Use of bitter orange is not supported by scientific evidence.
Some weight-loss products contain bitter orange extractextractto get, separate, or isolate a desired active ingredient. The extract contains a chemical called synephrine (a chemical similar to ephedra) and can cause increases in blood pressure and heart rate resulting in heart attacks and strokes.
There have been reports of fainting, heart attack, and stroke in healthy people after taking bitter orange supplements alone or combined with caffeine. People with an existing heart condition or high blood pressure, or who are taking certain medications (such as MAO inhibitors), caffeine, or other herbs or supplements that speed up the heart rate should avoid use of bitter orange-containing products.
Pregnant women should also avoid products that contain bitter orange.
Bitter orange oil used on the skin may increase the risk of sunburn, particularly in light-skinned people.
Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.