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2004 was not a great year for bitter orange in media. The extract has successfully battled reports of adverse events alleged to be a result of consuming bitter orange or citrus aurantium. These numbers proved to be incorrect.
While synephrine main alkaloid of bitter orange or citrus aurantium extract, is chemically similar to ephedrine, it is not same as ephedrine and differs in way it reacts pharmacologically within human body.
Although at first look at research, bitter orange or citrus aurantium presented with dangers that I wanted to warn against, a more in-depth look has revealed that bitter orange by itself is not dangerous. The citrus aurantium extract standardized for synephrine (3-6%) is accepted as safe.
But hang on, before you click off this page, to go and find a fat burner with citrus aurantium in it, I do also want to say, that they can't be used as an alternative to good food and exercise.
Herbal supplements such as those containing bitter orange can be helpful but only when used within a weight loss strategy of balanced eating and exercise, and while they may benefit some, it may not benefit others and only your doctor will be able to make that decision for you. The results may be slower, but a balanced diet and exercise are keys to permanent and healthy weight loss. So while bitter orange may be helpful, you can obtain same results without it. What-ever stage you are at with your health and fitness, diet and exercise are two most important aspects.
If you do decide you'd like to try a supplement containing bitter orange, please consult your doctor before purchasing a bitter orange or citrus aurantium product.
Essentially if you consult your doctor about bitter orange, as we say in Australia - you can't go wrong, mate. Your doctor will be able to refer you to your nearest dietician and will recommend best weight loss strategy for your situation.
Jones, D., "Bitter Orange or Citrus Aurantium: same difference ?"
Colker et. al., (1999) Effects of Citrus Aurantium extract, caffeine, and St. John's Wort on body fat loss, lipid levels, and mood states in overweight healthy adults. Curr. Ther. Res. 60, 145 - 153.
American Herbal Products (2004) "FDA Spins Numbers on Bitter Orange AERs" Press Release
Nykamp DL, Fackih MN, Compton AL. Possible association of acute lateral-wall myocardial infarction and bitter orange supplement. Ann Pharmacother. 2004 May;38(5):812-6. Epub 2004 Mar 16.
Definition of Alkaloids - any of hundreds of compounds found in plants with a nitrogen atom connected to two carbon atoms, and often formed in a ring structure. Many commonly known chemicals and drugs are alkaloids, including nicotine, cocaine, quinine, morphine, and ephedrine.
Dharmananda, S., SYNEPHRINE:Is Chih-shih (Zhishi) Toxic? Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon. See schematic diagram for synephrine at bottom of page.
Supplement Watch on Synephrine
Other Sites of Interest:
Supplement Watch Newsletter
Copyright © 2004 Jenny Mathers All Rights Reserved. This article represents opinion of author only. This information is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as a replacement for medical advise. Please see your doctor before changing your diet, or trying a new supplement.
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