|Volume 6 Issue 242 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 29-Aug-2004 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 30-Aug-2004||Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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Dieter beware: Citrus aurantium, an herbal weight loss ingredient used as a substitute for ephedra, may have risks
People taking “ephedra-free” weight loss products that contain the herb Citrus aurantium, or Seville orange, may be doing more harm to their body than good, according to a new review published by Georgetown University Medical Center researchers.
The review, published in the September issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine, found that no reliable scientific evidence supports the use of C. aurantium for losing weight. More importantly, high doses of the herb, which contains synephrine, may not be safe. Synephrine can cause hypertension, and C. aurantium also interacts with drugs in a manner similar to grapefruit juice.
“C. aurantium has many of the same potential deleterious cardiovascular effects as ephedra, and it also potentially affects the metabolism of other drugs,” said Adam Myers, PhD, professor of physiology and co-author of the review. “The public and the medical community should be concerned about the growing use of C. aurantium without adequate data on safety and efficacy.”
Among the points highlighted in their review, Myers and co-author
"The effects on drug-metabolizing systems are not identical. C. aurantium juice, but not grapefruit, increased levels of indinavir, a drug used to treat AIDS. Grapefruit juice, but not C. aurantium juice, increased cyclosporine levels. Both citruses increased levels of felodipine, a calcium channel drug used to treat high blood pressure,” said Myers who directs the first Master's degree-granting graduate level program in Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the
Myers and Fugh-Berman encourage much more research on the effects of C. aurantium. As part of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Master’s Program they help guide at
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