Garcinia Cambogia – Does this hyped weight loss supplement really work?

Garcinia Cambogia is a citrus fruit found in mainly found in South East Asia, CoastalKarnataka/Kerala in India and few places in Central Afrcia.  It is also known as brindleberry, Malabar tamarind, and Kudam Puli. Wikipedia

Garcinia Cambogia shot to fame was quite phenomenal, though it was being added in many weight loss supplements since th 1990’s but in 2012, when Dr Juile Chen talked about it on the Dr Oz TV Show the products popularity exploded.

Riding its popularity and our general tendency to fall for a easy way out, marketers and supplement makers made a killing. It started in United States, but today Garcinia Cambogia is a world wide rage.

Since the GC started appearing in media and popluar health-related TV shows, more and more started buying bottled GC  in hopes of losing stubborn body fat they’ve been struggling with for years or simply many were damn lazy and the concept of “”weight loss miracle drug” struck the right cord.

What’s in Garcinia Camobogia? 

There is a lot of confusion regarding Garcinia among the people, as it has been very aggressively  marketed throughout everywhere.

The main active ingredient in Garcinia cambogia extract is Hydroxycitric acid (HCA), a citric acid byproduct.

Studies were made on rats (as obvious) to make sure if HCA plays any role in fat loss, though the studies showed results in favor of Garcinia but they also found that higher doses can cause toxicity. (1, 2, 3, 4)

These mixed results are common for weight loss supplements, pills and products.

While reserch shows (7,8,9,10) HCA might have some effect on weight loss but it is also true that if you do not include exercises, diet control and healhty lifestyle habbits then you are more prone to its toxic effects.

The concerns regarding serious side effects that can occur including liver damage or failure, anxiety, fatigue, dizziness and digestive problems are rarely discussed in the media but they are quite true. 

GC products are projected as a natural supplement hence the common consensus is it is completely safe. But what we fail to understand that the fruit extract is often processed with chemicals and they might not be always safe.

Fad diets and miracle pills are mostly publicized to provide a simpler solution to a complex problem, a problem which is a result of year and years of junk accumulation.

The CLAIMS that made it popular

Garcinia Cambogia is best known for its weight loss properties, but to increase its percieved value many other benefits are usully listed.

Though they are not all bogus, and have some merit in them but none have too much scientifc backing.

It is said that GC helps in controlling hunger, keeps you happy, regulates blood sugars and reduces cholesterol levels.

Mostly these claims do not have substantial evidence to back it, but still in few cases studies do have some positve results.

  • Several studies on mice and humans showed better metabolic performance with HCA supplments.
  • Experiments has shown Garcinia can increase the amount of time it takes to reach exaustion during exercise.

Side Effects of Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia extract though derived from natural fruit, still it can cause some side efects. As many other weight loss drugs, it is also associated with hepatotoxicity and acute liver injury if taken in high doses.

Mild side effects include –

  • becoming fuzzy or weak
  • fatigue
  • skin rashes
  • an increase in catching colds/lower immune function
  • dry mouth and bad breath
  • headaches
  • digestive issues like nausea, trouble eating or diarrhea

Who should never try Garcinia Cambogia?

Garcinia is known to interfare with many madications, so it is advisable to check with your doctors if you are under prescribed drugs, like pain medications, medications used to control mental disorders like anxiety and depression, blood thinning drugs.

Who else should avoid –

  • Pregenant Ladies
  • Those with liver and kidney ailments
  • Diabetics

Safe limit of Garcinia Dosage?

If you anyways want to give GC a try, then atleast you should know how much is safe to take.

Dosage Recomendation of HCA  –

  • Typical daily dosage vary from between 250–1,000 milligrams per day for 2- 12 weeks
  • The optimal dose of HCA is currently still unknown; it’s not clear if a higher HCA dosage even means a higher bioavailability of HCA once consumed

Many proprietary formulas are made by manufacturers that only use a fraction of the active ingredient or standard dose to keep costs down. Always read labels and look for the words “pure garcinia cambogia” and “hydroxycitric acid (or HCA) extract” (this should be around 50-60 percent of the product). If you’re purchasing a blend and see an ingredient listed without an amount, that can be a red flag that you don’t know exactly what you’re getting.


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