By Summer Banks on Jan 03, 2018

If you have been shopping around for dietary supplements recently, you might have stumbled across one called Advantra Z.

You might have found yourself wondering just what is Advantra Z and why there seems to be so much hype behind it.

Unfortunately, not all of the hype is very positive.

While there certainly seem to be some advantages to Advantra Z, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that it might not be safe to consume.

Read on to find out more about why Advantra Z is so controversial and if it is something you should steer clear of when trying dietary weight loss supplements.

Bitter Orange

What is Advantra Z?

Advantra Z is a dietary weight loss supplement.

It is a fat-burner that reportedly curbs hunger cravings and helps you lose weight while gaining and toning muscle.

It is also designed as a nootropic that stimulates brain activities.

Zhishin LLC is the holder of the US and Canadian patents.

However, the official licensee is Nutratech.

Nutratech claims that Advantra Z is a good alternative to ephedra; an herb used for weight loss that has been linked to an elevated risk of stroke and heart issues. [1]

However, when Advantra Z was still listed on the Nutratech website, it was apparent that the company sponsored studies that claimed Advantra Z was safe while ephedra was unsafe.

Advantra Z has since been removed from the Nutratech website.

Advantra Z is a weight loss supplement that was designed as an alternative to ephedra.

Bitter Orange Weight Loss

Bitter Orange

Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium) is present in quite a few dietary weight loss supplements, and it has been causing quite a stir. [2]

This herb is originally native to tropical parts of Asia and the eastern portion of Africa but is now also grown in warm-weather states like Florida and California.

Originally, bitter orange was used in ancient Chinese and Amazonian medicine as a way to reliever gastrointestinal issues (such as constipation, gas, and nausea).

Today, it has many uses but is most commonly found in dietary supplements like Advantra Z.

It contains a molecule known as p-synephrine, and this name gets used interchangeably with bitter orange.

P-Synephrine

P-synephrine is a trace amine and protoalkaloid compound that gets produced by the human body. [3]

Synthesis of this compound has been found in the brains of rats as well as in human urine.

It seems to come about as the result of the synthesis of tyramine into octopamine.

Of particular importance to note, synephrine levels have been found to be elevated in individuals who suffer from cluster headaches as well as migraines that involve seeing aurae. [4]

You might also want to note that octopamine has been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) since it may cause stimulatory effects. [5]

Athletes have recently been banned from sports when they have tested positive for using octopamine-containing products.

In fact, a 2017 Super Bowl ad was pulled because it contained references to substances containing synephrine and octopamine. [6]

Octopamine

Octopamine is a trace amine that plays a role in the signalling of catecholamines in the central nervous system.

It stimulates your brain’s norepinephrine and dopamine receptors, resulting in improved focus and energy levels.

Hordenine HCL has been responsible for false positives in testing for opiates.

Elevated doses of it might cause it to interact with the morphine that is present in drug-testing kits. The average dosage for it is 30mg per day. [7]

synephrine

Advantra Z Benefits

There’s a chance you’ll notice health benefits of Advantra Z.

Advantra Z and Caffeine

When taken in moderate amounts, caffeine is seemingly safe for adults.

Since it lacks water, it is seemingly more potent in its effects than regular caffeine.

It is known to be a stimulant for brain activity, promoting more focus, alertness, and energy. [8]

Advantra Z and Huperzine A

Additionally, combining Advantra Z and Huperzine A could have some health benefits. [9]

Huperzine A has been known to improve cognitive functions, including boosting memory abilities in those with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

It has even been tested on children and adolescents with memory problems, and significant improvements were shown after the participants took Huperzine.

Dandelion Root Extract

Advantra Z and Dandelion Root

Dandelion extract is known to reduce inflammatory symptoms of tonsilitis, prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs), balance out a loss of appetite, and improve gastrointestinal issues. [8]

Advantra Z and Juniper Berry

Juniper berry extract has been used in medicine for hundreds of years and is known to work well as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, and antiseptic agent.

It is also known to lower blood glucose, so those with high blood sugar levels might benefit from it. However, this does pose a problem for people with diabetes and hyperglycemia, as their blood glucose is already low. [10]

Advantra Z and Uva Ursi

Uva ursi is sometimes used as an herbal treatment for kidney, urethra, and bladder infections.

It is known to relieve swelling in the urinary tract and ultimately make urination feel less painful.

It has also been known to help treat bronchitis and constipation. [11]

Advantra Z has some health benefits, especially when combined with other ingredients.

What is Uva Ursi

Advantra Z Side Effects

There’s documentation highlighting Advantra Z side effects.

Although Advantra Z and other weight loss products containing bitter orange were supposed to be safe alternatives to ephedra, evidence suggests that bitter orange may cause serious side effects.

There are some reports showing the use of Advantra Z alone or with caffeine may cause serious side effects, including [2]:

  • Increased heart rate
  • High Blood pressure
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia

These symptoms have been known to occur in otherwise healthy adults who took bitter orange as part of a weight loss supplement.

Taking it with caffeine or other herbs that contain caffeine seems to exacerbate these issues and makes them more likely to occur, especially if you already have cardiovascular issues.

It is also known to cause individuals who take it to develop a sensitivity to the sun.

Other side effects of taking some bitter orange supplements include interfering with blood sugar levels in those with Type 2 diabetes and causing symptoms of glaucoma to become worse.

Those with long QT interval syndrome (an illness in which stress factors or physical activity can trigger extreme arrhythmias in the heart) should avoid bitter orange, as it could make their symptoms even worse. [12]

Anyone with a heart arrhythmia should avoid using bitter orange, especially when it has been combined with caffeine.

While some studies suggest that this might not be the case, there are other studies out there that suggest that it is dangerous.

Hordenine has also been shown to increase heart rates and could further exacerbate heart irregularities.

Products with bitter orange in them are also known to interfere with medications used during surgeries.

It is a good idea to stop taking anything with bitter orange in it several weeks before a scheduled surgery and to lay off of it for several weeks afterward.

Additionally, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take Advantra Z, as it is unknown just how severely bitter orange might affect a growing fetus or infant.

While it seems like some individuals would be able to safely consume Advantra Z, there are a lot of potential risks involved, especially for those who already have heart disease or arrhythmias.

Synephrine

Is Advantra Z Safe to Take?

There have been quite a few back-and-forth arguments over whether Advantra Z is safe to consume.

Similar to any ingredient, Advantra Z, as well as similar ingredients including, synephrine, octopamine, caffeine anhydrous, and hordenine can elevate your risk of cardiovascular complications.

Is Advantra Z Banned?

Advantra Z is banned due by some organizations due to its components. [13]

When the United States Food and Drug Administration banned ephedra-containing supplements in 2004, bitter orange became the go-to substitute.

Those who want something similar can find other products containing caffeine anhydrous and synephrine.

These products do get posted for sale on various Internet websites.

Advantra Z Dosage Instructions

The average dosage for bitter orange is between 100-120mg per serving, taken 2-3 times per day.

Advantra Z dosage fell within this range.

Dosages of Advantra Z vary based on supplement.

Caffeine anhydrous

Advantra Z vs Caffeine

Regular caffeine has water content, unlike the minimal amount found in caffeine anhydrous. [14]

This makes it slightly less potent and probably safer to take in moderation.

Many weight loss supplements and nootropics contain caffeine as it is a stimulant that promotes more energy and focus during workouts.

In the battle of Advantra Z vs caffeine, caffeine wins.

Caffeine itself has quite a few health benefits and is probably safer to consume than Advantra Z.

Advantra Z vs Phentermine

Phentermine is a stimulant used for weight loss.

It has side effects similar to Advantra Z, including elevated heart rate and high blood pressure.

It also may interact with certain prescription medications and may become addictive. [15]

Phentermine tablets are appetite suppressants available by prescription.

The Final Verdict on Advantra Z

On the whole, Advantra Z side effects seem relatively dangerous, especially when combined with other stimulant-based ingredients.

However, there are some benefits of Advantra Z; especially when taken as a fat burner or metabolism booster.

As with any ingredient used as a dietary aide, it’s always best to contact your doctor before using.

About the Author:

Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with doctors specializing in weight loss and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University. full bio.