Limonene is a chemical present in the peels of citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges. It is highly prevalent in orange peels, accounting for around 97% of the essential oils found in this rind. It is commonly known as d-limonene, which is its primary chemical form. Limonene is one of the most prevalent terpenes occurring in nature and has been linked to a variety of health advantages. It possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-stress, and perhaps disease-preventing qualities. Supporters claim D-limonene can help with weight loss and also treat or prevent certain diseases such as cancer.
Limonene is obtained using hydro – distillation, which involves immersing fruit peels in water and heating them until the volatile particles are released via vapor, condensed, and separated.
Limonene is used as a flavor in foods, beverages, and chewing gum. It is also used in pharmaceuticals to aid medical ointments and lotions absorb through the skin. Limonene is a common additive in foods, cosmetics, cleaning goods, and natural insect repellents. It is used to add a lemony flavor to products like sodas, sweets, and confectionery, for example. Limonene is used as a botanical insecticide due to its powerful fragrance. It is an active ingredient in a variety of pesticide treatments, including eco-friendly insect repellents. Cleansers, shampoos, lotions, fragrances, laundry detergents, and air fresheners are among the several home goods that include this chemical.
D-Limonene is also available as a concentrated supplement in capsule and liquid form. These are frequently advertised for their alleged health benefits. Because of its soothing and therapeutic effects, this citrus chemical is often utilized as an aromatic oil.
Mechanism of action
In labs, limonene has been shown to inhibit the formation of cancer-causing compounds and to destroy cancer cells. Further research is needed to determine whether this occurs in humans.
D-limonene is obtained from citrus fruit rind. In laboratory experiments, it demonstrated anti-inflammatory, wound healing, and anticancer properties. D-limonene has been found to modify the signaling pathways inside cancer cells in a way that prevents cancer cells from proliferating and causes them to die (a process known as “apoptosis”). D-limonene inhibited the growth of pancreatic, stomach, colon, skin, and liver cancers in animal studies. It also delayed the growth and progression of tumors in mice subjected to cancer-causing chemicals. These anticancer activities, however, have still not been demonstrated in humans.
Limonene has been investigated for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, and heart-disease-fighting effects. Nevertheless, because most study has been done in test tubes or on animals, it is difficult to properly comprehend the role of limonene towards human health and illness prevention.
1.) May have anti-cancer properties.
Limonene may possess anticancer properties. In a population research, those who ate citrus fruit peels, the main source of dietary limonene, had a lower chance of acquiring skin cancer than those who solely ate citrus fruits or their juices.
Another study found that ingesting 2 g of limonene everyday for 2–6 weeks reduced breast tumor cell expression by 22% in 43 women recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
D-Limonene’s anticancer effects have long been advocated by alternative therapists. Perillic acid, a chemical released into the bloodstream when D-limonene is metabolized down by the body, is thought to be responsible for the impact.
2.) Posses anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
In certain trials, limonene has been proven to decrease inflammation. Limonene has been proven to lower inflammatory indicators associated with osteoarthritis, a chronic inflammatory illness. In a test-tube examination of human cartilage cells, limonene was found to inhibit nitric oxide generation. Nitric oxide is a signalling molecule that is involved in inflammatory processes.
Limonene has also been shown to have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants aid in the reduction of cell damage produced by unstable molecules known as free radicals.
The buildup of free radicals can result in oxidative stress, which can cause inflammation and diseases. In one test-tube investigation, limonene was found to block free radicals in leukaemia cells, implying a reduction in inflammation and cellular damage that would ordinarily contribute to illness.
Though these results are promising, additional human studies are needed to confirm these results.
3.) May aid in weight loss.
4.) May improve heart health.
More research is needed to assess the efficacy of limonene for these applications.
Limonene is thought to be safe for people, with little adverse affects. Limonene is recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a safe food additive and flavor. When taken orally at therapeutic dosages for up to a year, it is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people. The following are examples of common side effects:
Yet, limonene may lead to skin irritation in certain individuals when administered directly to the skin, so employ caution when using its essential oil. When applied to the skin, D-limonene might cause irritation. The same is true for citrus essential oils, which are abundant in D-limonene. If you wish to use citrus essential oils for massage, always combine them with a carrier oil (like avocado or sweet almond oil) to prevent skin irritation.
Limonene is often used as a supplement in a concentrated form. It is generally safe to take in this form due to the way your body breaks it down. However, human research on such supplements is limited.
Precautions and warnings
D-Limonene’s safety in children, pregnant women, or nursing mothers has not been demonstrated. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, always consult your doctor before taking D-limonene or any other supplement. Because the effects of D-limonene in children are undetermined, it is advisable to avoid the supplement entirely.
It seems to be important to check with your doctor before using limonene supplements, particularly if you’re on any medication, pregnant or breastfeeding, or have a medical issue.
Most of the same liver enzymes that are used to metabolize other medications are used to break down D-limonene. As a result, D-limonene may enhance or decrease the concentration of specific medications since they compete for the same enzyme, cytochrome P450 (CYP450).
The following are examples of possible drug-drug interactions:
- Coumadin and other anticoagulants (warfarin).
- Tegretol and other anticonvulsants (carbamazepine).
- Antifungal medications such as Nizoral (ketoconazole).
- Cozaar and other antihypertensive medicines (losartan).
- Orap and other antipsychotic medications (pimozide).
- Nefazodone and other atypical antidepressants.
- Halcion and other benzodiazepine tranquillizers (triazolam).
- Tagamet and other H2 blockers (cimetidine).
- Macrolide antibiotics such as Clarithromycin and Telithromycin.
- NSAID’s (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs).
- Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitors (omeprazole)
Most of these interactions can be avoided by spacing out the doses by 2 to 4 hours. Others may necessitate a dose reduction or substitute. Always inform your doctor about every medications and supplements that your are taking, even if they are prescribed, over-the-counter, nutritional, herbal, or recreational, to prevent interactions.
The optimal limonene dosage is determined by various factors, including the patient’s age, health, as well as other conditions. There is currently insufficient scientific evidence to identify an optimum range of limonene dosages. Bare in mind that natural products may not always be safe, and dosages can be critical. Before using, make sure to read the product label and discuss with your pharmacist, physician, or other healthcare expert.
However, dosages of up to 2 grams per day have been administered successfully in research. Capsule supplements, which can be purchased online, have dosages ranging from 250–1,000 mg. Limonene is also available in liquid formulation, with average serving sizes of 0.05 ml.
Supplements, on the other hand, aren’t always necessary. This chemical is easily obtained by consuming citrus fruits and peels.
Fresh orange, lime, or lemon zest, for instance, can be used to add limonene to baked products, beverages, and other foods. Furthermore, limonene can be found in pulpy citrus liquids like lemon or orange juice.
D-Limonene is a compound derived from citrus fruit peels.
According to research, D-Limonene may have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer properties. However, further human investigation is necessary, to validate these advantages.
To increase your limonene consumption, consider adding lemon, lime, or orange zest to your favorite foods.