Are the Morosil gummies touted by TikTok really effective for weight loss?

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Morosil is at the heart of a new health trend on TikTok! This blood orange peel extract is sold as the ideal dietary supplement for health and losing fat, especially in the abdomen. But what does science say about its effectiveness?

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Facilitates digestion, improves cardiovascular health, reduces the risk of chronic diseases, regulates bad sugars, helps sleep well, relieves stress, prevents skin aging… If we are to believe the TikTok videos compiled under the # morosil, 85.3 million views, this blood orange peel extract is a miraculous product. But in addition to all the health benefits touted, but not scientifically proven, Morosil also helps to lose fat and weight.

It is its slimming properties that make Morosil so popular on TikTok. Individuals who testify to having lost several pounds by simply taking one or two Morosil candies a day are legion, and encourage other users to do the same. Women especially, sometimes very young, ask how to get the famous sweets and hope to get the famous flat stomach. What is behind this new TikTok trend?

Food supplements: dangerous or good for your health?

Morosil is the commercial name of an extract from the skin of blood oranges of the cultivar ‘Moro’, grown in a very restricted geographical area around Mount Etna, in Italy. This extract is particularly rich, among other things, in anthocyanins and flavones, the pigments responsible for the dark color of citrus fruits, in ascorbic acid, and in cimic acid also present in cinnamon. These molecules would be responsible for all the benefits described above on health and weight.

Morosil is part of the large family of dietary supplements that are often sold as having a number of health benefits. If there are exceptions, most dietary supplements have not been tested in clinical studies on humans or the results obtained are difficult to convince of their effectiveness. Pre-clinical studies on laboratory animals provide interesting data but do not guarantee efficacy on the human body. Most of the health arguments put forward by food supplement manufacturers have fragile scientific foundations.

Scientific results far from promises

Regarding Morosil, an Italian-Australian double-blind, randomized study was published in February 2022 – this is the most recent available. It was funded by Bionap, an Italian manufacturer of food supplements including an extract from the skin of ‘Moro’ blood orange (and other cultivars) under the name Red Orange Complex®. The study was conducted among a hundred volunteers, aged around fifty and who are overweight but in good general health. Half of the participants took a placebo, the other half a 400 mg capsule of blood orange peel extract. The follow-up lasted six months during which the scientists considered different parameters: weight, BMI, waist circumference, hip circumference, body fat rate and fat distribution. The participants also had to walk 30 minutes a day, three times a week and scrupulously note the composition of their meal (the scientists did not verify their statements). What are the results ?

The volunteers who took the food supplement lost an average of four kilos at the end of six months, one or two centimeters around the waist and hips compared to the volunteers in the placebo group. The blood orange extract had almost no effect on fat, yet the number 1 argument of Tiktokeurs, whether in general or in more targeted areas: the fat rate in the abdomen is substantially the same after six months of treatment. Fairly weak scientific results and even more weakened by the fact that 30% of the workforce left the study along the way. These results are a far cry from the promises made on TikTok and by supplement manufacturers who care more about your wallet than your health.