Herbal supplement garcinia cambogia

Herbal supplement garcinia cambogia
But, there is more and more pressure to be thin and look healthy and happy.

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.

Drug interactions

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. 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.

Long-term use

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.

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.

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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.

Adverse Reactions

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.

You’ll look better because you have more of that muscle mass because your energy is being used to build muscle instead of fat.” Garcinia Cambogia Recap It acts as a Fat Blocker, which means fat cells will not be allowed to increase in size Appetite Suppressant and Controls Cravings Decrease in Belly Fat No Side Effects Supports Healthy Lipid Levels Emotional Eaters will see an increase in Serotonin which will Balance Moods Helps in managing Cortisol the Stress Hormone When Buying Garcinia Cambogia Extract Supplement Use The Dr.

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. 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.

This is why it doesn’t come as a surprise that it can also help manage ulcers and other stomach issues.

Let's take a look at its origins, the studies that have been done, and how you can make the most of it.


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. 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

Adverse Reactions

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.


Hydroxycitric Acid(HCA) has been studied by medical professionals and many consider it effective to reduce appetite, stop carbohydrates from converting to fat, and elevate the metabolism- helping people lose weight and get fit.

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.

27. 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.

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Herbal supplement garcinia cambogia

Benefit and side effects, research studies, used for weight loss and appetite control

Garcinia cambogia is available as an herbal supplement and marketed as a weight loss agent. Hydroxycitrate (HCA) or hydroxycitric acid, is an active ingredient that is extracted from the rind of this Indian fruit. Research with garcinia cambogia in terms of weight loss has provided mixed results and there is no agreement in the medical community as to whether this herb is effective as a weight loss diet pill when used by itself.

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Chronic administration of hydroxycitrate promotes lipid oxidation and spares carbohydrate utilization in mice at rest and during running.

Garcinia cambogia may have gastric ulcer protecting properties.

Appetite suppression and weight loss, mixed data

Physiol Behav. 2000.

Hydroxycitric acid reportedly promotes weight loss, in part, through suppression of hunger. However, this mechanism has never been evaluated in humans in a controlled study. Eighty-nine mildly overweight females were prescribed 5020-kJ diets for 12 weeks as part of a double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel group study. Forty-two participants ingested 400-mg caplets of Garcinia cambogia 30-60 min prior to meals for a total dose of 2.4 g/day (1.2 g/day HCA). Forty-seven participants ingested matched placebos. Both groups lost body weight with the active group achieving a significantly greater reduction. No effects of the HCA were observed on appetitive variables. The active treatment group did not exhibit better dietary compliance or significant correlations between appetitive variables and energy intake or weight change. This study does not support a satiety effect of HCA.

J Clin Diagn Res. 2015. Efficacy of garcinia cambogia on body weight, inflammation and glucose tolerance in high fat fed male wistar rats. Supplementation of the Garcinia Cambogia extract with high fat diet reduced body weight gain, inflammation and glucose intolerance.

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016. Beneficial effects of cocoa, coffee, green tea, and garcinia complex supplement on diet induced obesity in rats. Cocoa, coffee, green tea and garcinia contain large amounts of polyphenols. Polyphenols are well-known phytochemicals and found in plants, and have modulated physiological and molecular pathways that are involved in energy metabolism, adiposity, and obesity. To evaluate the obesity-lowering effect of a combined extract (comprising cocoa, coffee, green tea and garcinia in high-energy diet induced obese rats. Results suggested that this formula stimulated lipid metabolism in obese rats, which is attributable to fat mobilization from adipose tissue.

Other weight Loss options to consider

Green tea extract and Hoodia are popular weight loss herbs that may work in some individuals. 5-HTP is a nutrient that helps curb appetite in some individuals. 5-HTP, by converting into serotonin, can be used temporarily to improve will power and decrease the urge to eat until more established weight loss habits are in place.

Email - For weight loss, I tried Garcinia. it was on your list as not being very effective; same for me. I am trying mulberry zuccarin and acai berry; supposed to be good for weight loss but I see from your site that some claims that aren't true. I am also trying Sensa; we'll see how that works.

Garcinia cambogia extract is a herbal preparation that has been suggested as useful in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. In the present study this drug was tested for its antiulcerogenic effect. Oral pretreatment with Garcinia cambogia fruit extract (1 g/kg body wt/day) for 5, 10 or 15 days protected the gastric mucosa against the damage induced by indomethacin (20 mg/kg body wt). The volume and acidity of the gastric juice decreased in the pretreated rats. The glycoprotein levels of the gastric contents which were decreased in the untreated rats, maintained near normal levels in the pretreated rats. Protein which was elevated in the gastric juice of untreated rats, showed near normal levels in the pretreated rats. Garcinia cambogia was able to decrease the acidity and to increase the mucosal defence in the gastric areas, thereby justifying its use as an antiulcerogenic agent.

Side effects, risks, cautions, toxicity, cause for liver concern?

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2012. Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of hydroxycitric acid or Garcinia cambogia extracts in humans. With regard to toxicity and safety, it is important to note that except in rare cases, studies conducted in experimental animals have not reported increased mortality or significant toxicity. Furthermore, at the doses usually administered, no differences have been reported in terms of side effects or adverse events (those studied) in humans between individuals treated with G. cambogia and controls.

I am a pharmacist and have read in a magazine that liver damage is linked to hydroxycitric acid in garcinia cambogia. Have you heard anything about this.

As of 2016, I have not come across research regarding liver damage from the use of this herb by humans in supplement form but we have had reports from individuals that such liver problems have occurred and there have been anecdotal cases reported in the medical literature.

Ann Hepatol. 2016. Acute liver failure associated with Garcinia cambogia use. Millions of Americans regularly use herbal supplements, but many are unaware of the potential hidden dangers. Numerous supplements have been associated with hepatotoxicity and, indeed dietary/herbal supplements represent an increasingly common source of acute liver injury. We report a case of acute liver failure requiring liver transplantation associated with the use of Garcinia cambogia, a supplement widely promoted for weight loss. When patients present with acute hepatitis or liver failure from an unknown etiology, a careful history of supplement use should be performed.

Is garcinia cambogia supplement safe to use for many months at a time?

We prefer you take this herb no longer than 3 weeks on, and then at least 2 weeks off.

Fitoterapia. 2015. A comprehensive scientific overview of Garcinia cambogia. the possible toxicity associated with the regular use of these supplements has raised concerns. In most cases, complaints have been related to multicomponent formulations and at this stage G. cambogia has not been confirmed as the potentially toxic culprit.

Testimonial regarding liver enzyme elevation received in July 2014

I had a routine blood test today, am 67 and began taking Garcinia Cambogia 10 days ago. I’ve had no changes in medication or diet over the past year, and had blood tests roughly 6 months ago. Today, my doctor told me my liver enzymes were 3x normal. He asked about alcohol consumption (rare), other medications (none) and asked that I stop using HGC for 6 weeks to see if the enzyme levels return to normal. After stopping the GCA for 8 weeks. my enzymes returned to normal. My daughter was a rep for "It Works" marketing wraps, green pills and a GCA, HCAproduct. She was using the "Fat Fighter" product -- after using it several months she's developed a lesion on her liver. Both of us have developed potentially serious liver problems using a GCA product. And our doctors have told us not to use GCA again. I'm only glad we had, by coincidence, seen our doctor(s) for checkups that included blood tests that caused the PHP to look further. We advise all our friends and family NOT to use these products. Given what we found, I'd expect legal issues for these products in the future.

Physico-chemical properties of a novel hydroxycitric acid extract and its effect on body weight, selected organ weights, hepatic lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation, hematology and clinical chemistry, and histopathological changes over a period of 90 days.

Garcinia cambogia-derived hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is a popular and natural supplement for weight management.

Pure Garcinia Cambogia already has a large following of enthusiasts, and a considerable repeat business.

HCA is a competitive inhibitor of the enzyme ATP citrate lyase, which catalyzes the conversion of citrate and coenzyme A to oxaloacetate and acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl CoA) in the cytosol. Acetyl CoA is used in the synthesis of fatty acids, cholesterol and triglycerides, and in the synthesis of acetylcholine in the central nervous system. Studies have demonstrated the efficacy of a novel 60% calcium-potassium salt of HCA derived from Garcinia cambogia (HCA-SX, Super CitriMax) in weight management. Results have shown that HCA-SX promotes fat oxidation, enhances serotonin release and availability in the brain cortex, normalizes lipid profiles, and lowers serum leptin levels in obese subjects. Acute oral, acute dermal, primary dermal irritation and primary eye irritation toxicity, as well as Ames bacterial reverse mutation studies and mouse lymphoma tests have demonstrated the safety of HCA-SX. However, no detailed long-term safety of HCA-SX or any other HCA extract has been previously assessed. We evaluated the dose- and time-dependent effects of HCA-SX in rats on body weight, selected organ weights, hepatic lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation, hematology and clinical chemistry over a period of 90 days. Our results show that 90 day treatment of HCA-SX results in a reduction in body weight, and does not cause any changes in major organs or in hematology, clinical chemistry, and histopathology.

Hydroxycitrate (or hydroxycitric acid) derived from garcinia cambogia, by itself, may not lead to a significant weight loss, but in combination with other nutrients and herbs it may have potential. The research with garcinia cambogia extract is still fuzzy and I am not yet convinced that it and hydroxycitric acid are effective in the treatment of obesity.

What substances or chemicals does it have?

High dose of Garcinia cambogia is effective in suppressing fat accumulation in developing male Zucker obese rats, but highly toxic to the testis.

We investigated the ability of Garcinia cambogia extract containing hydroxycitric acid (HCA) to suppress body fat accumulation in developing male Zucker obese (fa/fa) rats. We also examined histopathologically the safety of its high doses. The highest dose of HCA-containing Garcinia cambogia showed significant suppression of epididymal fat accumulation in developing male Zucker obese rats, compared with the other groups. However, the diets containing 102 mmol HCA/kg diet and higher (778 and 1244 mg HCA/kg BW/d, respectively) caused potent testicular atrophy and toxicity, whereas diets containing 51 mmol HCA/kg diet (389 mg HCA/kg BW/d) or less did not. Accordingly, 389 mg HCA/kg BW/d was deemed to be the no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL).

Mol Cell Biochem. 2004.

Garcinia cambogia derived (-)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is a popular supplement for weight management. HCA is a competitive inhibitor of the enzyme ATP citrate lyase, which catalyzes the conversion of citrate and coenzyme A to oxaloacetate and acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl CoA) in the cytosol. Acetyl CoA is used in the synthesis of fatty acids, cholesterol and triglycerides, and in the synthesis of acetylcholine in the central nervous system. Studies have demonstrated the efficacy of a novel 60% calcium-potassium salt of HCA derived from Garcinia cambogia (HCA-SX, Super CitriMax) in weight management. Results have shown that HCA-SX promotes fat oxidation, enhances serotonin release and availability in the brain cortex, normalizes lipid profiles, and lowers serum leptin levels in obese subjects. Acute oral, acute dermal, primary dermal irritation and primary eye irritation toxicity, as well as Ames bacterial reverse mutation studies and mouse lymphoma tests have demonstrated the safety of HCA-SX. However, no detailed long-term safety of HCA-SX or any other HCA extract has been previously assessed. Taken together, these results show that 90 day treatment of garcinia cambogia derived HCA-SX results in a reduction in body weight, and does not cause any changes in major organs or in hematology, clinical chemistry, and histopathology.

Body weight and abdominal fat gene expression profile in response to a novel hydroxycitric acid-based dietary supplement.

Traditional herbal medicines may have some potential in managing obesity. Botanical dietary supplements often contain complex mixtures of phytochemicals that have additive or synergistic interactions. The dried fruit rind of Garcinia cambogia, also known as Malabar tamarind, is a unique source of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which exhibits a distinct sour taste and has been safely used for centuries in Southeastern Asia to make meals more filling. Recently it has been demonstrated that HCA-SX or Super Citrimax, a novel derivative of HCA, is safe when taken orally and that HCA-SX is bioavailable in the human plasma. We sought to determine the effects of low-dose oral HCA-SX on the body weight and abdominal fat gene expression profile of Sprague-Dawley rats. We observed that at doses relevant for human consumption dietary HCA-SX from garcinia cambogia significantly contained body weight growth. This response was associated with lowered abdominal fat leptin expression while plasma leptin levels remained unaffected. Under the current experimental conditions, HCA-SX proved to be effective in restricting body weight gain in adult rats. Functional characterization of HCA-SX-sensitive genes revealed that upregulation of genes encoding serotonin receptors represent a distinct effect of dietary HCA-SX supplementation.

J Agric Food Chem. 2002.

Hydroxycitric acid HCA is the principal acid of fruit rinds of Garcinia cambogia, indica, and atroviridis. (-)-HCA was shown to be a potent inhibitor of ATP citrate lyase, which catalyzes the extramitochondrial cleavage of citrate to oxaloacetate and acetyl-CoA: citrate + ATP + CoA --> acetyl-CoA + ADP + P(i) + oxaloacetate. The inhibition of this reaction limits the availability of acetyl-CoA units required for fatty acid synthesis and lipogenesis during a lipogenic diet, that is, a diet high in carbohydrates. Extensive animal studies indicated that (-)-HCA suppresses the fatty acid synthesis, lipogenesis, food intake, and induced weight loss. In vitro studies revealed the inhibitions of fatty acid synthesis and lipogenesis from various precursors. However, a few clinical studies have shown controversial findings.

Effect of Garcinia cambogia extract on serum leptin and insulin in mice.

In this study we examined the effects of 3.3% Garcinia cambogia extract on 10% sucrose loading in mice for 4 weeks. Treatment was found to have no effect on body weight, fat pad weight or serum glucose level. On the other hand, serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, NEFA were observed. Levels of serum insulin and leptin, as well as the leptin/WAT ratio, were lower in the treated mice than in the control. These findings suggested that G. cambogia extract efficiently improved glucose metabolism and displayed leptin-like activity.

1998 Garcinia article in JAMA

Obesity Research Center, St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA.

Hydroxycitric acid, the active ingredient in the herbal compound Garcinia cambogia, competitively inhibits the extramitochondrial enzyme adenosine triphosphate-citrate (pro-3S)-lyase. As a citrate cleavage enzyme that may play an essential role in de novo lipogenesis inhibition, garcinia cambogia is claimed to lower body weight and reduce fat mass in humans. To evaluate the efficacy of garcinia cambogia for body weight and fat mass loss in overweight human subjects. Twelve-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Subjects were randomized to receive either active herbal compound (1500 mg of hydroxycitric acid per day) or placebo, and both groups were prescribed a high-fiber, low-energy diet.