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Synephrine Effective for Weight Loss

Synephrine is cited as ‘the active component’ of plants and dietary supplements used in weight loss. It became one of the most popular stimulants present in weight-loss products after the US Food and Drug Administration had interdicted the use of ephedrine-containing dietary supplements.

Synephrine is also a trace amine that can be found in vertebrates and invertebrates. Synephrine acts on several adrenergic and serotonergic receptors and its activity on trace-amine-associated receptors has long been discussed. Synephrine exists in three different positional isomers; however, only p- and m-synephrine have been described in weight-loss products. The alleged effectiveness of synephrine-containing supplements is attributed to the thermogenic effects arising from synephrine’s adrenergic stimulation. The growing use of synephrine has raised concerns since it has been accompanied by reports of adverse effects. Cardiac adverse events, including hypertension, tachyarrhythmia, variant angina, cardiac arrest, QT prolongation, ventricular fibrillation, myocardial infarction, and sudden death, have been the most common adverse effects associated with synephrine intake. The mechanisms involved in synephrine-induced cardiotoxicity are still unknown since studies related to its safety are scarce. This review will address general aspects concerning the pharmacology of synephrine, but will focus on the efficacy and toxicity aspects related to the use of synephrine in weight-loss.

Synephrine is the principal active extract found in the herb Citrus aurantium (bitter orange). Most synephrine powder found in supplements is as part of Citrus aurantium, so we can talk about them essentially interchangeably. Some preliminary reports in animals noted significantly reduced food intake and body weight gain with Citrus auratium extract administration. Stephen Bend and colleagues conducted a systematic review in 2004 in order to evaluate the efficacy of bitter orange extract which is marketed to promote weight loss. They managed to find only one eligible randomized placebo controlled trial, which lasted 6 weeks and was conducted on 20 patients. No statistically significant benefit for weight loss were noted. Synephrine has the ability to interact with beta receptors, thereby promoting lipolysis though it appears that it is poorly absorbed or rapidly metabolised.

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Xi'an Fengzu Biological Technology Co.,Ltd
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