Garcinia cambogia drink
Using Garcinia Cambogia With Green Tea Extract Two of the most popular supplements for weight loss today are Garcinia Cambogia and Green Tea Extract.
How to Take Garcinia Cambogia
Are you looking for an herbal supplement to curb your appetite and help you lose weight? Garcinia cambogia has been used in Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medicine, as a digestive aid. Whether you are severely overweight and looking for something natural to help or just need to lose a few pounds, you can understand the origins and use of garcinia cambogia to see if it might be right for you. 
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Understanding Garcinia Cambogia Edit
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Garcinia (hydroxycitric acid)
Scientific Name(s): Garcinia cambogia (Gaertn.) Desr. Family: Clusiaceae (Guttiferae)
Common Name(s): Malabar tamarind , hydroxycitric acid ( HCA )
The medical literature primarily documents weight loss and lipid-lowering activity for the plant. However, trials supporting its use are limited.
The dosages of G. cambogia extract in clinical trials ranged from 1,500 to 4,667 mg/day (25 to 78 mg/kg/day). The equivalent hydroxycitric acid (HCA) dose in the trials ranged from 900 to 2,800 mg/day (15 to 47 mg/kg/day). G. cambogia is available in capsule or tablet form with a maximum dose of 1,500 mg/day.
Avoid use if there is a known allergy or hypersensitivity to any components of G. cambogia .
Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.
The herb has documented drug interactions.
At least 15 clinical studies involving approximately 900 patients document very mild adverse reactions. Most adverse reactions included headache, dizziness, dry mouth, and GI complaints such as nausea and diarrhea.
Toxicology studies resulted in no toxicity or deaths in animals at dosages of HCA 5,000 mg/kg, equivalent to 350 g or 233 times the maximum dosage of 1.5 g/day of HCA. In patients taking certain combination weight-loss supplements containing G. cambogia , severe or even fatal hepatotoxicity may occur.
The genus Garcinia is mainly distributed in tropical regions and includes approximately 200 species. G. cambogia belongs to the family Guttiferae and is found in India, Malaysia, and Africa. G. cambogia is commonly found in evergreen or semievergreen forests of southwest India, where 36 other species have been documented. 1 , 2 The plant species has variability in its branching pattern, fruit color, shape, and size. 1 The tree is small-to-medium in size with drooping branches. The leaves are dark green and glossy, oval-shaped with a narrow end, 5 to 12 cm in length, and 2 to 7 cm around. The tree is tolerant to drought and flowers during the hot season. The yellow, orange, or red fruit ripens during the rainy season and contains HCA. It is ovoid in shape, 5 centimeters around, has 6 to 8 seeds, and is listed in the US Department of Agriculture inventory of perennial edible fruits. 2
Dried fruit rinds have been used extensively for centuries throughout Southeast Asia for culinary purposes as a condiment and flavoring agent in place of tamarind or lemon. Additional culinary uses include the flavoring of curries, meat, and seafood. The fruit extract has been used as a flavoring agent for beverages and gourmet spices, as well as a carminative, thereby helping to prevent the formation of gas in the GI tract after a meal. HCA and other organic acids from the dried rind combined with salt help lower pH and provide a bacteriostatic effect used in curing fish. The herb is considered beneficial for overall health in the traditional Ayurvedic medical system. Rheumatism and bowel complaints are treated with a decoction of the fruit rind. A rinse is used from the herbal extract in veterinary medicine for some diseases of the mouth in cattle. HCA has also become popular as an ingredient for weight loss. 2 , 3 , 4
HCA is the primary medicinal component contained in the fruit rinds of G. cambogia . 5 HCA is present as up to 30% by weight in the pericarp of G. cambogia fruit. 6 Xanthones, xanthone derivatives, and polyisoprenylated benzophenones have been isolated. 6 , 7 Some salts used in commercial products are water soluble and bioavailable, and are a good source of calcium (495 mg) and potassium (720 mg). 8 Studies also document interest in production of HCA by using microorganisms. 9 , 10
Uses and Pharmacology
The medical literature primarily documents research on the weight loss and lipid-lowering activity of the plant.
In vitro and animal data
In 2 experiments using the human hepatoma cell line HepG2, overnight exposure to G. cambogia extract caused an upregulation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor activity and an upregulation of the level of HMG-CoA reductase resulting in decreased cholesterol synthesis. 11 Flavonoids from the plant reduced lipid levels in normal and hypercholesterolemic rats. 7 Reductions were also documented in triglycerides, phospholipids, and free fatty acids. The mechanism of action for the flavonoids may involve: (1) reducing the rate of lipogenesis by reducing the activities of lipogenic enzymes, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, and isocitrate dehydrogenase; and (2) increasing the rate of degradation of cholesterol leading to higher levels of hepatic and fecal bile acids, as well as neutral sterols in rats treated with the herb. While dexamethasone typically elevates lipid profiles, G. cambogia extract maintained normal lipid levels in rats administered dexamethasone. 12
In a 4-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 150 obese patients were treated with a dietary supplement ( G. cambogia extract 55 mg, chitosan 240 mg, and chrome 19 mg) together with a weight reduction regimen. Treatment groups administered the dietary supplement showed statistically significant dose-related reductions in weight, total and LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, and improvement in high density lipoprotein cholesterol. 13
The suggested mechanism of action involves HCA-inhibiting lipogenesis, increasing lipid oxidation, and reducing food intake. 3 , 14
A study in obese rats found high doses of HCA-containing G. cambogia (154 mmol HCA/kg diet) effective in suppressing epididymal adipose tissue. This same study also found testicular atrophy and toxicity at dosages of 778 mg HCA/kg body weight/day (102 mmol HCA/kg diet) and higher.
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4 Another study in rats administered a high-fat diet and a mixture of G. cambogia extract, soypeptide, and L-carnitine, led to a reduction in body weight and accumulation of visceral fat mass. 15 The mixture also improved blood and hepatic lipid concentrations or the induced dyslipidemia in the rats. Other combination products with G. cambogia are also effective in reducing weight gain and improving dyslipidemia, hyperinsulinemia, hyperleptinemia, and fatty liver in mice. 16 The antiobesity effect involves modulation of several genes associated with visceral adipogenesis. One study in adult, nonobese cats found no effect on fat-free mass or energy expenditure. 17
In an 8-week randomized clinical trial, 40 patients were given either placebo or G. cambogia extract (500 mg/capsule) by mouth before each meal. Patients administered the extract exhibited weight loss and improvement in cholesterol and triglycerides when compared with the placebo group. 2
In a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 40 obese patients were treated with a combination supplement containing G. cambogia 50 mg as well as a 1,200 calorie diet per day. Two tablets of the supplement were taken by mouth 3 times a day after meals. The treatment group attained a 3.5 kg weight loss versus 1.2 kg on placebo, and a more than 85% reduction in fat loss in body composition measurements. The majority of the active group participants did not follow the diet regimen. 18
In a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group trial, 89 mildly overweight women were treated with a 1,200 kcal diet along with 2 caplets of G. cambogia 400 mg or matched placebo 3 times a day before each meal. At the end of the trial, both groups lost weight, but the treatment group achieved greater reduction in body weight. G. cambogia had no effect on appetitive variables. 14
Numerous studies document the safety profile of the calcium-potassium double salt of 60% HCA preparation (HCA-SX), as well as its bioavailability and efficacy in helping patients attain a healthy body weight. 3 , 19 , 20 , 21 , 22 , 23
An 8-week, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study examined the efficacy of HCA-SX in 54 overweight patients. The treatment group was administered a combination supplement containing G. cambogia 500 mg 3 times a day while the control group received the placebo. All patients were asked to maintain a low-fat diet and drink 64 oz of water per day. The treatment group lost an average weight of 11.14 lb/person as compared with the control group, which lost an average of 4.2 lb/person. 19
Another 8-week, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study examined the efficacy of HCA in 60 obese patients. The dosage regimen for HCA was 400 mg 3 times a day before each meal. All patients were on a low-fat diet and also instructed to exercise 3 times a week. Results indicated weight loss for the experimental group compared with the placebo group and that 87% of the weight loss in the HCA group was because of fat loss. Appetite scores were also reduced in the HCA-treated group. 19
Visceral, subcutaneous, and total fat accumulation were reduced in 39 patients over 16 weeks in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. The dosage regimen included HCA 1,000 mg/day versus placebo. At the end of the treatment, both groups were administered placebo for 4 weeks and no rebound effect was documented. 24
Another clinical study documented that treatment with HCA failed to produce weight change and fat mass change in patients. 25 However, the design of the clinical trial, the lack of bioavailability, and dosage of HCA used have been criticized. 2
Other pharmacologic activity
Some studies found that supplementation with G. cambogia can reduce oxidative damage. 26
The fruit contains xanthones, which inhibit pre-neoplastic lesions in mammary and colon cancer. The xanthones may also induce apoptosis in mouth, leukemia, breast, gastric, and lung cancer cell lines in vitro. 27
Glucose metabolism may be improved by lowering serum insulin levels in mice treated with G. cambogia . Leptin is a hormone associated with appetite control. G. cambogia may have leptin-like activity as mice treated with G. cambogia had decreased serum leptin levels and a reduced leptin/white adipose tissue ratio. 28 HCA treatment delayed and reduced intestinal glucose absorption in rats; the treatment causes delayed intestinal absorption of glucose rather than delayed gastric emptying. 29
HCA promoted lipid oxidation and reduced carbohydrate use in mice at rest and during running. 30 The utilization of respiratory gases was reduced for mice treated with HCA at rest and during exercise. Some studies on herbal coffee supplements with HCA showed an increase in resting energy expenditure to enhance metabolic rates and promote weight and fat loss. 31 , 32
Antiulcer activity was observed against induced gastric mucosal injury in rats with pretreatment of G. cambogia extract that decreased volume and acidity of gastric juice. 33 A similar study in rats found activity against indomethacin-induced gastric ulcers. 34 The anti-inflammatory activity of G. cambogia protected against induced colitis in rats. 35
Red blood cell count
A G. cambogia extract caused an increase in the red blood cell (RBC) count in rat tissue. The activity may be (1) associated with the iron in G. cambogia , as iron is an erythropoietic agent; (2) antioxidant activity and may decrease the rate of oxidant-induced hemolysis, which increases the life span of the RBC; or (3) the content of bioflavonoids in the plant, which may increase the level of peripheral testosterone, which can stimulate erythropoiesis in humans. 36
The dosages of G. cambogia extract in clinical trials ranged from 1,500 to 4,667 mg/day (25 to 78 mg/kg/day). The equivalent HCA dose in the trials ranged from 900 to 2,800 mg/day (15 to 47 mg/kg/day). 2 , 14 , 18 , 19 , 23 , 24 , 25 G. cambogia is available in capsule or tablet form with a maximum dose of 1,500 mg/day.
Due to lack of clinical and scientific information, use should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation. One animal study in rats documented decreased maternal body weight gain during gestation. 37
In patients taking medications for diabetes by mouth or insulin, G. cambogia may lower blood sugar levels. 28 , 29
G. cambogia contains iron and thus may have additive adverse reactions for patients taking medications for anemia. 36
Potassium and calcium supplements
Some commercial G. cambogia products contain adequate amounts of potassium and calcium. 8 Caution is advised for patients taking medications for heart disease, high blood pressure, or arrhythmia while supplementing with any product containing this herb.
A mouse study using a commercial polyherbal product containing G.
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cambogia found a potential serotonergic effect on food intake. Caution is advised for patients being treated for pain or taking medications for any psychiatric condition. 38
Singulair (or leukotriene receptor antagonists)
One case report documented fatal liver failure in a patient taking Singulair and 2 dietary supplements, one of which included G. cambogia and citrus derivatives. 39
A case report of rhabdomyolysisis is documented in a patient taking a combination herbal medicine containing G. cambogia . 40
In one case report, the international normalized ratio of a patient returned to normal after he stopped taking a combination herbal product containing G. cambogia . 41
A total of 15 clinical studies involving approximately 900 patients documented very mild adverse reactions. Most adverse reactions included headache, dizziness, dry mouth, and GI complaints such as nausea and diarrhea. 2 , 42
Toxicology studies resulted in no toxicity or deaths in animals at HCA dosages of 5,000 mg/kg, equivalent to 350 g or 233 times the maximum dose of 1.5 g/day of HCA. 5 In patients taking certain combination weight-loss supplements containing G. cambogia , severe or even fatal hepatotoxicity may occur. 43 , 44 Some animal studies document testicular toxicity, 4 , 45 while other studies do not. 46 , 47
No unusual electrocardiographic effects (QTc interval or other electrocardiograph variables) were seen over 5 hours in patients taking half the recommended dose of a multicomponent weight loss supplement containing G. cambogia . 48 Patients receiving G. cambogia extract (1,667.3 mg/kg equivalent to 1,000 mg HCA/day) for 12 weeks exhibited no reproductive toxicity on serum testosterone, estrone, and estradiol levels. 49
2. Soni MG, Burdock GA, Preuss HG, Stohs SJ, Ohia SE, Bagchi D. Safety assessment of (-)-hydroxycitric acid and Super CitriMax, a novel calcium/potassium salt. Food Chem Toxicol . 2004;42(9):1513-1529.
3. Ohia SE, Opere CA, LeDay AM, Bagchi M, Bagchi D, Stohs SJ. Safety and mechanism of appetite suppression by a novel hydroxycitric acid extract (HCA-SX). Mol Cell Biochem . 2002;238(1-2):89-103.
4. Saito M, Ueno M, Ogino S, Kubo K, Nagata J, Takeuchi M. High dose of Garcinia cambogia is effective in suppressing fat accumulation in developing male Zucker obese rats, but highly toxic to the testis. Food Chem Toxicol . 2005;43(3):411-419.
5. Jena BS, Jayaprakasha GK, Singh RP, Sakariah KK. Chemistry and biochemistry of (-)-hydroxycitric acid from Garcinia . J Agric Food Chem . 2002;50(1):10-22.
6. Masullo M, Bassarello C, Suzuki H, Pizza C, Piacente S. Polyisoprenylated benzophenones and an unusual polyisoprenylated tetracyclic xanthone from the fruits of Garcinia cambogia . J Agric Food Chem . 2008;56(13):5205-5210.
7. Koshy AS, Anila L, Vijayalakshmi NR. Flavonoids from Garcinia cambogia lower lipid levels in hypercholesterolemic rats. Food Chem . 2001;72(3):289-294.
8. Downs BW, Bagchi M, Subbaraju GV, Shara MA, Preuss HG, Bagchi D. Bioefficacy of a novel calcium-potassium salt of (-)-hydroxycitric acid. Mutat Res . 2005;579(1-2):149-162.
9. Hida H, Yamada T, Yamada Y. Production of hydroxycitric acid by microorganisms. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem . 2005;69(8):1555-1561.
10. Yamada T, Hida H, Yamada Y. Chemistry, physiological properties, and microbial production of hydroxycitric acid. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol . 2007;75(5):977-982.
11. Berkhout TA, Havekes LM, Pearce NJ, Groot PH. The effect of (-)-hydroxycitrate on the activity of the low-density-lipoprotein receptor and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase levels in the human hepatoma cell line Hep G2. Biochem J . 1990;272(1):181-186.
12. Mahendran P, Devi CS. Effect of Garcinia cambogia extract on lipids and lipoprotein composition in dexamethasone administered rats. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol . 2001;45(3):345-350.
13. Girola M, De Bernardi M, Contos S, et al. Dose effect in lipid-lowering activity of a new dietary integrator (chitosan), Garcinia combogia extract and chrome. Acta Toxicol Ther . 1996;17(1):25-40.
14. Mattes RD, Bormann L. Effects of (-)-hydroxycitric acid on appetitive variables. Physiol Behav . 2000;71(1-2):87-94.
15. Kim YJ, Kim KY, Kim MS, Lee JH, Lee KP, Park T. A mixture of the aqueous extract of Garcinia cambogia , soy peptide and L: -carnitine reduces the accumulation of visceral fat mass in rats rendered obese by a high fat diet. Genes Nutr . 2008;2(4):353-358.
16. Kim KY, Lee HN, Kim YJ, Park T. Garcinia cambogia extract ameliorates visceral adiposity in C57BL/6J mice fed on a high-fat diet. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem . 2008;72(7):1772-1780.
17. Leray V, Dumon H, Martin L, et al. No effect of conjugated linoleic acid or Garcinia cambogia on fat-free mass, and energy expenditure in normal cats. J Nutr . 2006;136(suppl 7):1982S-1984S.
18. Thom E. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a new weight-reducing agent of natural origin. J Int Med Res . 2000;28(5):229-233.
19. Lau FC, Bagchi M, Sen C, Roy S, Bagchi D. Nutrigenomic analysis of diet-gene interactions on functional supplements for weight management. Curr Genomics . 2008;9(4):239-251.
20. Talpur N, Echard BW, Yasmin T, Bagchi D, Preuss HG. Effects of niacin-bound chromium, Maitake mushroom fraction SX and (-)-hydroxycitric acid on the metabolic syndrome in aged diabetic Zucker fatty rats. Mol Cell Biochem . 2003;252(1-2):369-377.
21. Bagchi D, Deshmukh NS, Soni MG, Bagchi M. Safety of a novel calcium/potassium salt of (-)-hydroxycitric acid: I. Two generation reproduction toxicity study. Toxicol Lett . 2007;172(suppl 1):S190.
22. Asghar M, Monjok E, Kouamou G, Ohia SE, Bagchi D, Lokhandwala MF. Super CitriMax (HCA-SX) attenuates increases in oxidative stress, inflammation, insulin resistance, and body weight in developing obese Zucker rats. Mol Cell Biochem . 2007;304(1-2):93-99.
23. Preuss HG, Rao CV, Garis R, et al. An overview of the safety and efficacy of a novel, natural(-)-hydroxycitric acid extract (HCA-SX) for weight management. J Med . 2004;35(1-6):33-48.
24. Hayamizu K, Ishii Y, Kaneko I, et al. Effects of Garcinia cambogia (hydroxycitric acid) on visceral fat accumulation: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. CurrTher Res Clin Exp . 2003;64(8):551-567.
25. Heymsfield SB, Allison DB, Vasselli JR, Pietrobelli A, Greenfield D, Nunez C. Garcinia cambogia (hydroxycitric acid) as a potential antiobesity agent: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA . 1998;280(18):1596-1600.
26. Yonei Y, Takahashi Y, Hibino S, Watanabe M, Yoshioka T. Effects on the human body of a dietary supplement containing L-carnitine and Garcinia cambogia extract: a study using double-blind tests. J Clin Biochem Nutr . 2008;42(2):89-103.
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Mazzio EA, Soliman KF. In vitro screening for the tumoricidal properties of international medicinal herbs. Phytother Res . 2009;23(3):385-398.
28. Hayamizu K, Hirakawa H, Oikawa D, et al. Effect of Garcinia cambogia extract on serum leptin and insulin in mice. Fitoterapia . 2003;74(3):267-273.
29. Wielinga PY, Wachters-Hagedoorn RE, Bouter B, et al. Hydroxycitric acid delays intestinal glucose absorption in rats. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol . 2005;288(6):G1144-G1149.
30. Ishihara K, Oyaizu S, Onuki K, Lim K, Fushiki T. Chronic (-)-hydroxycitrate administration spares carbohydrate utilization and promotes lipid oxidation during exercise in mice. J Nutr . 2000;130(12):2990-2995.
31. Hoffman JR, Kang J, Ratamess NA, Jennings PF, Mangine G, Faigenbaum AD. Thermogenic effect from nutritionally enriched coffee consumption. J Int Soc Sports Nutr . 2006;3:35-41.
32. Taylor LW, Wilborn CD, Harvey T, Wismann J, Willoughby DS. Acute effects of ingesting Java Fittrade mark energy extreme functional coffee on resting energy expenditure and hemodynamic responses in male and female coffee drinkers. J Int Soc Sports Nutr . 2007;4:10.
33. Mahendran P, Sabitha KE, Devi CS. Prevention of HCl-ethanol induced gastric mucosal injury in rats by Garcinia cambogia extract and its possible mechanism of action. Indian J Exp Biol . 2002;40(1):58-62.
34. Mahendran P, Vanisree AJ, Shyamala Devi CS. The antiulcer activity of Garcinia cambogia extract against indomethacin-induced gastric ulcer in rats. Phytother Res . 2002;16(1):80-83.
35. dos Reis SB, de Oliveira CC, Acedo SC, et al. Attenuation of colitis injury in rats using Garcinia cambogia extract. Phytother Res . 2009;23(3):324-329.
36. Oluyemi KA, Omotuyi IO, Jimoh OR, Adesanya OA, Saalu CL, Josiah SJ. Erythropoietic and anti-obesity effects of Garcinia cambogia (bitter kola) in Wistar rats. Biotechnol Appl Biochem . 2007;46(pt 1):69-72.
37. Deshmukh NS, Bagchi M, Yasmin T, Bagchi D. Safety of a novel calcium/potassium salt of (-) hydroxycitric acid (HCA-SX): II. Developmental toxicity study in rats. Toxicol Mech Methods . 2008;18(5):443-451.
38. Kaur G, Kulkarni SK. Investigations on possible serotonergic involvement in effects of OB-200G (polyherbal preparation) on food intake in female mice. Eur J Nutr . 2001;40(3):127-133.
39. Actis GC, Bugianesi E, Ottobrelli A, Rizzetto M. Fatal liver failure following food supplements during chronic treatment with montelukast. Dig Liver Dis . 2007;39(10):953-955.
40. Mansi IA, Huang J. Rhabdomyolysis in response to weight-loss herbal medicine. [Published correction appears in: Am J Med Sci . 2004;328(2):129.] Am J Med Sci . 2004;327(6):356-357.
41. Ferris DJ. Interaction between warfarin and Garcinia cambogia (Fat Burner); a case report. ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting . 38(DEC): p P-404(D). 2003.
42. Pittler MH, Schmidt K, Ernst E. Adverse events of herbal food supplements for body weight reduction: systematic review. Obes Rev . 2005;6(2):93-111.
43. Shim M, Saab S. Severe hepatotoxicity due to Hydroxycut: a case report. Dig Dis Sci . 2009;54(2):406-408.
44. Lobb A. Hepatoxicity associated with weight-loss supplements: a case for better post-marketing surveillance. World J Gastroenterol . 2009;15(14):1786-1787.
45. Anno T, Oono H, Tamura K. Improvement of testicular toxicity in F/344DuCrj male rats fed Ca-type Garcinia cambogia extract by zinc supplemented diets. Nippon Shokuhin Kagaku Gakkaishi . 2005;12(3):121-127.
46. Shara M, Ohia SE, Yasmin T, et al. Dose- and time-dependent effects of a novel (-)-hydroxycitric acid extract on body weight, hepatic and testicular lipid peroxidation, DNA fragmentation and histopathological data over a period of 90 days. Mol Cell Biochem . 2003;254(1-2):339-346.
47. Burdock G, Soni M, Bagchi M, Bagchi D. Garcinia cambogia toxicity is misleading. [Published correction appears in: Food Chem Toxicol . 2007;45(3):515.] Food Chem Toxicol . 2005;43(11):1683-1684; author reply 1685-1686.
48. Min B, McBride BF, Kardas MJ, et al. Electrocardiographic effects of an ephedra-free, multicomponent weight-loss supplement in healthy volunteers. Pharmacotherapy . 2005;25(5):654-659.
49. Hayamizu K, Tomi H, Kaneko I, Shen M, Soni MG, Yoshino G. Effects of Garcinia cambogia extract on serum sex hormones in overweight subjects. Fitoterapia . 2008;79(4):255-261.
Copyright © 2009 Wolters Kluwer Health
Garcinia Cambogia – Hydroxycitric Acid Extract For Weight Loss?
Up until October 28th, 2012, few people around the world knew about ‘garcinia cambogia' and would have lost first round of a national spelling bee if asked what it was. But thankfully there is always hope for tomorrow, and for garcinia, the future would get much brighter.
Remembering the day so clearly, being October 29, 2012 – when Doctor OZ's Garcinia Cambogia extract episode airing for no more than 6 minutes became a world-wide sensation and phenom in a matter of New-York marketing minutes – fast forward from Oct 28 to Oct 29 to 2017; this is our assembled garcinia story of facts, figures and semi-unfortunate fallacies surrounding the most popular diet pill, phrase and product ever created…
Origins Of Garcinia (Malabar Tamarind/Gummi-Gutta)
Garcinia Cambogia is one of the most controversial dietary nutrition supplements in the world today. Some people swear a pure extract of Garcinia Cambogia is an extremely effective weight loss tool and appetite suppressant – and others, not so much reporting negative side effects galore like dry mouth, dizziness, toxicity and stomach aches – but for us, no matter where on the scale of effectiveness and results, it was only the start of the surface level conversation as most of hard to swallow at face value heresay is based on a 5 to 6 minute video clip produced by Dr Oz TV Show (much like forskolin).
So what’s the real one-size-fits-all truth about Garcinia Cambogia HCA extract and its potential weight loss qualities? What does science have to say about this unique malabar tamarind tropical plant?
Today, we’re going to round up every updated 2016 and 2017 credible medical science resource we can find has to say about the facts vs fiction of garcinia cambogia extract for weight loss and natural appetite suppressant.
What is Garcinia Cambogia?
Although the term “Garcinia cambogia” is no longer used by the scientific community, it’s the primary term used by the nutritional supplement community. Other names for this fruit include brindleberry, Malabar tamarind, and kudam puli.
The Garcinia cambogia fruit itself looks like a small pumpkin. It typically features a greenish, pale yellow color and has wrinkled, grooved skin. In terms of size, it’s somewhere between an orange and grapefruit.
Today, Garcinia cambogia is grown for its fruit in tropical climates around the world, including Southeast Asia, south India, and west and central Africa.
Consult your doctor first and tell him about your plans of supplementing your weight loss regimen with such a drug.
That fruit is used in cooking and is especially popular in curries.
History of Garcinia Cambogia
Garcinia cambogia is a relatively new trend in the dietary supplement community. However, it’s been well-known in the traditional medicine community for quite some time.
For thousands of years, Garcinia cambogia remained relatively unknown. But in 2012, the trajectory of Garcinia cambogia changed forever when world-famous TV personality Dr. Oz claimed that Garcinia cambogia could be used for natural weight loss with “no diet or exercise” required.
Since 2012, a number of scientific reports have been published examining the effectiveness of Garcinia cambogia and its rumored health benefits.
The weight loss claims of Garcinia cambogia have faced a lot of criticism, and we’ll take a look at the rumored weight loss benefits of Garcinia cambogia below.
Health Benefits of Garcinia Cambogia
Those who support Garcinia cambogia claim that it has been linked to a number of powerful health benefits.
Now, there are two different types of health benefits of Garcinia cambogia.
However, many of the weight loss benefits of Garcinia cambogia are said to come from the rind of the fruit, which contains a compound called hydroxycitric acid (HCA).
Ultimately, the rumored health benefits of garcinia cambogia include:
- Weight Loss
- Appetite Suppression
- Reduced Risk Of Heart Disease And Better Cardiovascular Health
- Reduced Risk Of Diabetes
- Reduced Fat Buildup And Reduced Abdominal Fat
- Better Metabolism
- Reduced Risk Of Ulcers
- Healthier Digestion
These are the rumored health benefits of Garcinia cambogia. Below, we’ll see if any of those health benefits come with real scientific evidence.
Scientific Evidence for Garcinia Cambogia
Garcinia cambogia hasn’t been extensively studied. However, the studies on Garcinia cambogia that have been published have demonstrated mixed results. Instead of telling you whether or not Garcinia cambogia works, I’m going to summarize the scientific studies on Garcinia cambogia below:
In 1998, a study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This study was published in response to a flurry of promising reports on HCA, the active ingredient in Garcinia cambogia.
Unfortunately for HCA supporters, the 1998 study showed that “Garcinia cambogia failed to produce significant weight loss and fat mass loss beyond that observed with placebo.” 1
The study took place over 12 weeks and involved a total of 135 subjects. Some of the subjects took HCA, while others took a placebo. By the end of the 12 week period, the HCA group had not exhibited a statistically significant difference in terms of percentage body fat loss or weight loss.
Some thought this would be the end of HCA as a dietary supplement. But other studies have offered conflicting results.
Criticisms Of This Study
One of the main criticisms of this study comes from Harry Preuss, a researcher at Georgetown University who claims that the JAMA study “used whatever the dose was at the time, and they never mentioned the type of citrate they used.” In other words, they may have been using the wrong HCA.
Additionally, others have criticized this study for its heavy use of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is thought to interfere with HCA, which could have inhibited weight loss in the HCA group.
In 2003, Japanese researchers published a study in Fitoterapia. This study examined the effects of Garcinia cambogia extract on mice over a period of 4 weeks.
The research concluded by stating that treatment “was found to have no effect on body weight, fat pad weight, or serum glucose level.”
However, Garcinia cambogia was shown to have other physiological effects. Treated mice displayed lower levels of serum insulin and leptin, for example, as well as a lower ratio of leptin/WAT.
This led researchers to conclude that “G. cambogia extract efficiently improved glucose metabolism and displayed leptin-like activity.”
Dr. Preuss, the guy we just motioned above, decided to lead his own study on HCA. Dr. Preuss’s study involved 30 “healthy but overweight people” between the ages of 21 and 50. The study took place over an 8 week period. 2
Dr. Preuss and his team found some surprising results. All of the subjects were told to consume a diet of 2,000 calories per day and walked for half an hour five days per week.
One group was given Super CitriMax, a patented form of HCA bound with calcium and potassium. The other group was given a placebo.
By the end of the 8 week period, the placebo group had lost an average of 3 pounds. However, the HCA group had lost an average of 12 pounds – a 400% difference.
Additionally, the HCA group saw their BMI fall by an average of 6.3% compared to the placebo group’s average of 1.7%.
Another interesting effect of the study was that the HCA group saw their serotonin levels double compared to the placebo group. Additionally, the HCA group had a 16% reduction in the amount of food they ate per meal, compared to no change with the placebo group.
Like all good researchers, Dr. Preuss tried to replicate his results in a follow-up study. That follow-up study involved more subjects (60 people in total, double the original study) and came to similar conclusions.
In this study, the HCA group lost an average of 10.5 pounds compared to the placebo group, which lost an average of 3.5 pounds.
Once again, in this study, the placebo group had no change in appetite, but the HCA group reported a 16% reduction in the amount of food consumed per meal.
Dr. Preuss also has his name attached to a 2005 research report on Garcinia cambogia and hydroxycitric acid. This time, Dr. Preuss collaborated with five other doctors to discuss the powerful health benefits of HCA. 3
Specifically, researchers demonstrated that HCA was much more effective when bound to certain other compounds. Naturally, HCA is bound to calcium, which reduces its bioavailability. Calcium is found naturally in Garcinia cambogia. So if you were to just eat the rind of Garcinia cambogia fruit, you would be eating HCA bound to calcium.
But when HCA is bound to salt, it makes the compound water-soluble, increasing its bioavailability. This compound is called HCA-SX, also known by its trademarked name, Super CitriMax.
When taken in the form of HCA-SX, this compound was shown to “increase serotonin availability, reduce appetite, increase fat oxidation, improve blood lipid levels, reduce body weight, and modulate a number of obesity regulatory genes without affecting the mitochondrial and nuclear proteins required for normal biochemical and physiological functions.”
In other words, this report demonstrated HCA had all of the powerful weight loss benefits it was rumored to have – with no major side effects.
HCA blocks the enzyme that makes fat deposits in the body.
You just had to bind the compound to salt.
We can make a few broad conclusions about Garcinia cambogia from the studies listed above.
— First, we can conclude that hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is the most active ingredient within Garcinia cambogia and the one most intimately connected with weight loss.
Yes, there are other ingredients in Garcinia cambogia, including calcium, phosphorus, iron, and thiamine, but none of these ingredients are available in high enough doses to compete with the benefits provided by HCA.
— Second, we can conclude that HCA is not very effective when taken on its own. HCA is naturally bound to the calcium within Garcinia cambogia. This reduces bioavailability by at least 50%. This is thought to be the reason why many early studies on HCA failed to produce significant weight loss results.
— Third, we can conclude that, based on at least three separate studies, HCA is most effective when bound with salt, creating HCA-SX. HCA-SX has been clinically shown to promote weight loss, better metabolism, and reduced appetite.
— Fourth, we can conclude that more research needs to be done on Garcinia cambogia before any of these benefits can be definitively proven true. The early evidence of favor of Garcinia cambogia is positive. In several studies, participants have lost a significant amount of weight while taking Garcinia cambogia extract while also experiencing powerful appetite suppression effects.
The good news is that the medical community is actively researching Garcinia cambogia. We should know more about this unique tropical plant in the near future.
Why Garcinia Cambogia Supplements Can Be Dangerous
Garcinia cambogia supplements can actually be dangerous. Today, there are hundreds of shady internet companies selling Garcinia cambogia extract online. The vast majority of these products are totally unregulated and have not been approved by any regulatory body in the world – like the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
One of the problems with the FDA is that it regulates foods and drugs. For some bizarre reason, the FDA has decided that “supplements” are neither foods nor drugs, so it chooses to ignore the supplement industry.
That’s why Americans can purchase virtually any supplement they want online. That’s also why buying supplements online can be so dangerous.
Garcinia cambogia supplements, in many cases, contain very little Garcinia cambogia. Instead, they contain trace amounts of G. cambogia extract along with high levels of caffeine and other filler ingredients.
Ultimately, pure Garcinia cambogia extract has demonstrated some surprising benefits in clinical testing. However, you need to be careful where you buy from and which manufacturers you work with.
It’s All About How You Take It
The information listed above isn’t designed to scare you away from Garcinia cambogia. It’s meant to educate you about one central concept:
The effectiveness of Garcinia cambogia depends entirely on how you take it.
In all of the successful clinical tests on Garcinia cambogia extract (HCA), participants were instructed to exercise and eat a healthy diet while restricting their caloric intake. Both the placebo groups and HCA groups in these studies lost weight, but the HCA groups consistently lost more weight and experienced powerful appetite suppression along with other health benefits.
This has led many to conclude that Garcinia cambogia is a powerful weight loss and appetite suppression tool, but it works especially well if you’re using Garcinia cambogia to complement an existing diet or exercise routine.
Will Garcinia cambogia help you lose weight without diet or exercise? Probably not.
But if you maintain a healthy diet and take the recommended dose of Garcinia cambogia per day, you may be able to lose more weight than someone who is eating the same diet and maintains the same exercise routine as you – at least according to current clinical studies.
How to Use Garcinia Cambogia
If you’re taking Garcinia cambogia for its weight loss benefits and appetite suppression effects, it’s recommended you find a Garcinia cambogia supplement with at least 50% hydroxycitric acid (HCA).
Typically, Garcinia cambogia comes in capsule form. When taking Garcinia cambogia capsules, you should take the capsules 30 to 60 minutes before each meal with a glass of water. The recommended dose is between 500mg to 1000mg, so you may need to take multiple capsules.
You should not eat or drink anything for 15 minutes after taking Garcinia cambogia in capsule form. This enhances bioavailability.
Repeat the above dose before every meal of the day.
You can also find Garcinia cambogia in liquid form. If you’re taking Garcinia cambogia as a liquid, you should place one serving under your tongue 10 minutes prior to eating a meal. Most Garcinia cambogia liquid supplements consider one serving to be 1ml, which works out to about 20 drops.
Just like with the capsule form, you should not eat or drink anything for 15 minutes after ingesting Garcinia cambogia in order to enhance bioavailability. You should also repeat the above dose before every meal of the day.
Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects
In clinical studies, Garcinia cambogia has proven to be a safe, well-tolerated oral supplement. Patients have exhibited no serious effects when taking Garcinia cambogia for up to 12 continuous weeks (which is the maximum length of studies performed so far).
Participants have reported some minor side effects from Garcinia cambogia, including nausea, digestive tract discomfort, and headaches.
If you’re experiencing painful side effects after ingesting Garcinia cambogia, then it’s probably not Garcinia cambogia that’s causing the problems. Instead, it’s the shady, low-quality pharmaceutical companies adding dangerous filler ingredients to their formulations.
Conclusion: Is Garcinia Cambogia Right for You?
Garcinia cambogia has an unfair reputation as a dietary supplement “scam”.
Unfortunately, that reputation comes from low-quality Garcinia cambogia extract manufacturers, many of which try to pass off dangerous caffeine-based formulations as some type of Garcinia cambogia extract.
In clinical settings, Garcinia cambogia has proven to be an effective weight loss and appetite suppression tool in at least three major studies. These studies relied on the active ingredient within Garcinia cambogia, hydroxycitric acid (HCA).
When you buy Garcinia cambogia extract supplements, pick a supplement with at least 50% HCA content. Buy from trusted manufacturers and trusted online sources.
Ultimately, the best Garcinia cambogia results have come from combining the supplement with diet and exercise.
Garcinia cambogia is not a miracle pill that will help you lose weight while eating pizza on the couch all day.
But when taken properly and intelligently, Garcinia cambogia and HCA can lead to some surprising weight loss results.