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Garcinia Cambogia Review - 13 Things You Need to Know

Garcinia Cambogia has become very popular in recent years as a weight loss supplement. There are now dozens of companies that produce garcina-based supplements or have added it to their weight-loss formulas. But clinical studies on the plant have shown that those that use it only lost marginally-more weight than those who did not.

Does Garcinia live up to the hype? We had our research team conduct their own investigation into garcinia cambogia to give you the full scoop. Read on to learn what our researchers found.

Garcinia Cambogia Readers: Noom is offering our readers a free trial, for a limited time. Click here for this special offer!

Garcinia Cambogia Video Review


What Is Garcinia Cambogia?

Garcinia cambogia is a tropical plant found in regions of Southeast Asia, Polynesia, Australia and Africa, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine. The plant has between 50 and 300 varieties, each claiming to offer health properties distinguished by natives and locals.

How Did Garcinia Cambogia Use Start?

The use of this plant for medicinal purposes has been widely documented for more than 2000 years in Ayurvedic practices. In fact, garcinia cambogia is such an integral part of this ancient system that it is a part of one of the eight foundational components described in the early Sanskrit manuscripts. Despite its elevated presence in the Ayurvedic system, the plant really took off in terms of public exposure due to a study on rats in the 1970s.

The study results were a reduction in the animals’ food intake by 25%. This brought garcinia cambogia to the attention of Western markets, and supplements based on garcinia cambogia’s weight-loss benefits hit the market.

Garcinia Cambogia Claims

Garcinia cambogia extract claims include:

  • Appetite reduction
  • Reduces cravings
  • Better mood
  • Heightened energy and focus

Weight Loss

The rind of the fruit contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is a very strong active component that allegedly has three positive results on the body:

  • Increases the body’s biological capability of burning fat by boosting metabolism.
  • Prevents the body from creating new fat by blocking the enzyme citrate lyase, which is partially responsible for synthesizing fat.
  • Naturally raises the body’s levels of serotonin, making users less hungry by suppressing the appetite.

Although companies market and sell it with these claims, not many of them have proof supporting them.


Garcinia Cambogia Ingredients

Let’s take a look at the main ingredients in garcinia cambogia:

Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA)

This is the element in the rind of the fruit and what every garcinia cambogia review is talking about.

HCA content is over a quarter of the fruit’s weight and is what causes appetite suppression as well as fat-burning.

There are 14 different products with HCA that retailers sell over the counter as garcinia cambogia.


These are phytonutrients that can be found in almost every fruit. Flavonoids are beneficial for the immune system. Flavonoids are associated with the benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, according to research by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


The pericarp of the mangosteen fruit contains this ingredient, which is another phytonutrient crucial in helping the body be rid of free radicals.

Xanthones are antioxidant and prevent a metabolic breakdown, according to Current Molecular Medicine. This ingredient is found in a part of the fruit that is very rarely consumed, therefore, the xanthone content was only recently noted.

Does Garcinia Cambogia Work?

There is a lot of investment in trying to prove human results of the weight loss benefits that research found in mice, but without much success.

There is a scientific explanation about this that most reviews don’t share. The citrate lyase in rats and mice plays a huge role in their fat-control system, while the part citrate lyase plays for humans is insignificant.

In double-blinded tests, this seemingly tiny, but very significant, variance results in minimal positive results vs a placebo in humans.

Several sources state that this dietary supplement’s manufacturing and sale on such a large scale is primarily because it is so cheap and abundant and that there is no wide discussion of its lack of effectiveness.

The Journal of Obesity concluded “fat-loss from garcinia cambogia is only partially effective in the short term and in a very small degree.”


Garcinia Cambogia Benefits

It is important to point out that these benefits don’t have much research and there are no tests on human beings. You should consult a doctor prior to using this ingredient. You should not stop regular prescription medication without consulting a physician.

Garcinia Cambogia and Weight Loss

According to clinical research, science is on the fence about how garcinia cambogia works in the body to promote metabolic rates or weight loss.

For instance, the Journal of Obesity concludes “the magnitude of the effect is small, and the clinical relevance is uncertain. Gastrointestinal adverse events were twice as common in the HCA group compared with placebo in one included study.” So, the participants saw a slight change in weight (maybe) but gastrointestinal effects were also an issue.

The big issue here is that a large percentage of the research was on animals, not humans. In some cases, researchers don’t specify which they used in their studies.

“Studies have shown that the extracts as well as (-)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA), a main organic acid component of the fruit rind, exhibited weight loss activity including reduced food intake and body fat gain.”

Most tests regarding garcinia cambogia and its potential benefits show only slight and short-term negative or positive results. So far, there is not enough medical evidence to say that it works for weight loss.

It is important to read beyond user comments and delve into clinical research before starting supplementation with garcinia cambogia. Garcinia cambogia reviews suggest these products are a miracle pill for those wanting to lose weight.

Despite heavy marketing and advertising campaigns, the results from lab tests and studies cannot support these claims. While there are few significant positive results in humans, tests on mice continue, with some promising results.

How To Use Garcinia Cambogia

Though no research stands behind these claims, a standard dose of garcinia cambogia and hydroxycitric acid is supposed to be 500mg. You take it 30-60 minutes prior to a meal and usually up to three different meals daily.


Potential Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects

Extensive testing on humans does not exist for any of these products on the market. Some users have reported the following symptoms after ingesting garcinia cambogia supplements:

  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth

The FDA released a warning about garcinia cambogia products because, in 2009, some users reported severe health problems. Although what caused these problems was not 100% garcinia cambogia, everyone should be aware of the potential side effects.

In 2017, the FDA warned about the weight loss supplement Fruta Planta Life, which contained an extract of garcinia cambogia. This product also contained sibutramine (Meridia), that was taken off the market in 2010 due to its side effects.

Users of dietary supplements should include a healthy diet and exercise, and be aware of potential side effects.

Garcinia Cambogia Product Warnings

Garcinia cambogia products may interact with:

  • Allergy medications
  • OTC medications
  • Prescription medications

Pregnant or nursing women should refrain from taking this supplement, along with people under 18 years of age, those with existing health conditions or anyone taking prescription medications.

Any Garcinia Cambogia Lawsuits?

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has an open case due to the use of emails to ‘spam-advertise’ supplements. Garcinia cambogia is one of the supplements in this case.

Garcinia Cambogia and Dr Oz

TV celebrity Dr. Oz named garcinia cambogia “the miracle pill.” This resulted in a Senate hearing, requesting Dr. Oz to back his claims with data. Since he couldn’t do that, he was told not to use such “flowery language.” The doctor’s website has since taken a different stance on how consumers should use supplements for weight loss.

Garcinia Cambogia Alternatives


A sugar from the hard exoskeletons of crustaceans, including shrimp, lobster, and crabs. It supposedly blocks fats from being absorbed. Obesity Reviews found no evidence in weight-loss treatments with chitosan.

Green Coffee Extract

The extract comes from unroasted coffee beans. Claims to reduce appetite so you eat less and lose more weight. Though we found some research to support this claim in Gastroenterology Research and Practice, additional research is needed for a firm conclusion.


Occurring naturally in your body, you can also take it as a pill. It boosts the metabolism, burning a higher amount of calories throughout the day. Small studies show that those who took 7-Keto-DHEA lost more weight with diet and exercise than those who didn’t. We need more clinical tests to determine effectiveness.

How to Use

What Users Are Saying

“I used a garcinia cambogia for a couple months now. I love how it controls my appetite and my cravings. I also like it because it vegan and gluten free.”

“I read reviews where a few people stated that they experienced headaches while taking these. Well I can say I experienced them as well. I will stop taking them because the headache is also associated with dizziness. Who wants to suffer from a headache just to take these. I properly hydrated so lack of H20 is not the reason.”

“I gave these 3 stars because, while in the 3 days that I was taking them I can say that they absolutely reduced my appetite incredibly well, I couldn’t take them beyond just 3 days as they made my blood sugar drop crazy low. I took 2 the first day before meals, 3 the next day before meals, and 3 the third day, but on the third day i woke in the middle of the night having a hypoglycemic episode and haven’t taken another one since. i’m doing fine diet wise without them, but I wanted something to help on those days when I just felt like I could eat the world lol. They do work, though, and if you don’t have any blood sugar issues (mine is very very mild, but these exacerbated it), then they may work well for you.”

Side Effects

The Bottom Line on Garcinia Cambogia

So, is garcinia cambogia for weight loss the real deal? We appreciate that it is a natural fruit extract, but we’re concerned about this one because it doesn’t have any solid science backing the claims. The reality is that there are few clinical trials to support this ingredient, and even then they but were often on mice.

While there’s research supporting some of the effects of garcinia cambogia, science is still on the fence with this ingredient. However, there are always alternatives, including a clinically-tested weight management plan.

Among the best weight management programs we’ve seen this year is called Noom. This program provides personalized meal plans, human coaching, and more to help you lose weight the healthy way.

Also, the company behind Noom is so confident in their program, they’re offering Dietspotlight readers a free trial.

Learn More About Noom »
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What are the side effects of Garcinia cambogia?

Common side effects of Garcinia cambogia include fatigue, weakness, brain fog, headaches, skin rashes, liver damage, and digestive issues.

How does Garcinia cambogia work?

Garcinia cambogia promotes weight loss and prevents fat from developing. It inhibits the citrate lyase enzyme, which the body uses to create fat from carbs.

What is the active ingredient in garcinia cambogia?

The active ingredient in garcinia cambogia is hydroxycitric acid.

What is Garcinia cambogia extract used for?

It works by preventing the body from developing fat and also suppresses the appetite. The fruit can also maintain cholesterol and blood sugar levels in the body.

What is the HCA in Garcinia cambogia?

HCA in Garcinia cambogia is known as hydroxycitric acid, which has commonly been used when cooking. It is also used to promote weight loss in the body.

How to take garcinia cambogia?

You should take garcinia cambogia according to directions on the label. Typically, you consume one capsule per day.

Is Garcinia a stimulant?

Garcinia is not a central nervous system stimulant and does not cause insomnia, high blood pressure, or a rapid heart rate.

What is the fruit of Garcinia cambogia?

Garcinia cambogia looks similar to a small pumpkin with a yellow or pale green color.

What are the health benefits of Garcinia?

Garcinia may help enhance exercise performance, weight loss and improve joint pain.

Can you take Garcinia cambogia while on antidepressants?

Garcinia cambogia should not be taken while on antidepressants, which can cause serotonin toxicity by raising serotonin levels.

Is Garcinia cambogia a drug?

Garcinia cambogia is not considered to be a drug. Research has mixed results on if it helps with weight loss.

Where does Garcinia come from?

Garcinia, also known as the malabar tamarind, is derived from across southwest India, Indonesia, and Myanmar.

43 Garcinia Cambogia Reviews

  • Can it cause diarrhea

    reading all the information about this product and loosing weight – I am looking for something to help me loose about 30 pounds. With my type of work – I can’t afford to be in the bathroom or have bouts of diarrhea. Is the an affect from the Garcinia Cambogia?
    Waiting to hear you answer.

    • Gabri3l

      As much as i know there are no side effect although is better to consult a medic if you have health problems.(got this info on google and some reviews in there)Well on me it worked fine and i am pleased about it.

    • Anonymous

      Am on my third week of gc. . . Lots of runs and stomach cramps, gradually getting better though.

  • Where to buy the original product?

    I want to try this garcinia. Can someone tell me a good name brand to try and where to buy it. I don’t know what sites to trust. There are so many.

    • christine

      Look up Dr Oz show and it will have a link to one. Thats the one i bought. I cant say much about it yet because its only been a few days do far. Good luck.

    • robin

      A bottle of 100 supplements are at walmart for $10 next to the new green coffee extract

    • marie

      Go with the information you get off the Dr. Oz show. It will tell you exactly what to look for. Don’t go to stores that have an off brand and charge you less money. It won’t have the right ingredients. It will cost about $50-$60 a jar for the right kind.

    • Regina

      I also went off the
      dr Oz show on what to look for.
      I purchased the product from amazon.com. I got mine in less than 4 days. Been taking it for 1 week and already loss 5 lbs. I followed what Dr Oz recommended on what product to purchase and on how to take the product.

  • Will it inter-act with garcinia camboga

    Will lipitor inter-act with garcinia camboga

  • What are the ingredients?

    Need to know if garcinia cambogia has any interatins with: Procardia & Losartan potassium and thanks

  • Any side effects with other medication?

    I take Levothyroxine,Simvistatin and Lisinapril – any side effects I need to worry about?

    • Mamabat

      with the medications you take I would be very careful of hepatotoxicity…your meds put you at risk without the GC…cant replace a Liver too easily!

  • Is this really effective?
    myra sanchez

    I need to loose 50lbs I went to a health food store and they recommanded Garcinia and Raspberry Ketones. I liked the idea that it is all Natural, but does it really work??

    • Anonymous

      Raspberry keytone does not work and the garcinia takes a while


  • Can't swallow large capsules
    Deborah Salvino

    are the pills large and can you break them up i can/t swallow large capsules

    • Sara

      I ordered it & can’t swallow any pills. I learned awhile back though that just about any capsule can either be opened or chewed. I opened the capsule for these & they are large, but im not sure if it’s working the way im taking them. The taste of it though makes me almost vomit & it stings my nose as i swallow the stuff inside the capsule. Once I’ve swallowed all of it though, the pain goes away.

      • Steph

        You should never open a capsule and take the medication. When in capsule form the medication is time released and if you open it you are taking the med all at once. If you can’t take pills this isn’t the pill for you. Pills that are encapsulated or have a hard covering on them are that way for being time-released. The absolute worse thing to do is open or crush them.

    • Ace

      I was on vacation in Asia early last year and my host served this coffee with Garcinia Cambogia, green coffee extract, moringa and green barley for almost 2 weeks. I felt real good with it but never had the chance to get some on my way back. Recently I learned that the very same product is already available in Amazon. Been taking it regularly for almost a month now. Great results so far. I just thought you might wanna give it a try too. The name is GoFit green coffee. Comes in a box good for a week.

  • Advice on product side-effect
    Robbie (Verified Purchase)

    I used garcinia cambogia is a weight loss patch that included bladderwrack kelp extract for 26 days. Everything was going fine until suddenly my right-side abdomen area started “twitching” and in pain, and one of my arms developed some type of red irritation where the patch was. I immediately stopped using the patches. The red area eventually disappeared, but the abdomen problem still exists. I have been taking CIPRO and getting some relief from it, but I am very worried. I am also diabetic, and just found out that I should not take this herb. However, it did not affect by diabetic condition as far as I can tell. I just want my stomach to feel better. Does anyone have advice?

    • Rick-o

      Yeah, sue the people who make the stuff you were taking for not warning you that diabetics shouldn’t take it.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe you should go see a doctor like a smart person would instead of asking for advice from strangers on a website.

      • Jo

        and you’re so smart “anonymous”..more like mean spirited

    • Anonymous

      That twitching in you right side abdomen is your LIVER and gallbladder as they may have a few stones clogging the ducts!
      You more than likely need to do a liver/gall stone flush

      • Celeste

        The pain you have could be your gallbladder a lot of individuals that have had a good amount of weight loss end up with gallbladder stones or sludge its not the product. Try gallbladder complete its a good all natural product you can find it on the internet.

  • Interact
    Charlotte McKenna (Verified Purchase)

    will this interact with these meds. lozol,lipitor,klor-con m20

  • what is the effect in breastfed babies?

    what is the effect in breastfed babies?

    • Jilanda

      You are not supposed to take these supplements while breast feeding!!

  • Is Garcinia Cambogia ok to take with Levothyroxine?
    Ana Hernandez

    Is Garcinia Cambogia ok to take with Levothyroxine?

    • joy mcquade

      I have diabetis and if it does everything that u say it seems it would be safe for people diabetis.I need to lose 40 lbs now and my daughter takes it and she has diabetis. she says it works great for her.

      • CH

        I heard today for diabetics NOT to take this as it will cause the sugar level to drop. Check with your physician.

      • Nancy

        I to have diabeties and would like to know what your doctor said about the Garcinia-Cambogia. This sounds too good to be true.

      • Anonymous

        I want to take it too! I take 80mcg of levothyroxine and am type 1 diabetic. My husbnd wants to take it too and he is also diabetic. It seems this is good?

        • Anonymous

          Everything I’ve read says not to take this if you are diabetic.

        • Peggy

          Everything I’ve read says not to take this if you are diabetic.

    • roxy munoz

      A pharmacy tech told me that its not a good idea but I want to ask my doctor cause I take phentermin pills to loose weight but I have lots of headache with those I got the garcinia cambogia with out asking my doctor I feel fine I also do zumbz 2 days and cardio 2 try to exercise 5 days out of the week my thyroid is slow I weigh 203lb

  • Is There Any Side efects?

    Is There Any Side efects?

    • Jodee

      no. I sold this product 12 years ago under the company E’ola. For those who could not take ephedrine products, this was the alternative and it was powerful!We had incredible results with our customers and the product. Burned fat, curbed appetite, helped to retain lean muscle mass. does not increase energy or give the jitters at all. it is safe toi take with any medication.

      • Lindsey

        I miss E’ola drops, had great success with them. Wished they still made them.

        • Terri

          I loved those drops too, only thing that worked well for me. if you didnt over do it, it worked fine, used the recommended dose. It was the young people & athletes that were using it in high doses.

          • Calvin Franklin

            Garcinia Cambogia is an useful weight loss pill.

          • 1234

            So I signed up for garçinia I received one bottle and I got charged $500 and no refund. Had to cancel my credit card. Awful company!

            • Betty

              This Garcinia cause me to itch. I called 4 times to cancel the order. I waited for 20 or more min. each time just to be hung up on. I refuse to call any more and just canceled my credit card.

              • Summer (Editor)

                Betty – it sounds like you’re having a reaction. Dietspotlight Burn is a product that doesn’t contain garcinia cambogia – you can check out the sample offer above.