Does the garcinia cambogia extract work
This product helps you reach your weight loss goals when combined with our comprehensive diet and exercise program.
What is Garcinia cambogia?
Garcinia cambogia is an extract obtained from the dried fruit of the Garcinia cambogia (GC) tree, a native plant species of South India and South Asia. 1,2 The fruit looks like a small green pumpkin, and is used extensively in Asian-style cooking for its sour flavor.
What is the active ingredient and how does it work?
The skin, or rind of Garcinia cambogia fruit contains large amounts of hydroxycitric acid (HCA). HCA is a derivative of citric acid, and is marketed as a weight loss supplement, either alone or in combination with other supplements. 1,2
How HCA works to promote weight loss is not precisely known, but several theories exist. Some experts believe it works by inhibiting an enzyme called citrate lyase, interfering with the conversion of unused carbohydrates into fat. Although HCA does have this effect on carbohydrates in a laboratory petri dish, it is unproven whether it does this once inside the body. 1,2
Other experts suggest HCA affects other enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, such as pancreatic alpha amylase and intestinal alpha glucosidase. A few postulate that it increases the release or availability of serotonin in the brain, promoting appetite suppression. 1,2 Nobody knows for sure just how HCA works… or if it really does work.
Is there any evidence to support Garcinia cambogia as a weight loss supplement?
Several trials have investigated use of Garcinia cambogia for weight loss in humans. Some of these trials are of better quality than others, and reviews that group trials together to look for an overall effect give us a better “bigger picture” than just looking at the results of a single trial.
An analysis in 2011 by Onakpoya et al 1 found 12 trials that investigated the effect of Garcinia cambogia for weight loss that matched their strict quality criteria. Although they found evidence that Garcinia cambogia did promote weight loss in the short term, the effect was small and barely significant. The same conclusion was reached in another review by Fassina et al 2 in 2015 of 17 trials, both in humans and animals. Interestingly, in one of the largest individual trials of 135 people, both the active group (the group taking GC) and the control group (the group taking a placebo – or an inactive supplement) lost a significant amount of weight over a 12-week treatment period. 3 As many other previous trials have suggested, it is often the support and encouragement people receive to lose weight that makes more of a difference than any diet or supplement.
In summary, evidence so far does not suggest Garcinia cambogia is effective as a weight loss supplement; although larger scale trails conducted over a longer period of time may shed more light on the subject.
For now, increasing physical activity levels, avoiding alcohol, and eating a healthier diet with more vegetables, whole grains, and less red meat is more likely to make you shed weight long-term than Garcinia cambogia supplements.
Is there any harm in taking Garcinia cambogia supplements?
It is important to remember that ANY product labeled as “natural” or “herbal” is not unquestionably safe. Herbal remedies classified as dietary supplements in the United States are regulated as food products. This means they have not been subjected to the same requirements for safety or efficacy as medicines.
Garcinia cambogia has been implicated in causing liver damage, both when used in combination with other ingredients (for example, in the original formulation of the product Hydroxycut) and when used by itself. Two severe cases are documented. The first was a 52-year-old female who developed severe liver failure requiring a liver transplant after taking 1000 mg of Garcinia cambogia for 15 days, and the other was a 42-year-old female who developed abnormally high liver function tests and coagulopathy (an impaired ability of the blood to clot) after one week of taking GC.
Laxatives – In a study done in 2016, it was found that 10.5 percent of women aged 23 to 25 have used some form of laxatives to help them lose weight.
4 The second lady recovered without incident several days after Garcinia cambogia was discontinued. Interestingly, the manufacturer of Hydroxycut temporarily withdrew the product, but it has since returned a reformulated version that lacks Garcinia cambogia to the market. 5
Other reported adverse effects are generally mild when Garcinia cambogia is taken at the recommended dosage and include stomach upset, dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, and diarrhea. 2,6 Herbal remedies should not be taken by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and anybody with heart disease or other medical conditions should consult their doctor before use. Some studies have suggested that Garcinia cambogia can lower blood sugar or interfere with diabetes control, so it is particularly important if you have diabetes that you talk with your doctor.
On the positive side, unlike stimulants such as phentermine, Garcinia cambogia does not act on the central nervous system, so does not cause sleeplessness, anxiety, affect the heart or blood pressure, and its efficiency does not decrease with time. 5,6,7
Does Garcinia cambogia have any effect on blood sugars?
There have been several contradictory claims about the effects Garcinia cambogia has on blood glucose control with some celebrity endorsements even suggesting it may be beneficial for people with diabetes. While studies in rats have shown a reduction in the amount of glucose absorbed and less of a spike in blood glucose levels following a meal, rats are not humans so studies were needed to determine if this also applied to humans.
Thazhath et al 8 took 12 healthy participants and 8 people with diabetes and compared the effects of hydroxycitric acid (the active ingredient of Garcinia cambogia) plus glucose to water plus glucose in a cross-over type trial. Although some reduction in blood sugar levels were seen in healthy people, there was no reduction in the blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Other markers, such as insulin response, were not affected.
Other human studies have also failed to support use of Garcinia cambogia for blood sugar control. Yonei et al 9 tested the effects of daily supplementation with Garcinia cambogia extract (500 mg/day as hydroxycitric acid) and L-carnitine (600 mg/day) on 35 healthy individuals aged 40-60 with a BMI of 24 or higher. After 8 weeks’ supplementation, the group receiving Garcinia cambogia had an increase of 4.5% in their total cholesterol, 4.1% in their fasting blood sugar levels, and 3.4% in their HbA1c (provides a reflection of long-term glucose control).
Conversely, a 2008 10 study reported a significant reduction in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol when Garcinia cambogia extract was combined with Amorphophallus konjac (also known for its weight loss properties). However, no effect was seen on triglyceride or glucose levels.
Generally speaking, most trials 11 have not shown Garcinia cambogia to have an effect on blood sugars or insulin control; one trial reported a lowering in healthy non-diabetic subjects while another reported an increase in fasting blood sugar levels in overweight individuals. Even though laboratory studies on human cells and animal studies suggested Garcinia cambogia reduced cell synthesis of lipids and increased degradation of cholesterol, human trials have been contradictory. No effects on triglycerides have been reported. Based on the evidence available, Garcinia cambogia is unlikely to have an effect on blood glucose or cholesterol levels, and does not appear beneficial for people with diabetes.
Does Garcinia cambogia interact with any medications?
Garcinia cambogia may interact with the following:
- Diabetes medications, including insulin – variable effects reported, always consult a doctor before use if you have diabetes.
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Other possible, but unsubstantiated, interactions include:
- Iron supplements – several informative sites state Garcinia cambogia contains iron 12 ; however, most supplements use an extract of Garcinia cambogia, which is unlikely to contain high amounts of iron. Several other fruits (such as prunes, persimmons, and passion fruit) also contain iron but are not reported as interacting with iron supplements
- Serotonin-stimulating antidepressants (such as Celexa, Paxil, Zoloft) or pain medications (such as tramadol) – one mouse study 16 suggested Garcinia cambogia had a serotonin-enhancing effect; however, this has not been verified in humans
- Asthma medications (including montelukast) – one documented case study 17 of a woman who developed fatal liver failure after taking two dietary supplements (one of which was Garcinia cambogia) for two weeks on top of her usual asthma medications, including montelukast
- Statins – this is based on the fact that statins can cause rhabdomyolysis (a destruction of muscle cells). One case study 18 reported rhabdomyolosis in a women taking a combination weight loss supplement (of which one of the ingredients was garcinia cambogia); so some experts are concerned about a theorectical additive effect with statins (she was not taking a statin at the time)
- Warfarin – A man taking warfarin together with a combination herbal product that included Garcinia cambogia, reported a change in his INR (a measure of the clotting ability of the blood) that returned to normal after discontinuation of the supplement. 19
In addition, supplements of Garcinia cambogia may contain other nutrients such as calcium and potassium which may cause additive effects in people already supplementing their diet with these nutrients. Always read the label to see what ingredients are actually contained in your supplement, and always seek your doctor’s advice before taking any dietary supplements particularly if you take other medications.
Garcinia Cambogia: Safe for Weight Loss?
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Garcinia cambogia, a tropical fruit also known as the Malabar tamarind, is a popular weight-loss supplement. People say it blocks your body's ability to make fat and it puts the brakes on your appetite. It could help keep blood sugar and cholesterol levels in check, too. You'll find it in bottles on the shelf at the store as well as mixed with other ingredients in diet products.
Does it live up to its hype? Maybe a little, but it might not be worth it.
How It Works
The active ingredient in the fruit's rind, hydroxycitric acid, or HCA, has boosted fat-burning and cut back appetite in studies. It appears to block an enzyme called citrate lyase, which your body uses to make fat. It also raises levels of the brain chemical serotonin, which may make you feel less hungry.
But actual weight loss results aren't impressive. A review published in the Journal of Obesityfound that people who took garcinia cambogia in studies lost about 2 pounds more than people who didn't take it. The reviewers couldn't say for sure that the weight loss was because of the supplement. It could have been from the lower-calorie diet and exercise programs the people in the studies typically followed. Better studies are needed to find out if HCA really helps people lose a lot of weight and keep it off.
Type 2 Diabetes and High Cholesterol
Garcinia cambogia may make it easier for your body to use glucose, the sugar your cells need for energy.
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Mice that got garcinia cambogia in one study had lower insulin levels than mice that didn't. That's another reason, besides weight loss, that people with diabetes are interested in it. However, if you're taking garcinia cambogia along with a medication to control your blood sugar, your glucose could get dangerously low.
Some research has found that garcinia cambogia can also improve cholesterol levels, lowering triglycerides and LDL (the "bad" cholesterol) and raising HDL (the "good" cholesterol). But you shouldn't use it if you're already on a prescription for your cholesterol.
Possible Side Effects
When you take garcinia cambogia, you might get:
In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration warned everyone to stop using a weight-loss product that contained garcinia cambogia because some people taking it got serious liver problems. The product had other ingredients, too, so it's not clear that garcinia cambogia was to blame. While some research suggests the supplement is safe for your liver, other research says no.
Garcinia cambogia may interact badly with:
You definitely don't want to use it when you're pregnant or nursing, or if you have kidney or liver problems. It is possible that manic symptoms may emerge as a side effect.
To Buy or Not to Buy
Since study results are mixed, you should talk with your doctor to help you decide if taking garcinia cambogia is a good idea. Even if it's safe, it may not help you lose much weight. It's probably wiser to spend your money on healthy food or an exercise DVD.
Onakpoya, I. Journal of Obesity, 2011.
NYU Langone Medical Center: "Weight Loss Aids."
Byrne, S. Consumer Reports, March 24, 2014.
Wielinga, P.Y. American Journal of Physiology, June 1, 2005.
Leonhardt, M. Nutrition, October 2004.
Hayamizu, K. Fitoterapia, April 2003.
Preuss, H. Nutrition Research, January 2004.
Preuss, H. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, May 2004.
Preuss, H. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Research, February 2005.
Drugs.com: "Garcinia (hydroxycitric acid)."
Kim, Y. World Journal of Gastroenterology, Aug. 7, 2013.
Stohs, S. Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods, November 2010.
Clouatre, D. World Journal of Gastroenterology, Nov. 28, 2013.
Marquez, F. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Issue 7, 2012.
Medscape: "Leukotriene Receptor Antagonists."
Does Garcinia Cambogia Extract Work for Weight Loss?
Recently, Dr. Oz called Garcinia Cambogia (HCA) the “Holy Grail of Weight Loss”- you’d better believe that it is worth taking a look at!
Dr. Chen called Garcinia Cambogia Extract a “Dual Action Fat Buster” that suppresses appetite and prevents fat from being made.
Now that we’ve gotten your attention, let’s review what this product is, how it works, and why it might just be the weight loss cure you’ve been searching for.
The HCA supplement is actually extracted from the skin of the fruit, which is better known by the name tamarind. The tamarind has been around for centuries, and what it can do for weight loss has basically revolutionized how we think of losing pounds.
The fruit is from Indonesia, but it can also be found in Asia, Africa, and India. It is regularly used in Asian cooking, so you may have even had some tamarind in your food before without realizing it!
It is said to actually make your meals more filling, acting as an appetite suppressant and making you feel full much more quickly.
Interactions The herb has documented drug interactions.
In some cultures, they will add the garcinia gummi-gutta to soup which they eat before a meal to aid with weight loss, because they do not eat much at their meals because the fruit actually blocks their appetites. If it has been being used for many years, why are we just learning about this incredible supplement now!?
The use of HCA can help patients lose two to three times more weight than they would lose without taking the supplement. Overall, this can help users of the product to lose ten pounds or more, over and above what they would have lost without the use of the extract. You are not even required to increase your exercise rate or change your diet to reap the results of HCA.
So if you have a problem with the amount of weight you’ve been able to lose, or the ‘plateau’ feeling that most of us get after losing those first few pounds, Garcinia Cambogia may be right for you!
How The Garcinia Cambogia Diet Works
There are five primary reasons that doctors are calling this the Holy Grail for weight loss. First, it helps a person to manage their level of Cortisol, which is the hormone that results from stress within the body.
Second, it is an appetite reducer, meaning it helps you to not only control the amount of food that you eat, but also those pesky cravings that can throw us all off track.
The third reason is that it actually acts like a fat blocker, so that fat cells are not able to be formed within the body. Combine that with a lower appetite and you’re right on target!
Fourth, it naturally decreases the amount of belly fat that you carry on your body. For anyone trying to lose weight, that is the number one area that we have trouble with, so this is a huge added benefit.
Lastly, it helps those of us who are emotional about our eating habits. Are you one of the many people who eat when they are sad, lonely, or depressed? this weight loss product actually increases your Serotonin level, which helps to even out your moods. You will see a decrease in emotional eating because of it.
Most products simply don’t have as many benefits to the patient. We listed the big five benefits that in tandem, will result in weight loss. Many products out in the weight loss market only have one or two of those features. NOT FIVE! If there are more benefits in your favor, the bigger the chances are that you will lose weight.
Sixth, people who take this product also often see an increase in their lean muscle and a decrease in their level of fat. This is pretty incredible in combination with the five facts listed above.
What to Look for in Garcinia Cambogia Extract
Dr. Oz may have recommended the product on his show, but there are only certain levels of any product that would live up to his high standards. So don’t just buy the first version of the product that you are able to find on the internet and hope for the best. If you do that, you may very well end up with a product that doesn’t meet the doctor’s strict criteria, meaning it will be less effective. While Dr. Oz didn’t approve any one product specifically, you want to make sure the product that you pick falls within the appropriate standards.
There are four things you’ll want to look for in the product that you choose. First, make sure that the supplement is clearly marked as HCA, or Garcinia Cambogia and that it contains at least fifty percent hydroxycitric acid. Next, make sure that the product mentions that it has potassium and calcium in the supplement, which can really help maintain your metabolism level.
cambogia 400 mg or matched placebo 3 times a day before each meal.
You also want it to say that it doesn’t contain artificial ingredients (also called binders or fillers). Last, make sure it has a daily serving size of 1500 milligrams, otherwise you won’t be getting enough of the product to make an impact on your weight loss.
Follow the directions on the package, but also, take the product with an empty stomach approximately one hour before a meal. This supplement is not safe for women who are pregnant or who are breastfeeding. If you have any serious medical problems, you should speak to your doctor before you begin a supplement like Garcinia Cambogia.
So instead of counting calories and making sure you get enough out of each minute of exercise per day, you can use this product as an assistant to your weight loss. Your confidence level will increase, and as you start losing a few pounds, you’ll be all the more likely to continue with your weight loss as you gain energy, increase your mood, and watch the pounds melt away.
You can buy the Garcinia Cambogia extract, or HCA, in most health food stores and all over the internet. Keep in mind that if you make no changes to your diet or exercise routine, you’ll probably see a weight loss of around four pounds per month. But if you are extra motivated to lose weight, use this as an opportunity to eat better, to start up a daily exercise routine, and enhance the natural properties of this amazing supplement to get the maximum benefit.
Famous doctors stated, “Instead of focusing on your weight, you can now focus on your dress size and waist size and the things we all care about. You’ll look better because you have more of that muscle mass because your energy is being used to build muscle instead of fat.”
Garcinia Cambogia Recap
- It acts as a Fat Blocker, which means fat cells will not be allowed to increase in size
- Appetite Suppressant and Controls Cravings
- Decrease in Belly Fat
- No Side Effects
- Supports Healthy Lipid Levels
- Emotional Eaters will see an increase in Serotonin which will Balance Moods
- Helps in managing Cortisol the Stress Hormone
When Buying Garcinia Cambogia Extract Supplement Use The Dr. Oz Buying Guide:
(Remember Dr. Oz does not recommend any specific brand)
- The name Garcinia Cambogia (HCA) is on the bottle
- It Contains at least 50% HCA (hydroxycitric acid)
- It Contains Potassium and Calcium (helps with metabolism)
- The Daily Serving Size is 1500mg – 3000mg
- There are No Fillers, Binders, or Artificial Ingredients
Health experts, doctors, and scientists have shown that you can lose weight with unparalleled Garcinia Cambogia after close studies of its ingredients and how it works. This is the most authoritative of the 7 studies done so far on Pure Garcinia Cambogia for weight loss:
Obviously, taking an Garcinia HCA supplement alone won’t help you shed those unwanted pounds. But in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise, the studies seem promising. In fact, participants in a recent study who took an HCA supplement lost on avg. about four pounds per month! 🙂
Have you tried Garcinia Cambogia? What were your results? How do you feel about it? Share your thoughts with us!