Study objective: To evaluate the hemodynamic and electrocardiographic effects of a single dose of commercially available bitter-orange dried-fruit extract, which is increasingly being used in dietary supplements.
Design: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study.
Setting: University of Connecticut, Storrs Campus.
Subjects: Eighteen healthy volunteers aged 18 years or older.
Intervention: Subjects were given either placebo or bitter-orange dried-fruit extract (450 mg standardized to 27 mg of m- or p-synephrine) in phase 1. The opposite treatment was given during phase 2 after a washout period of at least 7 days.
Measurements and main results: The rate-corrected QT (QTc) interval and blood pressure were measured before dosing and at 1, 3, 5, and 8 hours after dosing. Mean+/-SD values of the maximum postdose values were compared between groups. Subjects receiving bitter-orange extract versus those receiving placebo had similar postdose QTc intervals (402+/-29 vs 403+/-24 msec, p=0.653), systolic blood pressure (114+/-10 vs 115+/-8 mm Hg, p=0.686) and diastolic blood pressure (68+/-9 vs 68+/-8, p=0.879).
Conclusion: Bitter-orange dried-fruit extract standardized to m- or p-synephrine 27 mg did not significantly alter the QTc interval or blood pressure after a single dose was administered. Future studies are necessary to ensure the safety of this herbal product with multiple doses.