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Fat-Loss Hope Or Hype: The Truth About Garcinia Cambogia
Some say it's hyped, but others say it's just misunderstood. Hear from the researcher behind the most important studies and make your own decision!
Garcinia cambogia, also known as the Malabar tamarind, is a small, sweet tropical tree fruit shaped like a pumpkin. In the late 1960s, scientists discovered an acid in the fruit somewhat similar to the citric acid found in fruits like oranges and lemons.
That acidвЂ”called hydroxycitric acid, or HCAвЂ”has ridden a rollercoaster ride of popularity over the last 20 years. It is alternately touted as a miracle weight loss supplement and derided as effective only in rats.
So where is the ride at now? Since late 2012, HCA has taken a steady ascent, and people around the world chat about "garcinia" like that's the name of their new personal trainer. (For the record, garcinia cambogia, hydroxycitic acid, and HCA all refer to the same thing. I'll stick primarily to HCA here to keep it simple). It can feel like anyone with even a passing interest in supplements has gotten asked by a small army of friends, loved ones, and cab drivers: "Is garcinia legit?"
So . is it? Knowing what I know now, this question sounds a little like asking, "Is a hammer legit?" It depends on the hammer and the person swinging it, right? So here's the deal: HCA isn't a miracle; it's a tool. Anyone who has ever suffered the indignity of smashing their finger with a hammer can attest that tools only work when you know what to do with them and then follow through on that knowledge.
Luckily, in recent years we've learned a lot about not only what HCA supplements do in the body, but also how you can make the most of them. Here's what you need to know about this blockbuster fat-loss supplement.
HCA's Early Promise
HCA got its first taste of widespread popularity back in the '90s, after a number of studies concluded that it causedВ weight lossВ in animals. One thing we know is that HCA blocks a portion of an enzyme called citrate lyase, which helps turn sugars and starches into fat.
Block that enzyme, and carbohydrates get diverted into energy production rather than accumulating as body fat. Then, when you burn fat through effective training, there's less to replace it, and your overall fat level goes down.
HCA also seems to have an ability to helpВ suppress the appetite, but not in the same way as a stimulant-basedВ diet pill. Rather, it increases the level of satietyвЂ”satisfaction you receive from foodвЂ”making it easier to eat less. The mechanism by which it achieves this isn't entirely clear yet. The late great nutritionist Shari Lieberman suggested that a metabolic change brought on by HCA may send an appetite-suppressing signal to the brain via the amino acidВ 5-hydroxytryptophan, which is a direct precursor to the so-called "happy hormone," serotonin. Given that subsequent studies have shown elevated serotonin levels in subjects who took HCA supplements, she was likely on to something.
With these two impressive bullet points in its favor, HCA seemed on the verge of the big time, but the buzz faded quickly after a large study published in 1998 in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that it had "no effect" on human subjects.
End of the line, right? Not quite. Subsequent research has produced some very different conclusions and helped convince me, among many other previously skeptical people, that HCA has real potential as a weight-loss supplement.
It's All About How You Take It
A few years after the lackluster results in the JAMA study, I had the opportunity to talk about HCA with Harry Preuss, a researcher and pathologist at Georgetown University, who saw enough to like about HCA to keep researching it after its popularity had waned.
Also check to make sure they don’t use a lot of added ingredients – especially if they’re hard to read, nearly impossible to pronounce ingredients.
Preuss, a past president of the American College of Nutrition, told me he thought the previous studies were discouraging but not conclusive.
He decided to take a closer look. "You have to take the right dose of the right product, and you have to take it properly," he told me. "In the JAMA study, they used whatever the dose was at the time, and they never even mentioned the type of citrate they used. You have to give enough so that it reaches the sites in the body that it needs to reach." In recent years, Dr. Preuss has continued to hammer on the idea that maximizing bioavailability with HCA is crucial for its success. Fail to prioritize it, and you set yourselfвЂ”or your study, in the JAMA's caseвЂ”to fail.
It's an old story. Vitamin studies are often done by people who use the wrong dose or the wrong form, and then seem almost gleeful when they're able to proclaim that the supplements "don't work." Prejudice confirmed; case closed.
Dr. Preuss, who went on to lead the most promising human studies into HCA, points out that there are three different forms of hydroxycitrates: those which are blended with calcium, potassium, or magnesium salts. The reason to add these salts is to decrease the degradation of free HCA into HCA lactone, an inactive form of the compound. These salts, which are added at a 1-to-1 or higher ratio in most commercial HCA supplements, also help your body more easily absorb the hydroxycitrate.
"If you have almost a pure calcium hydroxycitrate, it's just not going to work," he told me. He said he prefers hydroxycitrate that is bound to both calcium and potassium; he says the bond dramatically increases the absorption and effectiveness of HCA.
Dr. Preuss and his colleagues put this premise to the test in a study where they followed 30 healthy but overweight people ages 21-50 over an 8-week period. All of the subjects consumed 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 both calcium and potassium. The other group was given a placebo. At the end of the study, the placebo group had lost an average of three pounds, but the HCA group had lost an average of 12 poundsвЂ”a whopping 400 percent more weight. Their average BMI fell by 6.3 percent; in the placebo group, it fell only 1.7 percent.
To top it off, the HCA group experienced an almost double boost in serotonin levels compared to the placebo group. Higher serotonin levels are associated with fewer cravings, as well as a greater sense of calm. In a second similar study, Preuss and his colleagues tested 60 people, and this time, the HCA group lost an average of 10.5 pounds compared to the placebo group, which lost an average of 3.5 pounds.
"Perhaps the most remarkable result was in appetite control," Preuss says of the second study. "The placebo group had no change, but the HCA group had a 16 percent reduction in the amount of food they ate per meal!"
The Right Way To Supplement With HCA
It's far too easy to view supplements purely from the perspective of either "I take it" or "I don't take it." With some supplements, that's precise enough to see an effect. But the lesson here is thatВ how you take HCA matters. As such, Preuss has taken the new wave of HCA popularity as an opportunity to remind us all about how to get the most out of this supplement, most recently in a paper he co-authored for the Alliance for Natural Health in 2013 titled "Garcinia Cambogia: How to Optimize its Effects."
Here are Preuss' recommendations:
- Choose a preparation that is at a minimum 50 percent HCA and is not composed wholly of calcium salts: Make sure potassium (K) and/or magnesium (Mg) is present.
The body can also significantly lower its overall fat stores it is metabolically active within reasonable physiological limits.
Likewise, your entire body system is long and complicated.
If the product has a low lactone content, that is even better.
- Be sure to take an adequate dose. For a Ca/K preparation used successfully and reported in a peer-reviewed publication, the dose of extract was near 1.5 g, three times per day before meals. In this 60 percent HCA preparation, that approximates 0.9 g of HCA prior to each meal.
- Take the preparation on an empty stomach, i.e., 30-60 minutes before each meal.
- Remember, "If you don't comply, don't complain." Take the right dose at the right time.
Note that he says "near" 1.5 g three times daily. Why not exactly 1.5? Given that HCA supplements come in a range of potencies and mixtures, it can be hard to be exact. Aim for the 1.5 g benchmark, but don't be obsessive.
Why on an empty stomach? It takes advantage of the appetite-curbing effect of the supplement, but even more important, HCA needs some space to work its magic.
"In the presence of food, the hydroxycitrate salt can bind to some of the components in the meal and be inactivated," Preuss writes. "This is called the 'food effect' and can seriously reduce the bioavailability of a number of supplements, not just HCA."
Follow these guidelines, andВ HCAВ can be an addition to your arsenal. Side effects are rare at the kind of reasonable doses that Preuss recommends, and since it's not a stimulant, you don't need to worry about it affecting your sleep or mood. If you're looking to control your weight and are committed to eating right and working out, don't be afraid to add this popular supplement into the mix!
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. 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).
1 , 2 The plant species has variability in its branching pattern, fruit color, shape, and size.
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."
Garcinia fat loss pills
Garcinia Cambogia: The Newest, Fastest Fat Burner?
If you’ve been trying to lose weight, you’ve most likely heard of garcinia cambogia – a fruit believed to hold the very key to healthy weight loss. If you’ve never considered using garcinia cambogia extract supplements for weight loss before, then it’s about time you should.
Garcinia cambogia is a tropical fruit found in the countries of Southeast Asia. People who live in the region have long used this incredible tiny fruit to make dishes more filling. Western scientists who encountered the fruit, decided to study its weight loss abilities and discovered that the rind contains massive amounts of HCA – which is short for Hydroxycitric Acid.
HCA is the very key ingredient why garcinia cambogia supplements are making a massive name in the weight loss industry today. HCA is known to suppress appetite and prevent your body from making fat tissues – leading to fast and effective weight loss done through the most natural and safest way possible.
Why Is Garcinia Cambogia So Popular?
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.
Garcinia cambogia came into national consciousness through the efforts of Dr. Oz – the most famous doctor on TV today. Immensely impressed by recent scientific research, he dubbed garcinia cambogia as the “holy grail” to beat weight gain.
Immediately after featuring the supplement in his show, tens of thousands of individuals around the country decided to use the supplement to combat excess weight and keep the weight away.
And because it’s 100% all-natural and truly effective in weight loss even without the help of diet and exercise, garcinia cambogia has become the best selling and most recommended natural weight loss supplement in the industry today.
How Garcinia Cambogia Extract Helps for Weight Loss
Garcinia cambogia supplements work through the mechanisms of HCA – the very key ingredient that makes the extract a powerful weight loss solution.
It somehow uses your own body’s chemicals to combat weight gain, giving you natural and healthy weight loss from the inside out.
HCA works through two main mechanisms: Suppression of Appetite and Fat Production Prevention.
These annoying side effects are usually the most common complaints among diet pill users.
Suppression of Appetite
One of the main reasons why people can’t seem to lose weight is because they can’t control what they eat, and the volume of food that they eat. It’s a sad fact that appetite is one of the hardest things to control.
HCA helps you lower your food consumption by making your body feel full even when you’ve only had little to eat. This means you get to say goodbye to cravings such as sweets and salty foods, say goodbye to emotional and binge eating and say hello to smaller portions each and every time.
HCA helps you eat only the amount of food that your body needs, and nothing more – helping you lose excess weight and maintain a healthy daily calorie intake.
2. Fat Production Prevention
Whenever you eat carbohydrates, your body converts them into energy. Now when you don’t use this energy, a certain enzyme named citrate lyase converts these carbohydrates into fat tissues – giving you not just weight gain, but nasty fat tissues that go to your stomach, arms, thighs, and all the other parts of the body that accumulate fat.
When you take HCA, this enzyme will no longer work. HCA inhibits citrate lyase and the entire process of fat production will no longer exist – giving you effective fat production prevention done in the most natural way possible.
Helping you ward off cravings and fat production, garcinia cambogia is an all-natural supplement giving your body natural methods to combat excess fat and weight.
Studies that Prove Garcinia Cambogia’s Effectiveness
Several studies on garcinia cambogia can be found at the website of the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.
One of these studies was done by Downs, BW, Bagchi M, and others in November of 2005.
The study, entitled “ Bioefficacy of a novel calcium-potassium salt of HCA ,” proved that HCA, together with potassium and calcium, results to increased serotonin availability, reduced appetite, increased fat oxidation, increased blood lipid levels, reduced body weight, and the modulation of a number of obesity regulatory genes.
Another study was done on May 2004 – Preuss, HG, and others conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled human clinical study in Elluru, India over the period of 8 weeks. The subjects were 60 moderately-obese individuals aged 21 to 50 years old.
This group of people were divided into 3: Group 1 took HCA, Group 2 took niacin-bound HCA, and Group 3 took placebo pills.
At the end of the study, the researchers discovered that both Groups 1 and 2 had reduced body weight, reduced body mass index, reduced food intake, and reduced total cholesterol.
Preuss and others then concluded that optimal doses of HCA can serve as a potentially safe and effective weight loss formula that can facilitate effective reductions in both excess body weight and body mass index.
Does It Have Any Side Effects?
There have been reports of nausea and stomach upsets from actual users, but severe side effects have not occurred. Users who do experience side effects may have used products that contained other ingredients aside from HCA and/or potassium and calcium.
Because garcinia cambogia is so popular, literally tens of thousands of garcinia cambogia products have popped up in the market. And because you don’t need to have a prescription to buy one, it’s so easy to purchase these supplements from just about anywhere and from anyone.
It’s very important that you equip yourself with the knowledge and qualifications of what a top quality and effective garcinia cambogia product is so you know you’re getting an authentic product that’s safe and most of all, effective.
Are Garcinia Cambogia Products Made the Same?
The answer to this is no.
Today’s market is full of “miracle drugs” and supplements that claim to help you drop pounds fast.
There are literally thousands of garcinia cambogia products out there but only a small number really do stand out in the market.
Dr. Oz emphasized the importance of certain requirements of a top quality garcinia cambogia supplement. When you look for a product, the following qualifications are a definite must:
- The product must contain at least 50% pure HCA concentration
- It must have the label “HCA” or “Garcinia Cambogia” on the bottle
- It must contain 100% all natural ingredients
- Each capsule must have at least 500mg of dosage
- The product must be made in FDA-registered and GMP-certified laboratories
If a certain garcinia cambogia brand adheres to these requirements, then you know you have a top quality product that’s safe, healthy, and truly effective.
Where to Buy Garcinia Cambogia
The supplements we recommend here are available through retail stores or exclusively online. One of our bestselling and top recommended products is Garcinia Cambogia Extra , satisfying thousands of users!
Meeting all these qualifications is Garcinia Cambogia Extra – is made in FDA registered and cGMP-certified laboratories, ensuring you that each and every capsule satisfies the manufacturing, testing, and quality assurance of Good Manufacturing Practices.
With 60% HCA in every dosage, Garcinia Cambogia Extra is one the top garcinia cambogia product to try today.
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