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. Loss of excess weight could help 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.
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.
Some research has found that garcinia cambogia may improve cholesterol levels, lowering triglycerides and LDL (the "bad" cholesterol) and raising HDL (the "good" cholesterol). You shouldn't use it if you're already on a prescription for your cholesterol.
The Food and Drug Administration considers it unsafe. In 2017, the FDA warned everyone to stop using a weight-loss product that contained garcinia cambogia because some people taking it got serious liver problems.
The fruit rind of Garcinia gummi-gutta, commonly known as Garcinia cambogia (syn.), is extensively used traditionally as a flavourant in fish curries due to its sharp sour taste. Additional ethnobotanical uses include its use as a digestive and a traditional remedy to treat bowel complaints, intestinal parasites and rheumatism. This small fruit, reminiscent of a pumpkin in appearance, is currently most popularly used and widely advertised as a weight-loss supplement. Studies have shown that the extracts as well as (-)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA), a main organic acid component of the fruit rind, exhibited anti-obesity activity including reduced food intake and body fat gain by regulating the serotonin levels related to satiety, increased fat oxidation and decreased de novo lipogenesis. HCA is a potent inhibitor of adenosine triphosphate-citrate lyase, a catalyst for the conversion process of citrate to acetyl-coenzyme A, which plays a key role in fatty acid, cholesterol and triglycerides syntheses. The crude extract or constituents from the plant also exerted hypolipidaemic, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anthelmintic, anticholinesterase and hepatoprotective activities in in vitro and in vivo models. Phytochemical studies of various plant parts revealed the presence of mainly xanthones (e.g. carbogiol) and benzophenones (e.g. garcinol) together with organic acids (e.g. HCA) and amino acids (e.g. gamma aminobutyric acid). Currently, a large number of G. cambogia/HCA dietary supplements for weight management are being sold although 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. This review presents a scientific overview of G. cambogia with reference to relevant botanical aspects, ethnobotanical uses, phytochemistry and biological activity as well as toxicity.
Additionally, garcinia cambogia could boost your digestive system. Animal studies suggest that it helps protect against stomach ulcers and reduce damage to the inner lining of your digestive tract (35, 36).
Animal studies show that intake of garcinia cambogia far above the maximum recommended dosage can cause testicular atrophy, or shrinking of the testicles. Studies in rats show that it may also affect sperm production (38, 41, 42).
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.
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
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.
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
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 al8 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.
Conversely, a 200810 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 trials11 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.
Garcinia gummi-gutta is a tropical species of Garcinia native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. Common names include Garcinia cambogia (a former scientific name), as well as brindle berry, and Malabar tamarind. The fruit looks like a small pumpkin and is green to pale yellow in color.
In late 2012, a United States celebrity doctor, Dr. Oz, promoted Garcinia cambogia extract as "an exciting breakthrough in natural weight loss". Dr. Oz's endorsements of dietary supplements having no or little scientific evidence of efficacy have often led to a substantial increase in consumer purchases of the promoted products.
Garcinia cambogia is an herbal supplement that has been used for the treatment of obesity for more than a decade, says Nancy P. Rahnama, MD, a bariatric surgeon and nutrition specialist in Beverly Hills, California. Garcinia cambogia, which is also referred to as garcinia, Malabar tamarind, and brindle berry, is typically consumed as an extract in pill, tablet, or capsule form. People may also drink it in tea. (2)
The supplement is made from garcinia cambogia, a fruit-bearing tree found in India and Southeast Asia. The fruit, which looks like a small pumpkin, has a rind containing hydroxycitric acid (HCA). This compound is purported to help suppress appetite and reduce body fat, although scientific evidence is lacking. (2)
Because supplements are not subject to federal approval before going to market, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not determined whether garcinia cambogia is safe for consumption and whether the claims manufacturers make about it are true. (1)
Overall, the research on garcinia cambogia is conflicting, says Dr. Rahnama. For example, a 2011 meta-analysis evaluated 12 randomized clinical trials of the supplement. (4) Researchers were able to assess data from nine of these studies and found that garcinia cambogia, taken in doses of 1,000 to 2,800 milligrams per day for two to 12 weeks, might help with short-term weight loss of about 2 pounds. 041b061a72