Does garcinia cambogia cause depression

Does garcinia cambogia cause depression
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Can Garcinia Cambogia Help with Depression?

Garcinia cambogia is all over the news. You’ve probably heard the claims about how this “miracle” fruit can help you shed pounds and boost your workout. But does this tropical fruit really hold the key to better physical and mental health?

Garcinia cambogia contains a substance called hydroxycitric acid (HCA). HCA has been shown to increase levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that influences mood, sexual desire, social behavior, and appetite.

Low serotonin levels are linked to depression and anxiety. As your serotonin levels rise, your mood improves. Studies on lab animals show that HCA helps increase serotonin levels, but we haven’t seen how that translates to humans and depression yet.

Because HCA is derived naturally from a fruit, it’s technically safe to consume. But removing HCA from the fruit and processing it into supplement form has its risks. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalls products if they’re found to be unsafe, they do not regulate supplements. The FDA advises extreme caution when adding any supplement to your diet. Just because you see it on the shelf, that doesn’t mean it’s safe.

There have been no significant studies to test whether or not garcinia cambogia or HCA supplements can treat depression. However, some studies have shown that HCA can boost serotonin levels in laboratory animals.

While low serotonin levels have long been linked to depression, more recent research has cast doubt on this cause-and-effect relationship.

With only minimal research conducted on lab animals, it’s a long stretch to think that one unprescribed, unregulated herbal supplement can treat such a debilitating and serious disorder. If you think you may be suffering from depression, contact your healthcare provider and work together to get past it safely and effectively.

Depression can be caused by one or a combination of factors, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. These can include: genetic, environmental, biological, and psychological factors. Treatment is often strongly tied to the cause. The first step to getting help is to visit a doctor to find out the cause and determine how to treat it.

If you’re looking to simply get out of a funk, boosting your mood through certain serotonin-enhancing foods, exercise, increased light exposure, and just finding your happy place will help.

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Garcinia cambogia supplements probably can’t hurt, but they may not help either.

True depression, on the other hand, requires medical treatment, which should not be substituted with an herbal supplement. Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple.

Does Garcinia Cambogia Improve Mood?

Garcinia Cambogia has garnered serious attention since it was first discovered to aid weight loss and inhibit fat cells before they can develop in your body. But, did you know that Garcinia Cambogia can also aid in the treatment of depression and can be used as a mental stimulant as well?

Doctors have recently discovered that Garcinia Cambogia, the natural supplement derived from a tropical fruit may actually hold the key to not only losing weight and keeping it off, but has recently been proven to improve mental health as well.

How does it work?

Garcinia Cambogia contains a chemical substance called hydroxycitric acid, or HCA. Hydroxycitric Acid is found within the skin of the Garcinia Cambogia fruit and has been proven to greatly increase levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters vastly influence your mental clarity, while stabilizing your mood, and can even help decrease appetite.

Adequate amounts of serotonin are necessary for a stable mood and to balance any excessive stimulating neurotransmitters from firing off in the brain. Excessive amounts of caffeine as well as other factors can cause a depletion of serotonin in the brain over time.

It has been recently estimated that about 86% of Americans have below standard working neurotransmitter levels. Because HCA found in Garcinia Cambogia is a natural fruit derivative, it is currently considered the safest way to elevate serotonin levels and eliminate depression and moodiness.

What the latest studies show

Recent studies conducted on lab animals show that HCA helps rapidly increase serotonin levels.

Moreover, by increasing oxygen utilization in the body it enhances energy consumption which leads to faster breakdown of glucose.

"Converting that to actual weight loss in humans would take 1,000 steps beyond that," he says.

Studies show that the active ingredient HCA found in Garcinia Cambogia can inhibit a fat producing enzyme called Citrate Lyase and can greatly increase serotonin levels, leading to significant weight loss as well as mood stabilization.

Serotonin holds a powerful influence over stabilizing a persons mood, emotional health, memory loss, cravings, self-esteem and confidence, sleep, appetite, digestion and body temperature control. Anyone who has ever experienced depression knows that when we feel depressed or down, we naturally crave more sugars and starches and excessive carbohydrates to stimulate the production of serotonin.

This can often be the result of low serotonin levels. To greatly increase and steady your Serotonin and Cortisol levels, use proven Garcinia Cambogia. You will begin to see a real change in what you used to believe were emotionally insecure eating habits.

What a lot of people do not realize is, remembering to take in plenty of sunlight and maintain a healthy diet rich in protein, minerals and vitamins can work wonders for helping to raise serotonin levels. Regular exercise and a good nights sleep can also significantly support serotonin levels. And now we know that HCA and Garcinia Cambogia used regularly can improve serotonin levels leading to weight loss and an improvement in your mood.

Doctors now acknowledge that here is a significant link between mental imbalances and difficulty losing excess weight. There have also been numerous studies that have shown obesity related to depression and excessive overeating. If you have been unsuccessful in the past with your weight loss, chances are pretty good that you may have a loss of serotonin. If you are like so many others, and you keep trying different diets.

Diets that seem to work for others but just do not seem to make a difference with your weight loss, consider taking Garcinia Cambogia Extract as a dietary supplement as well as a serotonin stimulant. It has been proven to be a safe and effective as a weight loss treatment and mood stabilizing dietary supplement.

However, when you read the ingredients page on the website this claim is not quite accurate as it states that each serving contains a proprietary blend of 450 mg of Garcinia Cambogia extract, Calcium and Potassium.

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Garcinia Cambogia: Weight-Loss Supplement May Be Toxic to Some

The use of Garcinia cambogia, a popular weight-loss supplement, may pose health risks to people who are taking certain antidepressants, a recent case report suggests.

Last year in Oregon, a 35-year-old woman who had been taking Garcinia cambogia supplements for two or three months while also taking an antidepressant started stuttering and sweating profusely. In the emergency room of a local hospital, the medical staff noted that the woman's heart rate and blood pressure were high, and that she had also developed foot clonus, involuntary muscle spasms that cause a person's foot to flex.

The woman's symptoms were characteristic of serotonin toxicity, a drug reaction that occurs when levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin are too high. After the woman was given medication for serotonin toxicity and spent a few days at the hospital, her symptoms subsided and she eventually recovered. [14 Oddest Medical Cases]

"I am hesitant to label it [Garcinia cambogia] as a dangerous supplement, because until we see more than one case, we want to make sure that this actually is something that is going to occur," said Dr. Robert Hendrickson, one of the authors of the case report.

However, previous studies on people and animals have shown that Garcinia cambogia may, indeed, increase serotonin levels. And taking the supplement in combination with antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which also cause serotonin levels to rise, could lead to serotonin toxicity, said Hendrickson, a toxicologist at the Department of Emergency Medicine of Oregon Health and Sciences University.

Hendrickson added that, based on the animal and human data suggesting both SSRIs and Garcinia increase serotonin levels, he recommends that people who are taking an SSRI not use Garcinia, at least until further research is done.

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"Not because I know that it will be dangerous, but because there is a chance that it could be," he said.

"If I had a family member or a patient who was considering starting Garcinia and they were on an SSRI, I would recommend that they don't do it for now," Hendrickson told Live Science.

Garcinia cambogia, also known as tamarind, is a small, pumpkin-shaped fruit, and diet supplements made from it are touted for helping people lose weight. However, researchers have so far found only mixed results when looking at whether the supplement really helps weight loss. And one study in rats suggested that extremely high doses of Garcinia may cause testicular atrophy, and toxicity.

The woman in the case report had been previously diagnosed with serotonin toxicity while she was taking a different kind of antidepressant. At that time, she had also been taking Garcinia for a month or two, but she didn't tell the doctor who prescribed her antidepressant that she had also been taking the weight-loss supplement, Hendrickson said.

Therefore, her doctor attributed her first case of serotonin toxicity to her first antidepressant, and switched her to another one. Then, she developed her second case of toxicity, for which Hendrickson saw her.

"The question is whether this person was uniquely susceptible to this problem, or if this is a bigger problem," Hendrickson said. "And I suspect, over the next year or two, if this is a bigger problem — given the number of people taking Garcinia — we will see if there are a lot more people with this toxicity."

The researchers said they cannot be absolutely sure that it was, indeed, the use of Garcinia that caused the patient to develop serotonin toxicity. Another potential, but less likely, trigger of the reaction, could have been the SSRI that she had been taking. Moreover, it is also possible that although the supplement she was taking was labeled as Garcinia, it might not have contained the supplement, but rather some other substance, Hendrickson said.

"There is a big difference between a pharmaceutical, like a medication, and a supplement," Hendrickson said.

Immensely impressed by recent scientific research, he dubbed garcinia cambogia as the “holy grail” to beat weight gain.

Medications are highly regulated. "Supplements, on the other hand, are completely unregulated," he said. Whereas people can be relatively certain that a bottle of medication contains the ingredients that it is supposed to contain, the same cannot be said about supplements. [Aspirin to Zoloft: How 4 Common Medicines Work]

"There is no regulatory agency that's watching that says that you had to test it and prove that there is Garcinia in it," Hendrickson said, adding that there is also currently no way to test whether a certain pill really contains Garcinia or not.

Previous research has shown that some supplements did not contain the herbs or other substances that their bottles said they contained. Moreover, there have also been instances in which other substances sold as supplements contained pharmaceutical agents, Hendrickson said.

For instance, valerian root supplement pills that are sold as an herbal sleep aid have been found to contain valium, as it was cheaper for the pill manufacturer to use the drug than the herb, he said.

However, most capsules labeled Garcinia likely do include Garcinia, Hendrickson said. And because previous studies have shown that Garcinia causes a serotonin increase, it is quite likely that this also occurred in the case discussed in the study, the researchers said.

The study was published online April 4 in the Journal of Medical Toxicology.