Weight loss supplement garcinia cambogia
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Can Garcinia Cambogia Help with Weight Loss?
Is there such a thing as a weight loss miracle drug?
Today’s market is full of “miracle drugs” and supplements that claim to help you drop pounds fast. It’s no wonder they fly off the shelves and into medicine cabinets across the country. TV personality Dr. Oz and others like him have showered praise on one of these products in particular: the controversial garcinia cambogia fruit.
Garcinia cambogia is a citrus fruit that grows in Southeast Asia. An extract from the fruit’s rind, hydroxycitric acid (HCA), has historically been used for cooking, but it has also been used for weight loss. You can buy garcinia cambogia online or at most health and supplement stores. It comes in pill form or as a powder. Let’s look at what, if anything, garcinia cambogia can do for your weight.
Advocates say that HCA, an organic acid, works by making you feel full, reducing your appetite, and affecting your metabolism. It’s this effect that has led many to herald it as a natural weight loss cure. Some say it may also help improve high cholesterol or enhance athletic performance.
The list of garcinia cambogia’s rumored benefits is a long one. It can be hard to determine the truth to the claims about its “miracle” properties. So, how do these health claims match up to scientific research?
1. Claim: Makes you feel full
Verdict: No evidence. An extensive review of the existing research on garcinia cambogia determined that there simply wasn’t conclusive evidence to suggest that the supplement or HCA had any effects on appetite and satiety. Although some rodent studies had positive results, no human studies could replicate them.
2. Claim: Lowers body weight
Verdict: No evidence. Existing evidence doesn’t prove that garcinia cambogia alone can facilitate weight loss. A 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in JAMA found that the supplement didn’t help with significant weight loss or decrease in fat mass. Both the control and garcinia group were placed on high-fiber, low-calorie diets.
3. Claim: Speeds metabolism
Verdict: Some evidence. There is some evidence that supplementing with garcinia cambogia can influence fat metabolism. Several studies have found that both mice and humans experience an increase in fat metabolism after supplementing with HCA.
4. Claim: Enhances athletic performance
Verdict: Some evidence. Garcinia cambogia may increase the amount of time it takes to reach exhaustion during exercise, according to one study. Another study that used mice had similar results, showing that HCA enhanced endurance during running.
In addition to knowing how well it works, you’ll also want to know about a supplement’s potential side effects. Reported side effects for garcinia cambogia are mild. They include:
There are still other factors you should consider when deciding whether to use a supplement such as garcinia cambogia.
As with all dietary supplements, HCA could interact with medications you take. Before starting HCA, be sure to talk to your doctor.
And these years of schooling qualified them to give you qualified opinions about how your body is doing, and how it will likely respond to external stimuli.
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.
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.
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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.
Before you add a dietary supplement to your weight loss plan, discuss it with your doctor. They can tell you if the product may be harmful or may be worth a try.
The best approach for weight loss is eating less fat and calories. Choose to eat whole, non-processed foods and burn calories with activity.
How Garcinia Cambogia Can Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat
Garcinia cambogia is a popular weight loss supplement.
It is derived from a fruit of the same name, also called Garcinia gummi-gutta or Malabar tamarind.
The peel of the fruit contains high amounts of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is the active ingredient believed to be responsible for most of the weight loss benefits ( 1).
This article is a detailed review of garcinia cambogia and whether it is something you should take in order to lose weight.
Garcinia gummi-gutta is a small, pumpkin-shaped, yellow or greenish fruit.
The fruit is so sour that it is generally not eaten fresh, but rather used for its sour flavor in cooking ( 2).
Garcinia cambogia supplements are made from extracts of the fruit's peel.
The peel of the fruit contains high amounts of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), an active substance that has been shown to have some weight loss properties ( 3, 4, 5).
The supplements generally contain 20–60% HCA. Nevertheless, studies show that those with 50–60% HCA may provide the most benefit ( 2).
Bottom Line: Garcinia cambogia supplements are made from extracts of the peel of the Garcinia gummi-gutta fruit. They contain high amounts of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which has been linked with weight loss benefits.
Many high-quality human studies have tested the weight loss effects of garcinia cambogia.
What's more, most of them show that the supplement can cause a small amount of weight loss ( 3, 6).
This graph summarizes the weight loss results from nine studies on garcinia cambogia ( 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14):
The blue bars show the results from the supplement groups, while the orange bars show the results of placebo groups.
On average, garcinia cambogia has been shown to cause weight loss of about 2 pounds (0.88 kg) more than a placebo, over a period of 2–12 weeks ( 3, 15).
That said, several studies have not found any weight loss advantage ( 9, 11, 16).
For example, the largest individual study, which tested 135 participants over 12 weeks, did not find any difference in weight loss between the group that took garcinia cambogia and the group that took the placebo ( 9).
As you can see, the evidence is mixed. Garcinia cambogia supplements can produce modest weight loss in some people, but their effectiveness cannot be guaranteed.
Bottom Line: Some studies have found that garcinia cambogia causes modest weight loss, while other studies report no noticeable effects.
There are two main ways garcinia cambogia is thought to help with weight loss.
1. It May Reduce Your Appetite
Studies in rats have shown that those given garcinia cambogia supplements tend to eat less ( 17, 18).
Similarly, some human studies have shown that garcinia cambogia is able to suppress appetite and make you feel full ( 5, 13, 14, 19, 20).
How it reduces appetite isn't fully known, but rat studies have suggested that the active ingredient in garcinia cambogia can increase serotonin in the brain ( 5, 21).
Theoretically speaking, since serotonin is a known appetite suppressant, higher blood levels of serotonin could reduce your appetite ( 22).
However, these results need to be taken with a grain of salt.
This might be able to change how carbohydrates are metabolized.
Other studies have found no difference in appetite between groups taking this supplement and those taking a placebo ( 10, 11, 12, 23).
It may be that these effects depend on the individual.
Bottom Line: Some studies suggest that garcinia cambogia can suppress appetite by inhibiting serotonin uptake in the brain, while other studies have found no effects on appetite or hunger.
2. It May Block Fat Production and Reduce Belly Fat
The most important activity of garcinia cambogia is probably its effects on blood fats and the production of new fatty acids.
Studies in humans and animals have shown it may lower high levels of fat in the blood and reduce oxidative stress in the body ( 24, 25, 26, 27, 28).
One study also suggests it may be especially effective at reducing the accumulation of belly fat in overweight people ( 8).
Another study gave moderately obese individuals 2,800 mg of garcinia cambogia daily for eight weeks ( 14).
By the end of the study, the group had drastically reduced several risk factors for disease:
The main reason for these effects is thought to be that garcinia cambogia inhibits an enzyme called citrate lyase, which plays an important role in the production of fat ( 2, 29, 30, 31, 32).
By inhibiting citrate lyase, garcinia cambogia is thought to slow down or block fat production in the body. This may reduce blood fats and lower the risk of weight gain, two major disease risk factors ( 33).
Bottom Line: Garcinia cambogia blocks the production of new fats in the body, and has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and blood triglycerides in overweight people.
Animal and test-tube studies suggest that garcinia cambogia may also have some anti-diabetic effects, including ( 2, 14, 34):
- Decreasing insulin levels
- Decreasing leptin levels
- Reducing inflammation
- Improving blood sugar control
- Increasing insulin sensitivity
Garcinia cambogia may also have benefits for the digestive system. Animal studies have suggested it helps protect against stomach ulcers and reduce damage to the inner lining of the digestive tract ( 35, 36).
However, these effects need to be studied further before firm conclusions can be drawn.
Bottom Line: Garcinia cambogia may have some anti-diabetic effects and may also help protect against stomach ulcers and damage to the digestive tract.
Most studies have concluded that garcinia cambogia is safe for healthy people in the recommended dosages, or up to 2,800 mg of HCA per day ( 37, 38, 39, 40).
That said, supplements are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
That means there's no guarantee that the actual content of HCA in your supplements will match the HCA content on the label.
Therefore, make sure to buy from a reputable manufacturer.
People have also reported some side effects of using garcinia cambogia. The most common ones are ( 3, 9):
However, some studies have indicated more serious side effects.
Animal studies have shown that a very high intake of garcinia cambogia can cause testicular atrophy — shrinking of the testicles.
Remembering the day so clearly, being October 29, 2012 – when Doctor OZ's Garcinia Cambogia extract episode airing for no more than 6 minutes became a world-wide sensation and phenom in a matter of New-York marketing minutes – fast forward from Oct 28 to Oct 29 to 2017; this is our assembled garcinia story of facts, figures and semi-unfortunate fallacies surrounding the most popular diet pill, phrase and product ever created… Origins Of Garcinia (Malabar Tamarind/Gummi-Gutta) Garcinia Cambogia is one of the most controversial dietary nutrition supplements in the world today.
Studies in rats have shown it may also affect sperm production ( 38, 41, 42).
Additionally, there is one report of a woman who developed serotonin toxicity as a result of taking garcinia cambogia with her anti-depressant medications ( 43).
If you have a medical condition or are taking any medications, consult your doctor before you start taking the supplement.
Bottom Line: Some people experience digestive symptoms, headaches and skin rashes when taking garcinia cambogia. Animal studies suggest that a very high intake may cause toxicity.
Many health food stores and pharmacies offer several varieties of garcinia cambogia.
Choose one from a reputable manufacturer that contains 50–60% hydroxycitric acid (HCA).
Recommended dosages can vary between brands. Generally, it is recommended to take 500 mg, three times per day, 30–60 minutes before meals.
It is always best to follow the dosage instructions on the label.
Studies have only tested these supplements for up to 12 weeks at a time. Therefore, it may be a good idea to take a few weeks off every three months or so.
Bottom Line: Look for a supplement that contains 50–60% HCA and is made by a reputable manufacturer. Follow the dosage instructions on the label.
Existing studies don't agree on the effectiveness of garcinia cambogia for weight loss.
Some studies show it may cause slightly more weight loss than not taking any supplement. This effect is not confirmed, but it is promising.
The positive effects of garcinia cambogia on blood fats may be where this supplement really shines.
An evidence-based nutrition article from our experts at Authority Nutrition.
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