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.
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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.
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Garcinia Cambogia Claims
Garcinia cambogia extract claims include:
- Appetite reduction
- Reduces cravings
- Better mood
- Heightened energy and focus
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
- 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
“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.”
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.
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