Garcinia cambogia fruit at whole foods
It’s no wonder they fly off the shelves and into medicine cabinets across the country.
Can Garcinia Cambogia Help with Weight Loss?
Is there such a thing as a weight loss miracle drug?
Today’s market is full of “miracle drugs” and supplements that claim to help you drop pounds fast. It’s no wonder they fly off the shelves and into medicine cabinets across the country. TV personality Dr. Oz and others like him have showered praise on one of these products in particular: the controversial garcinia cambogia fruit.
Garcinia cambogia is a citrus fruit that grows in Southeast Asia. An extract from the fruit’s rind, hydroxycitric acid (HCA), has historically been used for cooking, but it has also been used for weight loss. You can buy garcinia cambogia online or at most health and supplement stores. It comes in pill form or as a powder. Let’s look at what, if anything, garcinia cambogia can do for your weight.
Advocates say that HCA, an organic acid, works by making you feel full, reducing your appetite, and affecting your metabolism. It’s this effect that has led many to herald it as a natural weight loss cure. Some say it may also help improve high cholesterol or enhance athletic performance.
The list of garcinia cambogia’s rumored benefits is a long one. It can be hard to determine the truth to the claims about its “miracle” properties. So, how do these health claims match up to scientific research?
1. Claim: Makes you feel full
Verdict: No evidence. An extensive review of the existing research on garcinia cambogia determined that there simply wasn’t conclusive evidence to suggest that the supplement or HCA had any effects on appetite and satiety. Although some rodent studies had positive results, no human studies could replicate them.
2. Claim: Lowers body weight
Verdict: No evidence. Existing evidence doesn’t prove that garcinia cambogia alone can facilitate weight loss. A 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in JAMA found that the supplement didn’t help with significant weight loss or decrease in fat mass. Both the control and garcinia group were placed on high-fiber, low-calorie diets.
3. Claim: Speeds metabolism
Verdict: Some evidence. There is some evidence that supplementing with garcinia cambogia can influence fat metabolism. Several studies have found that both mice and humans experience an increase in fat metabolism after supplementing with HCA.
4. Claim: Enhances athletic performance
Verdict: Some evidence. Garcinia cambogia may increase the amount of time it takes to reach exhaustion during exercise, according to one study. Another study that used mice had similar results, showing that HCA enhanced endurance during running.
In addition to knowing how well it works, you’ll also want to know about a supplement’s potential side effects. Reported side effects for garcinia cambogia are mild. They include:
There are still other factors you should consider when deciding whether to use a supplement such as garcinia cambogia.
As with all dietary supplements, HCA could interact with medications you take. Before starting HCA, be sure to talk to your doctor. Make sure they know about all medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs as well as other supplements.
Part of the allure of garcinia cambogia is the fact that it comes from a fruit, so it’s considered “natural.” However, this alone doesn’t make it a worthwhile supplement or even safe. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends using caution with products that claim to be quick fixes, promise fast weight loss, and use the term “natural.” Natural doesn’t necessarily mean safe. There are many poisonous plants that are natural, but can cause you serious harm. Many plants interfere with medication or are actually medications themselves.
More importantly, dietary supplements such as garcinia cambogia aren’t studied or approved by the FDA before they go on the market. Furthermore, supplement makers can claim that their products support normal body functions as long as they have a disclaimer stating that the FDA hasn’t evaluated those statements. In other words, supplements containing garcinia cambogia have not been rigorously tested for effectiveness, quality, purity, or safety.
Possible liver problems
In 2009, the FDA recalled a product that contained garcinia cambogia because it was found to cause liver problems.
Let’s take a look at how HCA works, in what situations GC might be helpful, and what adverse reactions are possible when using any type of weight loss drug.
Research since then has been conflicted, with some citing a link between garcinia cambogia and liver damage and other research finding no link. You should discuss this risk with your doctor.
A review of studies on HCA found that no studies have effectively looked at garcinia cambogia use for longer than 12 weeks. That means there isn’t enough evidence to ensure that it’s safe and effective for long-term use.
The danger of scams
It’s free, so what’s the harm, right? Actually, those free trials for products that claim to help you lose weight fast can present more harm than you might think. From surprise shipping fees to extra charges for products you didn’t realize you ordered, these trials can end up costing you money. For information on how to avoid these scams, check out this page from the Federal Trade Commission.
“Miracle” weight loss solutions rarely live up to the hype. Even when there is scientific evidence of positive results, the results are often so mild and minimal that users are disappointed to learn they still have to exercise and control their eating in order to reap lasting and significant weight loss.
Dr. Oz has come under fire for promoting “miracle” weight loss products on his show. His claims got him into trouble with the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance. There’s a reason that claims such as his about products with no clear evidence of effectiveness are taken seriously. Many consumers trust his opinion and could be misled into buying something that is, at best, a waste of time and money, and at worst, laden with potential side effects.
According to the FDA, any product, whether natural or man-made, that’s strong enough to work like a drug is capable of producing side effects. Before you add a dietary supplement to your weight loss plan, discuss it with your doctor. They can tell you if the product may be harmful or may be worth a try.
The best approach for weight loss is eating less fat and calories. Choose to eat whole, non-processed foods and burn calories with activity.
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. 
Method One of Four:
Losing Weight with Garcinia Cambogia Edit
Method Two of Four:
Understanding the Risks of Taking Garcinia Cambogia Edit
Method Three of Four:
Understanding Garcinia Cambogia Edit
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Taking Garcinia Cambogia Edit
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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.
Do This… Don’t be alarmed if it seems too many things to do.
I love that it is all natural, too." "Because there are so many like products of Garcinia Cambogia, it was hard to choose one!
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. 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.
I am not one to purchase things online and for the first time that I do, I get scammed.
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.
If you are looking for Garcinia Cambogia products with significant Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA) content that makes weight loss and fat burn easier, then you can choose Research Verified Garcinia Cambogia without any second thought.
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.
Both potassium and calcium can greatly increase the benefits of HCA but it’s important to note that only these two, as well as magnesium, are the only added ingredients that are considered to be helpful in achieving optimum results in weight loss.
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.
1. Heymsfield SB, et al. Garcinia cambogia (hydroxycitric acid) as a potential antiobesity agent: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 1998 Nov 11;280(18):1596-600.
2. Preuss HG, et al. Efficacy of a novel, natural extract of (-)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA-SX) and a combination of HCA-SX, niacin-bound chromium and Gymnema sylvestre extract in weight management in human volunteers: a pilot study. Nutrition Research. 2004 Jan; 24(1); 45-58
3. Preuss, HG, et al., Effects of a natural extract of (-)-hydroxycitric acid (CHA-SX) and a combination of HCA-SX plus niacin-bound chromium and Gymnema sylvestre extract on weight loss. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2004 May; 6(3): 171-80.