Showing posts with label Garcinia cambogia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Garcinia cambogia. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Does Garcinia Cambogia Really Work?

You can buy garcinia cambogia in any health food store or even most big-box stores. That's no surprise, given its fame as a weight-loss and weight-control supplement. But what exactly is garcinia cambogia? Does it work? Is it safe to use?

What is Garcinia Cambogia?


Garcinia cambogia is an orange-sized fruit that grows in parts of India and Indonesia. It’s a popular ingredient in curries and chutneys, as well as an acid indigestion reliever.
But its sudden rise in popularity has to do primarily with its reputation as a dietary weight control supplement and appetite suppressant. Some research also shows garcinia cambogia is effective at controlling blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Garcinia cambogia’s “active” ingredient – the one associated with its weight loss/control characteristics – is hydroxycitric acid, also known as HCA, which is found in the fruit's rind.

What is HCA?


HCA, the element responsible for garcinia cambogia's weight loss and weight control characteristics, has been shown in some scientific research to block certain enzymes that generate body fat, while also raising serotonin levels, which can reduce your appetite.

Studies on Garcinia Cambogia and Weight Loss


Garcinia cambogia might work to lose weight, but the research is conflicted. First, let’s take a look at  research that supports its efficacy or safety, and then get a handle on its potential problems or failures.
The case for garcinia cambogia:
Some studies support garcinia cambogia's weight management value and safety:
  • This research on the garcinia cambogia's HCA extract showed it to be safe when used in normal dosages.
  • Research on several HCA studies concluded that garcinia extract showed a small but statistically significant amount of weight loss.
  • This 2009 study showed that garcinia cambogia’s hydroxycitric acid and flavonoids can decrease lipid composition levels in blood and reduce fat deposition in the aorta of high cholesterol diet animals.
  • Another study showed that high doses of garcinia cambogia suppressed fat accumulation in obese rats.
  • This 1988 research on HCA showed that its inclusion in the diet significantly reduced food intake, body weight, and body fat in tested animals.
  • Guinea pigs on a high cholesterol diet who were given the Garcinia species (atriviridis) had a tendency to decrease lipid composition levels and fat deposition in the aorta.
  • One 1970 study with rats showed that HCA inhibit fat producing enzymes, making it more harder for the body to turn carbs into fat.
  • Is it safe? Garcinia cambogia’s HCA, researched in this toxicity study using pregnant rats, showed no maternal toxicity and no external, skeletal, or soft tissue fetus abnormalities.
The case against garcinia cambogia:
It's important to note that much of the research on garcinia cambogia or HCA was not performed on human subjects. While the above data is promising, some studies say that it does not work; or, if it does work, may not be safe. For instance:
  • An NYU medical report concluded that it “remains unclear whether HCA offers any weight-loss benefits.”
  • In this study, HCA showed efficacy in terms of body fat accumulation suppression, but that the HCA also “caused potent testicular atrophy and toxicity.”
  • The FDA issued a 2009 safety warning in response to a multitude of severe negative health reactions (ranging from jaundice and potential liver damage) to the supplement Hydroxycut, believed to be related to its garcinia cambogia extract (which has since been removed from Hydroxycut).
  • Dr. Oz advises not to use garcinia cambogia if you have Alzheimer's or dementia, or if it’s in your family tree, as some studies show that garcinia cambogia can worsen it.
  • This study, reported in JAMA, showed garcinia cambogia did not produce significant weight loss or fat mass loss. It found that the study group lost less weight than the placebo group.
  • In a garcinia cambogia study involving overweight women, the study group lost more weight than the placebo group, but found no appetite curbing effect.
Conclusion? Given the variety of research results, sometimes conflicting, it really is up to you and the advice of your doctor to determine whether or not garcinia cambogia is right - and safe - for you.


Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer