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Overview InformationSweet orange is a fruit. The peel and juice are used to make medicine.
Sweet orange is used for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and stroke prevention. It is also used for the common cold, kidney stones, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
How does it work?Sweet orange contains large amounts of vitamin C. Some researchers believe sweet orange might help asthma because of the antioxidant activity of vitamin C.
Sweet orange also contains large amounts of potassium. There is evidence that potassium may help prevent high blood pressure and stroke.
Sweet orange fruit and sweet orange juice are used to prevent kidney stones because they contain large amounts of a chemical called citrate. Citrate tends to bind with calcium before it can form kidney stones.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- High cholesterol. Drinking sweet orange juice seems to help improve cholesterol levels. In large amounts (750 mL, or about three 8-oz glasses, per day for four weeks), sweet orange juice seems to increase "good" high-density lipoprotein and reduce the ratio of "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to HDL cholesterol in people with high cholesterol.
- High blood pressure. Drinking sweet orange juice seems to help lower the risk of high blood pressure. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows makers of sweet orange products that provide at least 350 mg of potassium per serving and are low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol to make label claims that their product might reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure.
- Stroke. Drinking sweet orange juice seems to help lower the risk of stroke. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows makers of sweet orange products that provide at least 350 mg of potassium per serving and are low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol to make label claims that their product might reduce the risk of stroke.
Possibly Ineffective for
- Prostate cancer. Higher dietary intake of sweet orange juice is not linked with a decreased risk of prostate cancer.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Asthma. There is some evidence that sweet orange and other fruits that are rich in vitamin C might improve lung function in people with asthma. But not all studies agree.
- Common cold. Some research shows that drinking 180 mL (about 6 ounces) of sweet orange juice daily might help prevent symptoms of the common cold.
- Depression. Early research suggests that using sweet orange on the skin during massage, or in the air as aromatherapy, reduces depression in older adults.
- Insomnia. Early research shows that inhaling sweet orange as aromatherapy might help people who are going through hemodialysis to sleep better and feel less tired.
- Kidney stones. Some research reports that drinking 400 mL of sweet orange juice (about 13 ounces) increases the amount of citrate in the urine. This might help to prevent kidney stones that are made of calcium.
- Obesity. Early research shows that drinking red sweet orange juice does not reduce body weight in overweight adults. Other research shows that taking a specific product containing sweet orange, blood orange, and grapefruit extracts seems to decrease body weight and body fat in overweight people. But it is not clear if this is from the sweet orange or from the other ingredients.
- Stress. Early research shows that smelling sweet orange essential oil during a stressful task might reduce anxiety and tension.
- Cancerous breast sores.
- Eating disorders.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyWhen taken by mouth: Sweet orange juice and fruit is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when used in food amounts. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when used as a medicine.
When inhaled: Sweet orange essential oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when used in aromatherapy.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Sweet orange is LIKELY SAFE when used in food amounts. There isn't enough reliable information to know if sweet orange is safe to use as medicine when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: In children, sweet orange juice or fruit is LIKELY SAFE when used in normal food amounts. But taking large amounts of sweet orange peel is LIKELY UNSAFE. It can cause colic, convulsions, or death.
Do not take this combination
Celiprolol (Celicard) interacts with SWEET ORANGE
Consuming large amounts of sweet orange juice might decrease how much celiprolol (Celicard) the body absorbs. This might decrease how well celiprolol (Celicard) works. Don't consume large amounts of sweet orange juice if you take celiprolol (Celicard).
Ivermectin interacts with SWEET ORANGE
Drinking sweet orange juice might decrease how much ivermectin the body absorbs. Taking sweet orange along with ivermectin might decrease the effectiveness of ivermectin.
Pravastatin (Pravachol) interacts with SWEET ORANGE
Drinking sweet orange juice might increase how much pravastatin (Pravachol) the body absorbs. Taking pravastatin (Pravachol) with sweet orange juice might increase drug levels in the body and possibly increase the chance of drug side effects.
Be cautious with this combination
Antibiotics (Quinolone antibiotics) interacts with SWEET ORANGE
Calcium-fortified sweet orange juice can reduce the amount of some antibiotics the body absorbs. Reduced absorption of antibiotics can reduce their ability to fight infection. Sweet orange juice without calcium is unlikely to affect quinolone antibiotics.
Some quinolone antibiotics include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), enoxacin (Penetrex), gatifloxacin (Tequin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), and trovafloxacin (Trovan).
Fexofenadine (Allegra) interacts with SWEET ORANGE
Sweet orange might decrease how much fexofenadine (Allegra) the body absorbs. Taking sweet orange along with fexofenadine (Allegra) might decrease the effectiveness of fexofenadine (Allegra).
Medications moved by pumps in cells (P-Glycoprotein substrates) interacts with SWEET ORANGE
Some medications are moved by pumps in cells. Sweet orange might change how these pumps work and change how much of some medications get absorbed by the body. There is not enough information to know how important this interaction might be. Until more is known sweet orange juice should be used cautious with medications moved by these pumps.
Some medications that are moved by these pumps include etoposide, paclitaxel, vinblastine, vincristine, vindesine, ketoconazole, itraconazole, amprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, saquinavir, cimetidine, ranitidine, diltiazem, verapamil, corticosteroids, erythromycin, cisapride (Propulsid), fexofenadine (Allegra), cyclosporine, loperamide (Imodium), quinidine, and others.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For high cholesterol: 750 mL sweet orange juice per day.
- For high blood pressure: Sweet orange juice products that provide at least 350 mg of potassium per serving and are low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol are permitted by the FDA to make labeling claims that they might reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure.
- For stroke: Sweet orange juice products that provide at least 350 mg of potassium per serving and are low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol are permitted by the FDA to make labeling claims that they might reduce the risk of stroke.
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