How does garcinia cambogia work in your body

How does garcinia cambogia work in your body
GMO foods, high fructose corn syrup, and coloring agents cause the body to become overloaded with toxins.

Garcinia Cambogia

What is Garcinia cambogia?

Garcinia cambogia is an extract obtained from the dried fruit of the Garcinia cambogia (GC) tree, a native plant species of South India and South Asia. 1,2 The fruit looks like a small green pumpkin, and is used extensively in Asian-style cooking for its sour flavor.

What is the active ingredient and how does it work?

The skin, or rind of Garcinia cambogia fruit contains large amounts of hydroxycitric acid (HCA). HCA is a derivative of citric acid, and is marketed as a weight loss supplement, either alone or in combination with other supplements. 1,2

How HCA works to promote weight loss is not precisely known, but several theories exist. Some experts believe it works by inhibiting an enzyme called citrate lyase, interfering with the conversion of unused carbohydrates into fat. Although HCA does have this effect on carbohydrates in a laboratory petri dish, it is unproven whether it does this once inside the body. 1,2

Other experts suggest HCA affects other enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, such as pancreatic alpha amylase and intestinal alpha glucosidase. A few postulate that it increases the release or availability of serotonin in the brain, promoting appetite suppression. 1,2 Nobody knows for sure just how HCA works… or if it really does work.

Is there any evidence to support Garcinia cambogia as a weight loss supplement?

Several trials have investigated use of Garcinia cambogia for weight loss in humans. Some of these trials are of better quality than others, and reviews that group trials together to look for an overall effect give us a better “bigger picture” than just looking at the results of a single trial.

An analysis in 2011 by Onakpoya et al 1 found 12 trials that investigated the effect of Garcinia cambogia for weight loss that matched their strict quality criteria. Although they found evidence that Garcinia cambogia did promote weight loss in the short term, the effect was small and barely significant. The same conclusion was reached in another review by Fassina et al 2 in 2015 of 17 trials, both in humans and animals. Interestingly, in one of the largest individual trials of 135 people, both the active group (the group taking GC) and the control group (the group taking a placebo – or an inactive supplement) lost a significant amount of weight over a 12-week treatment period. 3 As many other previous trials have suggested, it is often the support and encouragement people receive to lose weight that makes more of a difference than any diet or supplement.

In summary, evidence so far does not suggest Garcinia cambogia is effective as a weight loss supplement; although larger scale trails conducted over a longer period of time may shed more light on the subject.

For now, increasing physical activity levels, avoiding alcohol, and eating a healthier diet with more vegetables, whole grains, and less red meat is more likely to make you shed weight long-term than Garcinia cambogia supplements.

Is there any harm in taking Garcinia cambogia supplements?

It is important to remember that ANY product labeled as “natural” or “herbal” is not unquestionably safe.

They also have antibacterial effects preventing infections from spreading and getting worse.

Herbal remedies classified as dietary supplements in the United States are regulated as food products. This means they have not been subjected to the same requirements for safety or efficacy as medicines.

Garcinia cambogia has been implicated in causing liver damage, both when used in combination with other ingredients (for example, in the original formulation of the product Hydroxycut) and when used by itself. Two severe cases are documented. The first was a 52-year-old female who developed severe liver failure requiring a liver transplant after taking 1000 mg of Garcinia cambogia for 15 days, and the other was a 42-year-old female who developed abnormally high liver function tests and coagulopathy (an impaired ability of the blood to clot) after one week of taking GC. 4 The second lady recovered without incident several days after Garcinia cambogia was discontinued. Interestingly, the manufacturer of Hydroxycut temporarily withdrew the product, but it has since returned a reformulated version that lacks Garcinia cambogia to the market. 5

Other reported adverse effects are generally mild when Garcinia cambogia is taken at the recommended dosage and include stomach upset, dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, and diarrhea. 2,6 Herbal remedies should not be taken by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and anybody with heart disease or other medical conditions should consult their doctor before use. Some studies have suggested that Garcinia cambogia can lower blood sugar or interfere with diabetes control, so it is particularly important if you have diabetes that you talk with your doctor.

On the positive side, unlike stimulants such as phentermine, Garcinia cambogia does not act on the central nervous system, so does not cause sleeplessness, anxiety, affect the heart or blood pressure, and its efficiency does not decrease with time. 5,6,7

Does Garcinia cambogia have any effect on blood sugars?

There have been several contradictory claims about the effects Garcinia cambogia has on blood glucose control with some celebrity endorsements even suggesting it may be beneficial for people with diabetes. While studies in rats have shown a reduction in the amount of glucose absorbed and less of a spike in blood glucose levels following a meal, rats are not humans so studies were needed to determine if this also applied to humans.

Thazhath et al 8 took 12 healthy participants and 8 people with diabetes and compared the effects of hydroxycitric acid (the active ingredient of Garcinia cambogia) plus glucose to water plus glucose in a cross-over type trial. Although some reduction in blood sugar levels were seen in healthy people, there was no reduction in the blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Other markers, such as insulin response, were not affected.

Other human studies have also failed to support use of Garcinia cambogia for blood sugar control. Yonei et al 9 tested the effects of daily supplementation with Garcinia cambogia extract (500 mg/day as hydroxycitric acid) and L-carnitine (600 mg/day) on 35 healthy individuals aged 40-60 with a BMI of 24 or higher.

You will have to stick to the dosage that matches your weight and age.

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After 8 weeks’ supplementation, the group receiving Garcinia cambogia had an increase of 4.5% in their total cholesterol, 4.1% in their fasting blood sugar levels, and 3.4% in their HbA1c (provides a reflection of long-term glucose control).

Conversely, a 2008 10 study reported a significant reduction in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol when Garcinia cambogia extract was combined with Amorphophallus konjac (also known for its weight loss properties). However, no effect was seen on triglyceride or glucose levels.

Generally speaking, most trials 11 have not shown Garcinia cambogia to have an effect on blood sugars or insulin control; one trial reported a lowering in healthy non-diabetic subjects while another reported an increase in fasting blood sugar levels in overweight individuals. Even though laboratory studies on human cells and animal studies suggested Garcinia cambogia reduced cell synthesis of lipids and increased degradation of cholesterol, human trials have been contradictory. No effects on triglycerides have been reported. Based on the evidence available, Garcinia cambogia is unlikely to have an effect on blood glucose or cholesterol levels, and does not appear beneficial for people with diabetes.

Does Garcinia cambogia interact with any medications?

Garcinia cambogia may interact with the following:

  • Diabetes medications, including insulin – variable effects reported, always consult a doctor before use if you have diabetes. 12,13,14,15

Other possible, but unsubstantiated, interactions include:

  • Iron supplements – several informative sites state Garcinia cambogia contains iron 12 ; however, most supplements use an extract of Garcinia cambogia, which is unlikely to contain high amounts of iron. Several other fruits (such as prunes, persimmons, and passion fruit) also contain iron but are not reported as interacting with iron supplements
  • Serotonin-stimulating antidepressants (such as Celexa, Paxil, Zoloft) or pain medications (such as tramadol) – one mouse study 16 suggested Garcinia cambogia had a serotonin-enhancing effect; however, this has not been verified in humans
  • Asthma medications (including montelukast) – one documented case study 17 of a woman who developed fatal liver failure after taking two dietary supplements (one of which was Garcinia cambogia) for two weeks on top of her usual asthma medications, including montelukast
  • Statins – this is based on the fact that statins can cause rhabdomyolysis (a destruction of muscle cells). One case study 18 reported rhabdomyolosis in a women taking a combination weight loss supplement (of which one of the ingredients was garcinia cambogia); so some experts are concerned about a theorectical additive effect with statins (she was not taking a statin at the time)
  • Warfarin – A man taking warfarin together with a combination herbal product that included Garcinia cambogia, reported a change in his INR (a measure of the clotting ability of the blood) that returned to normal after discontinuation of the supplement.

    It lowers the level of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the body which apart from reducing inflammation also impacts yours overall body weight.


In addition, supplements of Garcinia cambogia may contain other nutrients such as calcium and potassium which may cause additive effects in people already supplementing their diet with these nutrients. Always read the label to see what ingredients are actually contained in your supplement, and always seek your doctor’s advice before taking any dietary supplements particularly if you take other medications.

How does Garcinia Cambogia Work

Do you sometimes wonder how stuff works? I know I do, so let’s get down to it and check out how does Garcinia Cambogia Work. First of all, I have to mention the most important active ingredient, the Hydroxycitric acid. This acid, shortly called just HCA is the crucial component behind this weight loss supplement. Let’s see what is it about.

The secret formula of Citric Acid

HCA is a derivative of Citric Acid (which has very low to almost none side effects), a compound that is present all around in the nature:

  1. it is a natural preservative, conservative,
  2. it is responsible for that sour taste in our food and soft drinks,
  3. citrate is known to regulate the size of calcium crystals (reduces possibility of kidney stones),
  4. it’s used by Cosmetics industry for it’s natural detoxicating, and deep-cleansing ability, and
  5. also has some antiviral effects.

Where Else Can You Find HCA?

The so popular Hydroxycitric acid (picture above is the chemical formula) is a form of this Citric Acid, and besides Garcinia Cambogia it is found in many other plants. For example in Hibiscus. Now, hibiscus tea has numerous benefits, among others:

  1. it’s a natural diuretic (helps producing urine) which makes it very popular amongst people with kidney problems,
  2. has a lot of vitamins and minerals, great home remedy for light colds, and
  3. lowers blood pressure.

Does it work? Well, it is interesting to know that Gambooge is, and has been for a long time, widely used in cooking in different parts of words. It is one of the ingredients used to prepare curry.

How does Garcinia Cambogia Work?

Here is a shortlist of the most important and some interesting facts about works of Garcinia Cambogia. It is known to work in a double-action formula, which is:

Is HCA from Garcinia Cambogia safe to use?

Several studies showed, that the HCA from Garcinia Cambogia, when taken in proper dosage, can work to reduce appetite and lower the production of fatty cells in your body thus helping you lose weight. It is important to mention that studies vary and different studies have shown different results.

If you are considering Garcinia Cambogia for your weight loss diet, make sure you follow the allowed daily dosage: 500-1500 mg of 50% HCA (check your product label for exact data).

When in doubt regarding where to find Garcinia Cambogia extract in stores, or how to take tablets, capsules, or extract in liquid form, talk to your local pharmacist or your primary care physician so that you can buy a product that is most effective, safe, and will aid your weight-loss efforts in conjunction with diet and exercise.

The amount you should take depends also on your weight, but all these recommended numbers are proven to work. If the intake is less than 500mg a day, you might not see the benefit of it. You might also want to combine it with some exercise, do some work out and in this way avoid side effects and boost the benefits. And like in any other supplement, the proper dosage is the key of having the most benefits without problems.

Bottom line: use it right, and there should be no unwanted side effect. People often ask about the purity of Garcinia Cambogia, and wonder why it contains Potassium. Calcium, Potassium and Chromium are all sometimes found in Garcinia Cambogia and that is a good thing. Potassium actually helps Garcinia work better. If you follow this link you can find out why is it great to have Potassium in Garcinia Cambogia.

Are there any side effects of Garcinia Cambogia?

It would be very unwise to state that there are absolutely no side effects of taking Garcinia Cambogia. There is always a possibility that your body will react to a supplement, so some precaution is always good. And if you do have side effects, maybe change your pills to something different.

That being said, according to the merchants site, side effects will be close to none, if you are prepared: What one should always remember – with each weight loss plan, not just this one – it is very important to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day, while being on a diet. If you can, drink even more! This is because most diets have diuretic properties (makes you lose water from your body) so drinking more water keeps this water loss on minimal level. It also helps cleansing toxic material out of your body. Apart from safety issues mentioned before, some users have reported the following discomforts as garcinia cambogia side effects:

In case you experience any of the mentioned side effects, you still shouldn’t be alarmed, but it might be good if you had someone to consult. First, because you want to be absolutely sure that the condition or the feeling was due to your take of Garcinia Cambogia – many times this is not the case. It is a fact that our body reacts to a lot of external conditions, even change in weather can cause headache. Naturally first we would be scared that it must be the new supplement that we are taking, but most of the time, this is not the case.

So if you feel you do have some side effects, please consult with your doctor firts. Not only that. There is another important factor that you should be aware of: A recent study conducted in UK presented results – which reflect any other developed country worldwide such as USA, Canada or Australia – that show a very different picture about actual risks of taking supplements. It is now what we would think of. The study shows that:

  • it is almost 15,000 times more likely for a person to die from an alcohol related disease than from taking food supplement.
  • or, for example, take paracetamol, a common ingredient in majority of painkillers, is 348x more likely to have a fatal outcome, than from taking a supplement,
  • and we won’t even bother to go as high as car/motorcycle accidents (35,000 times more),
  • if you work as a military person in a War zone (326,000 times more) or in the end, not surprisingly:
  • smoking, which is almost 800,000 more likely to kill, then a food supplement!

This picture represents the table with numbers discussed above:

Risks of taking food supplement such as Garcinia Cambogia, relative to other injuries

Supplements are measured as 1 on this picture!

This is also popularly known as Malabar Tamarind which is a tropical fruit.

As you can see, everything else is rated as higher risk than the supplements we are taking. (picture courtesy of Alliance of Natural Health (website))

Let’s Check the Benefits Too

Just to be fair, let’s check what garcinia can help you with. Here are again the benefits, the reason why it should really work for you:

and most importantly

These effects are stepping into action couple of weeks after staring your new diet, but they work on a long term. Do not believe the hype of losing weight in 5 days with no special diets or suffering of your body pretty much. Your body is a complex mechanism that reacts to new things and adapts to new situations. The most important part of any diet, is consistency. Be consistent, and once you try it out, stick to it. Change it only if you can really prove it doesn’t have any effect on you. And this stands for all types of nutrition or diet plans. Be smart with your weight loss plan, you might see it work better, and you might see the benefits soon.

Hope you liked my post. If yes, please share it. And if you have questions post them in the comment section.

How does garcinia cambogia work in your body

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.

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