Bitter orange extract has gained popularity in recent years as a weight loss supplement, as it has been shown to increase metabolism and burn off fat.
Also known as Zhi Shi and Zhu qiao, the extract comes from the Citrus aurantium plant native to regions of Asia and grown in parts of Europe and the United States.
It has been used as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal medication.
Very recently, it has replaced controversial ephedra as a main ingredient in diet and weight loss supplements as it has shown the ability to increase thermogenesis - body heat used to burn calories.
Compared to similar herbs such as ephedra and yohimbe, bitter orange is generally regarded as safer as it has fewer side effects. Therefore there are few adverse reactions when taken in recommended dosages.
However, many of the dietary supplements with bitter orange peel aren't what they claim to be.
Some of these supplements contain only bitter orange peel extract, when it has been shown to have greater effects in combination with other thermogenic ingredients.
Still others contain other questionable ingredients and even contaminants, since weight loss products are not strictly regulated.
The ideal weight loss supplement will have pure bitter orange along with other natural herbs, vitamins and minerals to help you lose weight.
You can learn more about natural ways to lose weight and the newest weight loss breakthroughs in the following special article on weight loss issued by a well regarded natural health company.
As with all health supplements, please make sure you consult with your physician or other qualified medical professional before you begin supplementation.