Citrus aurantium, an ingredient of dietary supplements marketed for weight loss: current status of clinical and basic research

Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2004 Sep;229(8):698-704. doi: 10.1177/153537020422900802.


Seville orange (Citrus aurantium) extracts are being marketed as a safe alternative to ephedra in herbal weight-loss products, but C. aurantium may also have the potential to cause adverse health effects. C. aurantium contains synephrine (oxedrine), which is structurally similar to epinephrine. Although no adverse events have been associated with ingestion of C. aurantium products thus far, synephrine increases blood pressure in humans and other species, and has the potential to increase cardiovascular events. Additionally, C. aurantium contains 6',7'-dihydroxybergamottin and bergapten, both of which inhibit cytochrome P450-3A, and would be expected to increase serum levels of many drugs. There is little evidence that products containing C. aurantium are an effective aid to weight loss. Synephrine has lipolytic effects in human fat cells only at high doses, and octopamine does not have lipolytic effects in human adipocytes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Citrus*
  • Dietary Supplements* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Lipolysis / physiology*
  • Phytotherapy* / adverse effects
  • Synephrine / analysis
  • Weight Loss / physiology*


  • Synephrine