THE ROLE OF BITTER ORANGE IN REDUCING FAT
Lirin Mary M.K.* and Sneha Elizabeth Varghese
Obesity particularly central adiposity, has been increasingly cited as major health issue in recent decades. Indeed, some of the leading causes of preventable death and disability including heart disease, low back pain and specific types of cancer are obesity related. Sibutramine and orlistat are synthetic drugs for treating obesity for long-term use; they were launched several years ago. Natural products such as ephedrine, pseudo-ephedrine and caffeine were once extensively used in formulations for weight-loss, but they have side effects, which include death. In recent years, another natural product, synephrine, obtained from bitter orange which is extracted from traditional Chinese medicine Zhi Shi (or Citrus Aurantium), gains popularity in the market as a nutraceutical or dietary supplement for the regulation of appetite, body weight and athletic function. Extracts of Citrus aurantium, standardized for p-synepherine has been shown to increase energy expenditure, lipolysis and fat oxidation, activate brown adipose tissue by stimulating the systemic release of epinephrine and enhance weight loss in human. p-synephrine in combination with flavonoids and caffeine enhanced the weight loss.
Keywords: Bitter orange, obesity, p-synephrine, weight loss, epinephrine.
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