Bitter Orange Extract Safe in Healthy People

Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium) is a nervous system stimulator included in many weight-loss and energy-boosting supplements. Scientists from Creighton University Medical Center and Jordan University of Science and Technology concluded that a single dose of bitter orange extract (49 milligrams p-synephrine) had no effect on the electrocardiogram, heart rate, systolic blood pressure or standard clinical blood chemistry tests. It increased diastolic blood pressure slightly and temporarily. They concluded that the supplement is safe when taken as directed. Energy-boosting supplements reduce the perception of fatigue during exercise. They make workouts seem easier and might boost performance by increasing training adherence (i.e., showing up at the gym). These products make athletes want to train and help sustain workout intensity. We don’t know much about the long-term safety of these products. (Phytotherapy Research 30: 842-847, 2016)

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