacks after ingesting bitter orange alone or in combination with other stimulants such as coffee. Furthermore, bitter orange may interfere with some prescription drugs.
Keep in mind that just because a herbal supplement is natural doesn't guarantee it's safe. Before taking herbal supplements, consult with your doctor.
Ephedra and bitter orange extract are thermogenic, meaning they raise basal metabolism and so increase the number of calories expended during the day. They have the same action as adrenaline in that they stimulate the neurological system (they are said to be adrenergic). The term “non-specific” refers to the fact that these chemicals have quite diverse effects depending on the organs or receptors they activate. They have a bronchodilator effect in the lungs, a vasoconstrictor effect in the arteries, a rise in heart rate, and an increase in lipolysis and glycogen release in the liver, for example.
However, although the body has the ability to govern the effects of adrenaline, it can sometimes lose control of the activity of the ephedrine included in ephedra. Ephedrine can thus excite all of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems excessively, in addition to the metabolism. This is the source of the documented cases of toxicity: heart problems ranging from palpitations to cardiac arrest.
Certain adrenergic products are more particular than others because they act on the receptors of certain organs in a more focused manner. Bitter orange extract makers assert this thesis of distinctiveness in order to distinguish themselves from ephedra, which has a poor reputation. According to them, their substance would have low affinity for cardiac receptors, resulting in less cardiac and neurological effects than ephedra. This specificity has not been properly proved.
If the dose is significant, the cardiac impact may develop in sensitive persons, regardless of specificity, especially if the product also contains stimulants like coffee. Because the same adverse effects have been documented, bitter orange extract will not be safer than ephedra depending on the dose.
There are also products on the market that mix synephrine with caffeine from sources such as guarana, mate, tea, or even cocoa. Some of them, which may be bought on the black market, even include yohimbine, a chemical that is prohibited in Canada's over-the-counter medications. Because of the substantial risk of cardiovascular damage, all of these highly stimulating mixtures should be avoided.