Relora is a weight loss supplement consisting of proprietary extracts of two traditional Chinese herbs: Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense 4. According to its manufacturer, Next Phamaceuticals, Relora works by reducing stress, attenuating sweet cravings and improving sleep quality. Elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol and poor sleep have both been associated with obesity, based on studies by the North American Association for the Study of Obesity and the University of California San Francisco. According to a report in Total Health Magazine, over 80 million doses of Relora have been taken in the U.S., with no reports of serious side effects 3.
The most common side effect of Relora is drowsiness. Twenty percent of individuals in the Relora clinical trials experienced mild drowsiness, which usually dissipated within the first couple of days of supplementation.
In a study published in Alternative Therapies, participants taking Relora experienced a mild decrease in systolic blood pressure, which averaged 5 mm Hg. No changes in diastolic blood pressure occurred. Authors of the study indicate this as a potential secondary benefit of the supplement.
Uncommon Side Effects
Uncommon side effects of Relora include heartburn, shaking hands, sexual dysfunction and thyroid dysfunction. However, these were reported in only a single participant from one study. Extremely high doses of Relora caused mild diarrhea in study animals, but this has not been observed at the recommended human dosage.
Relora has anti-anxiety and anti-histamine activities, which may have unwanted additive effects when taken with other medications or supplements that also have these properties. No other drug interactions have been reported; however, a person who is on prescription medication should consult a qualified health care professional before taking Relora.
Because of the lack of safety data, Relora should not be taken by women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or lactating.
- "PLoS Medicine"; Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index; S. Taheri, L. Lin, D. Austin, et al; 2004
- "Psychoneuroendocrinology"; Stress may add bite to appetite in women: A laboratory study of stress-induced cortisol and eating behavior; E. Epel, R. Lapidus, B. McEwen, K. Brownell; January 2001
- "Total Health Magazine"; Manage Stress and Improve Sleep with Relora®; H. Cass; 2008
- "Alternative Therapies"; Effect of a Proprietary Magnolia and Phellodendron Extract on Weight Management: A Pilot, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial; R. Garrison and W.G. Chambliss; January 2006
- magnolia image by Artyom Yefimov from Fotolia.com