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Metabolic and physiological effects of ingesting extracts of bitter orange, green tea and guarana at rest and during treadmill walking in overweight males



This study examined the acute effects of ingesting a widely used commercial formula containing extracts of bitter orange, green tea and guarana (Gx) on the metabolic rate and substrate utilisation in overweight, adult males at rest (study 1) and during treadmill walking (study 2).


Two different groups of 10 sedentary males with more than 20% body fat participated in studies 1 and 2.


In each study, subjects participated in two experimental trials during which they were given two 500 mg capsules containing either Gx or a placebo (P) in a counterbalanced double-blind manner. Doses of the main active ingredients were 6 mg of synephrine, 150 mg caffeine and 150 mg catechin polyphenols.


In study 1, subjects completed 7 h supine rest with baseline measures taken during the first hour, with expired gases, blood pressure, heart rate and venous blood being collected every 30 min for the remaining 6 h following ingestion of Gx or P. In study 2, subjects exercised for 60 min at 60% heart rate reserve following ingestion of Gx or P 1 h previously. Venous blood samples were collected twice at rest and at 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 min, with expired gas measurements taken at 4, 9, 14, 19, 29, 39, 49 and 59 min. In both studies, venous blood was analysed for NEFA, glycerol, glucose and lactate concentrations, while expired gases were used to calculate ATP production from carbohydrate and NEFA, as well as the total substrate utilised.

Results and conclusion:

The results did not show any significant effect of Gx ingestion on total ATP utilisation during 6 h rest or during 60 min treadmill walking. Changes were observed in the relative contributions of CHO and NEFA oxidation to ATP production in both studies, such that there was an increase in ATP production from CHO and a decrease from NEFA. The increase in CHO oxidation was shown to be as high as 30% at rest.

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Cytodyne Technologies Inc. sponsored this study. We would also like to thank Bev Hale, MSc for research support.

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Correspondence to C Sale.

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Sale, C., Harris, R., Delves, S. et al. Metabolic and physiological effects of ingesting extracts of bitter orange, green tea and guarana at rest and during treadmill walking in overweight males. Int J Obes 30, 764–773 (2006).

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  • bitter orange
  • green tea
  • caffeine
  • metabolic rate and substrate utilization
  • dietary supplements

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