Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium) extract is widely used in dietary supplements for weight management and sports performance. Its primary protoalkaloid is p-synephrine. Most studies involving bitter orange extract and p-synephrine have used products with multiple ingredients. The current study assessed the thermogenic effects of p-synephrine alone and in conjunction with the flavonoids naringin and hesperidin in a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled protocol with 10 subjects per treatment group. Resting metabolic rates (RMR), blood pressure, heart rates and a self-reported rating scale were determined at baseline and 75 min after oral ingestion of the test products in V-8 juice. A decrease of 30 kcal occurred in the placebo control relative to baseline. The group receiving p-synephrine (50 mg) alone exhibited a 65 kcal increase in RMR as compared to the placebo group. The consumption of 600 mg naringin with 50 mg p-synephrine resulted in a 129 kcal increase in RMR relative to the placebo group. In the group receiving 100 mg hesperidin in addition to the 50 mg p-synephrine plus 600 mg naringin, the RMR increased by 183 kcal, an increase that was statistically significant with respect to the placebo control (p<0.02). However, consuming 1000 mg hesperidin with 50 mg p-synephrine plus 600 mg naringin resulted in a RMR that was only 79 kcal greater than the placebo group. None of the treatment groups exhibited changes in heart rate or blood pressure relative to the control group, nor there were no differences in self-reported ratings of 10 symptoms between the treatment groups and the control group. This unusual finding of a thermogenic combination of ingredients that elevated metabolic rates without corresponding elevations in blood pressure and heart-rates warrants longer term studies to assess its value as a weight control agent
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