Garcinia cambogia health safety

Garcinia cambogia health safety
Because most studies have investigated the effects of GC taken for about eight weeks, researchers believe this is ultimately “too short a time to assess the effects of HCA on body weight.” To err on the safe side, avoid buying garcinia cambogia “formulas” or “supplement blends,” which might fail to report all of the other ingredients included or accurate levels of HCA.

Garcinia Cambogia: Safe for Weight Loss?

In this Article

In this Article

In this Article

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. 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.

“Miracle” weight loss solutions rarely live up to the hype.

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.

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Find a Vitamin or Supplement

Other Names:

Brindal Berry, Brindle Berry, Cambogia binucao, Cambogia gemmi-guta, Garcinia affinis, Garcinia Cambogi, Garcinia cambogia, Garcinia gummi-guta, Garcinia sulcata, Gorikapuli, Kankusta, Kudam puli, Malabar Tamarind, Mangostana cambogia, Tamarinie.

See All Names Brindal Berry, Brindle Berry, Cambogia binucao, Cambogia gemmi-guta, Garcinia affinis, Garcinia Cambogi, Garcinia cambogia, Garcinia gummi-guta, Garcinia sulcata, Gorikapuli, Kankusta, Kudam puli, Malabar Tamarind, Mangostana cambogia, Tamarinier de Malabar, Vrikshamla.

GARCINIA Overview Information

Garcinia is a small to medium-sized tree that grows in India and Southeast Asia. The fruit rind contains the chemical hydroxycitric acid (HCA) and is used to make medicine. Don't confuse Garcinia with Garcinia hanburyi (gamboge resin).

How does it work?

Garcinia contains the chemical hydroxycitric acid (HCA). Developing research suggests that HCA might prevent fat storage, control appetite, and increase exercise endurance; however, whether these effects occur in humans is unclear.

GARCINIA Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Exercise performance. Taking a chemical compound found in Garcinia called hydroxycitric acid (HCA) might increase how long untrained women are able to exercise. However, it does not seem benefit men in the same way.
  • Weight loss. Research on the effect of Garcinia on weight loss is inconsistent. Some research shows that taking Garcinia extract that contains 50% hydroxycitric acid (HCA) for 8-12 weeks doesn't decrease fat breakdown or energy expenditure in overweight people.

    In the world of natural weight loss solutions, no other name surpasses garcinia cambogia as the most recommended and most effective natural weight loss supplement in the market.

    After an 8 week study of 60 moderately obese subjects in Elluru, India, the research group concluded that HCA can be an effective solution to reduce excess body weight and body mass index, as well as promote healthy levels of blood lipids.

    However, other research suggests that it might improve weight loss when taken for 12 weeks. Taking a specific Garcinia product containing 60% HCA (Super CitriMax InterHealth Nutriceuticals) by mouth in three doses daily 30 to 60 minutes before meals for 8 weeks, together with a healthy diet, seems to improve weight loss more than just diet alone. But other research shows that adding this specific Garcinia product to cereal bars or tomato juice and consuming them before lunch and dinner for 2 weeks does not improve weight loss. Reasons for the inconsistent results might be the dose, duration of treatment, or formulation of Garcinia extract that was used.

  • Joint pain.
  • Treating worms and parasites.
  • Emptying the bowel.
  • Severe diarrhea (dysentery).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of garcinia for these uses.
GARCINIA Side Effects & Safety

Garcinia is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth for 12 weeks or less. Long-term safety is unknown. Garcinia can cause nausea, digestive tract discomfort, and headache.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

GARCINIA Interactions

We currently have no information for GARCINIA Interactions


The appropriate dose of garcinia depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time, there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for garcinia. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Allen SF, Godley RW, Evron JM, et al. Acute necrotizing eosinophilic myocarditis in a patient taking Garcinia cambogia extract successfully treated with high-dose corticosteroids. Can J Cardiol 2014;30(12):1732 e13-1732 e15.

People prefer to choose Nutralu Garcinia among too many weight losing supplements because only of 100 qualities, exclusive and expensive components and elements are chosen to use to make the formula of Nutralu Garcinia.

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“Kim also had three surgeries to repair her uterus,” a source close to the star tells PEOPLE.

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Garcinia Cambogia

On This Page

This fact sheet provides basic information about garcinia cambogia—common names, usefulness and safety, and resources for more information.

Common Names: garcinia cambogia, garcinia, Malabar tamarind, brindle berry


  • Garcinia cambogia (Malabar tamarind) is native to India and Southeast Asia. The rind of its fruit is used to flavor fish curries and preserve food.
  • The rind contains a chemical called hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which has been studied for its effect on appetite. Garcinia cambogia supplements with HCA are marketed for weight loss.
  • Garcinia cambogia has also been used as a dietary supplement for rheumatism, intestinal problems, and other conditions.
  • Garcinia cambogia is made into a tea, capsules, extracts, tablets, and lotion.

How Much Do We Know?

  • Garcinia cambogia has been studied for weight loss, but there aren’t a lot of recent, reliable studies on its effectiveness.

What Have We Learned?

  • There’s no convincing evidence that garcinia cambogia will help you lose weight or control cholesterol.
  • In a very small study, women who were overweight were given garcinia cambogia extract or a placebo for 60 days.

    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.

    Triglyceride levels of the participants getting garcinia cambogia decreased by almost one-third. Triglycerides are a type of fat in blood and high levels may raise a person’s risk of developing heart disease. The participants’ HDL (the “good” cholesterol), LDL (the “bad” cholesterol), total cholesterol, and body weight didn’t change.

  • In another study, people who were overweight were given either garcinia cambogia extract, soy leaf extract, or a placebo. After 10 weeks, none of the supplements promoted weight loss or lowered total cholesterol.

What Do We Know About Safety?

  • Taking garcinia cambogia for short periods (12 weeks or less) appears safe for most people.

Keep in Mind

  • Tell all your health care providers about any complementary or integrative health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.

Key References

  • Astell KJ, Mathai ML, Su XQ. Plant extracts with appetite suppressing properties for body weight control: a systematic review of double blind randomized controlled clinical trials.Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2013;21(4):407-416.
  • Garcinia. Natural Medicines Web site. Accessed at on April 10, 2015. [Database subscription].
  • Greenway F. Garcinia. In: Coates PM, Betz JM, Blackman MR, et al., eds. Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Informa Healthcare; 2010:307-313.
  • Kim JE, Jeon SM, Park KH, et al. Does Glycine max leaves or Garcinia cambogia promote weight-loss or lower plasma cholesterol in overweight individuals: a randomized control trial. Nutrition Journal. 2011;10:94.
  • Lopez AM, Kornegay J, Hendrickson RG. Serotonin toxicity associated with Garcinia cambogia over-the-counter supplement. Journal of Medical Toxicology. 2014;10(4):399-401.
  • Semwal RB, Semwal DK, Vermaak I, et al. A comprehensive scientific overview of Garcinia cambogia. Fitoterapia. 2015;102:134-148.
  • Vasques CA, Schneider R, Klein-Júnior LC, et al. Hypolipemic effect of Garcinia cambogia in obese women.Phytotherapy Research. 2014;28(6):887-891.

Related Topics

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NCCIH has provided this material for your information. It is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advise of your primary health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with your health care provider. The mention of any product, service, or therapy is not an endorsement by NCCIH.