Bitter orange for weight loss is supposedly safer than ephedra, which has been linked to heart attacks and is banned by the FDA, but is it safe?
Similar Properties to Ephedra
Bitter orange contains amphetamine metabolites similar to ephedrine that increase blood pressure, constrict blood vessels, and raise heart rate.
Adverse cardiovascular reactions may be associated with bitter orange. Consumer Reports stated in a recent article that bitter orange may cause heart attack, stroke, fainting, and irregular heartbeat.
Bitter orange may slow the metabolism of many drugs which could lead to drug overdose or other adverse reactions. In particular, patients on MAOI inhibitors should avoid bitter orange. MAOIs increase heartrate and, in combination with bitter orange’s cardiovascular effects, may lead to severe complications, including death.
No Formal Safety Testing
Bitter orange has not been formally tested for safety, therefore it may have many other as-yet-unknown side effects.