Is Bitter Orange Safe To Take For Weight Loss?

The bitter orange tree

Bitter Orange has become extremely popular as an ingredient in weight loss supplement these days.

With the ban on ephedra, the weight loss supplement market had no choice but to look for alternate natural ingredients that could be used to compensate for it.

And ever since then it has gained immense popularity as a weight loss ingredient.

What is Bitter Orange?

Bitter Orange (botanical name citrus aurantium) is a fruit that is typically grown in Asia, South America and in some parts of the USA. Also known by various other names such as neroli, Seville orange, zhi shi, petit grain, bigarade orange, naranja agria and more, Bitter Orange is a fruit that has been used in many ancient cultures due to the various medicinal properties that it is known to have.

Those familiar with ancient cultures will know that Bitter Orange was used in traditional Chinese medicines to increase appetite and ease other digestive tract issues like vomiting and stomach pain.

In Latin America it was used to treat constipation, insomnia and anxiety. Other medical conditions that Bitter Orange can be used for are inflammation, heartburn, nausea, fungal infections and headaches.

Bitter Orange is generally consumed as an extract or tincture and in some cases the crushed peel can also be consumed.

How Does Bitter Orange Help with Weight Loss?

Among the other health benefits that are associated with Bitter Orange, it is also known for its weight loss properties.

The active ingredients in Bitter Orange are essentially flavones and compounds like:

  • Synephrine
  • Octopamine
  • N-methyltyramine
  • Carotenoids The compounds that are considered to be responsible for weight loss are synephrine and octopamine.

Synephrine and octopamine are known to increase the metabolic rate, thereby resulting in faster burning of calories that are consumed by the body, because of which it was used by ancient cultures to increase appetite.

The manner in which Bitter Orange works is similar to ephedra (a banned drug). It should therefore be avoided by children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. The dosage for the crushed peel should not be higher than 4 to 6 grams and for the tincture the recommended limit is 2 to 3 grams per day.

Bitter Orange Ingredients In Weight Loss Supplements

As mentioned above, Bitter Orange is now being used extensively as one of the ingredients in weight loss supplements. A weight loss supplement may contain anywhere between 100 and 200 gram extract of Bitter Orange along with other herbal and natural products.

Bitter Orange Side Effects

The dosage is monitored closely since high levels of Bitter Orange consumption can cause side effects like hypertension, sensitivity to the sun, diarrhea, vomiting and fever. It is therefore important to keep a tab of consumption of supplements containing Bitter Orange and never consume a higher dosage than what is recommended.

Even though Bitter Orange is a natural product, it is wise to consult a doctor if you are already taking some medication for any other medical condition.

Lot’s more research is needed to verify the safety and effectiveness of bitter orange as a weight loss product.

One comment

  • Avoid Bitter Orange!

    Bitter orange should be taken with extreme caution. It has lots of side effects that are similar to that of the stimulant ephedra, such as increased heart rate blood pressure. With bitter orange, you may develop migraines, fainting, and potentially deadly stroke and heart attack. These problems can be especially dangerous when you take bitter orange along with caffeine or other supplements or medications that also have these effects.

    Bitter orange also can interfere with how prescription and over-the-counter medications work, also causing serious health problems. Just like ephedra, which is banned, bitter orange will increase your metabolism and can help you burn more calories in a day than normal, which can help you lose weight.

    However, if you decide to use it, you should do so with extreme caution, especially if you are on other medications. If you’re pregnant, nursing or have a heart condition, this is a supplement you should not use under any circumstance.

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