Authors: Marcus Free MD, Rouzbeh Motiei-Langroudi MD, Waqar Ahmad PhD, Kelly Daly RDN, and Don Juravin (Don Karl Juravin).
Abstract (Research Summary)
- Citrus aurantium (aka Bitter Orange, active ingredient: Synephrine) is a natural supplement containing flavonoids, essential oils, and glycosides, which stimulate lipolysis and increase resting metabolic rate (Preuss 2002).
- Citrus aurantium increases the thermic effect of food by 29% in women (Gougeon 2005). The thermic effect burns additional calories for digestion and improves the satiating effect of food (Crovetti 1998).
- Citrus aurantium supplementation increases epinephrine stimulation by 240% (Gougeon 2005). Epinephrine increases fat breakdown and promotes carbohydrate metabolism resulting in weight loss (Leboeuf 1959).
- Citrus aurantium has essential oils which increase the synthesis of serotonin and dopamine, resulting in decreased stress and anxiety-related cravings for sweet and sugary foods (Carvalho-Freitas 2002, Setzer 2009).
- Citrus aurantium decreases cravings by inhibiting the synthesis of ghrelin and improving the sensitivity to and secretion of postprandial insulin (Sharma 2008).
- Citrus aurantium protects the liver from oxidative stress resulting in improved glucose metabolism, glycemic control, and decreased cravings (Astell 2013, Kim 2012, Jiao 2007).
Citrus Aurantium Effects on Weight Reduction
Citrus aurantium decreases weight by up to 2.4 kg (5.3 lbs) in 1 week. Citrus aurantium increases the overall metabolism of fats and lipids by increasing epinephrine stimulation and increases the thermic effect of food by 29% in women.
- Citrus aurantium induces fat loss by 2.9% over a period of 6 weeks when coupled with mild caloric restriction, exercise, caffeine, and St John’s Wort (Colker 1999). In an average 118 kg (260 lb) individual, this is 3.5 kg (7.7 lb) of fat loss.
- Citrus aurantium supplementation increases epinephrine stimulation by 240% (Gougeon 2005). Epinephrine increases fat breakdown (Leboeuf 1959).
- Citrus aurantium increases the thermic effect of food by 29% in women (Gougeon 2005). The thermic effect burns calories to digest food. It is also linked to increased satiety (Crovetti 1998).
- According to a review of over 20 studies, Citrus aurantium increases resting metabolic rate and enhances weight loss in humans (Stohs 2012).
- Citrus aurantium supplementation significantly decreases weight by 2% and fat mass by 7.8%, and increases lean mass by 3.4%, when taken with raspberry ketone, caffeine, garlic, ginger, and Cayenne pepper over 8 weeks (Lopez 2013). In an average 118 kg (260 lb) client, this is a 2.4 kg (5.3 lbs) weight loss, 9.2 kg (20 lbs) fat loss, and 4 kg (8.8 lbs) increase in lean mass.
Citrus Aurantium Effects on Cravings
Citrus aurantium decreases cravings by increasing the synthesis of insulin and dopamine, improving insulin sensitivity, suppressing ghrelin synthesis, protecting the liver from oxidative stress, and decreasing depression and anxiety.
- Citrus aurantium contains essential oils which promote the synthesis of serotonin and dopamine resulting in decreased cravings (Setzer 2009, Carvalho-Freitas 2002).
- Citrus aurantium contains Naringin and essential oils which suppress appetite by decreasing the synthesis of ghrelin, resulting in decreased hunger and associated cravings (Astell 2013).
- Citrus aurantium reduces cravings by protecting the liver from oxidative stress, resulting in normalized blood glucose levels (Kim 2012, Jiao 2007).
- Citrus aurantium reduces cravings by increasing postprandial insulin secretion and improving insulin sensitivity (Kim 2012, Jiao 2007).
Citrus Aurantium Effects on Diabetes
Citrus aurantium improves insulin sensitivity and its synthesis by decreasing proliferation of adipocytes and fat accumulation. It also protects the liver from oxidative stress thus improving its ability to metabolize glucose.
- Citrus aurantium inhibits the proliferation and genesis of adipocytes and improves the sensitivity to insulin in adipocytes (Kim 2012).
- Citrus aurantium protects the liver from oxidative damage thus improving glucose metabolism resulting in improved glycemic control (Jiao 2007, Kim 2012).
- Citrus aurantium increases the synthesis and secretion of insulin resulting in improved postprandial glycemic control (Kim 2012, Sharma 2008, Jiao 2007).
Benefits, Side Effects, Drug Interactions
- Citrus aurantium decreases depression and anxiety (Carvalho-Freitas 2002).
- Headaches: Citrus aurantium may trigger migraines and cluster headaches.
- Sun sensitivity
- Antidiabetic drugs: As both Citrus aurantium and antidiabetic drugs decrease blood glucose levels, it is important to monitor glucose levels and speak to a physician about decreasing the antidiabetic drugs if required.
- Antidepressants: The combination of Citrus aurantium and antidepressants may cause significant side effects such as a rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, and seizures.
- Midazolam: Citrus aurantium may increase the effects and side effects of midazolam.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: There is limited research and therefore best to avoid during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
- Diabetes: As Citrus aurantium lowers blood glucose levels, it is important to monitor glucose levels to avoid hypoglycemic episodes.
- Glaucoma: Citrus aurantium may worsen Glaucoma and is therefore best to be avoided.
- Astell, K., Mathai, M., Su, X. (2013). A review on botanical species and chemical compounds with appetite suppressing properties for body weight control. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition [online], 68 (3), pp. 213-21. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11130-013-0361-1 [Accessed 08.06.2016].
- Carvalho-Freitas, M., Costa, M. (2002). Anxiolytic and sedative effects of extracts and essential oil from Citrus aurantium L. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin [online], 25 (12), pp.1629-33. Available from: https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bpb/25/12/25_12_1629/_article [Accessed 08.06.2016].
- Colker, C., Kaiman, D., Torina, G., 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. Current Therapeutic Research [online], 60 (3), pp. 145-53. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0011393X00885239 [Accessed 11.05.2016].
- Crovetti, R., Porrini, M., Santangelo, A., et al. (1998). The influence of thermic effect of food on satiety. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition [online], 52 (7), pp. 482-8. Available from: http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/9683329 [Accessed 12.05.2016].
- Gougeon, R., Harrigan, K., Tremblay, J., et al. (2005). Increase in the Thermic Effect of Food in Women by Adrenergic Amines Extracted from Citrus Aurantium. Obesity Research [online], 13 (7), pp. 1187-94. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2005.141/full [Accessed 12.05.2016].
- Jiao, S., Huang, C., Wang, H., et al. (2007). Effects of Citrus aurantium extract on liver antioxidant defense function in experimental diabetic mouse. Wei Sheng Yan Jiu= Journal of Hygiene Research [online], 36 (6), pp.689-92. Available from: http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/18303628 [Accessed 09.06.2016].
- Kim, G., Park, H., Woo, J., et al. (2012). Citrus aurantium flavonoids inhibit adipogenesis through the Akt signaling pathway in 3T3-L1 cells. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine [online], 12 (1), pp.31. Available from: http://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6882-12-31 [Accessed 09.06.2016].
- Leboeuf, B., Flinn, R., Cahill, G. (1959). Effect of Epinephrine on Glucose Uptake and Glycerol Release by Adipose Tissue in vitro. Experimental Biology and Medicine [online], 102 (3), pp. 527-9. Available from: http://ebm.sagepub.com/content/102/3/527.short [Accessed 12.05.2016].
- Lopez, H., Ziegenfuss, T., Hofheins, J., et al. (2013). Eight weeks of supplementation with a multi-ingredient weight loss product enhances body composition, reduces hip and waist girth, and increases energy levels in overweight men and women. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition [online], 10 (1), pp. 22. Available from: http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/775/art%253A10.1186%252F1550-2783-10-22.pdf?originUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fjissn.biomedcentral.com%2Farticle%2F10.1186%2F1550-2783-10-22&token2=exp=1463137195~acl=%2Fstatic%2Fpdf%2F775%2Fart%25253A10.1186%25252F1550-2783-10-22.pdf*~hmac=2a6fc7f1db908eebdbd01e3ab80128c466936e72102d223b08cdd90dafd2dc3d [Accessed 13.05.2016].
- Preuss, H., DiFerdinando, D., Bagchi, M., et al. (2002). Citrus aurantium as a thermogenic, weight-reduction replacement for ephedra: An overview. Journal of Medicine [online], 33 (1-4), pp. 247-64. Available from: http://www.hflsolutions.com/lo/ingredients/AZ_2002_Preuss.pdf [Accessed 12.05.2016].
- Setzer, W. (2009). Essential oils and anxiolytic aromatherapy. Natural product communications [online], 4 (9), pp.1305-16. Available from: https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bpb/25/12/25_12_1629/_article [Accessed 08.06.2016].
- Sharma, M., Fernandes, J., Ahirwar, D., et al. (2008). Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activity of alcoholic extract of Citrus aurantium in normal and alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Pharmacology Online [online], 3, pp.161-71. Available from: http://pharmacologyonline.silae.it/files/archives/2008/vol3/020_Sharma.pdf [Accessed 09.06.2016].
- Stohs, S., Preuss, H., Shara, M. (2011). The Safety of Citrus aurantium (Bitter Orange) and its Primary Protoalkaloid p-Synephrine. Phytotherapy Research [online], 25 (10), pp. 1421-8. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.3490/abstract?userIsAuthenticated=false&deniedAccessCustomisedMessage= [Accessed 10.06.2016].
- Stohs, S., Preuss, H., Shara, M. (2012). A Review of the Human Clinical Studies Involving Citrus aurantium (Bitter Orange) Extract and its Primary Protoalkaloid p-Synephrine. International Journal of Medical Sciences [online], 9 (7), pp. 527-38. Available from: http://www.medsci.org/v09p0527.htm [Accessed 16.05.2016].
This research was sponsored by GLOBESITY FOUNDATION (nonprofit organization) and managed by Don Juravin. GLOBESITY Bootcamp for the obese is part of GLOBESITY FOUNDATION which helps obese with 70 to 400 lbs excess fat to adopt a healthy lifestyle and thereby achieve a healthy weight.
Tags: citrus aurantium, weight reduction, GLOBESITY FOUNDATION, weight loss, cravings, diabetes, healthy weight