Garcinia Cambogia is a popular weight loss supplement that comes from a fruit that grows on a tree by the same name.
The peel of the fruit contains high amounts of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is the active ingredient believed to be responsible for most of its weight loss benefits1.
What Is Garcinia Cambogia?
- Garcinia Cambogia is a yellow, pumpkin-shaped fruit that can sometimes be a ‘green-ish’ color. Most people do not eat the flesh because it has a very bitter taste
- Garcinia Cambogia supplements use the extracts of the fruit’s peel since that is where HCA is highly concentrated.
- A number of studies have tested the effects of Garcinia Cambogia on weight loss. Many of them show that taking the supplement can cause a small amount of weight loss2.
How Does It Help With Weight Loss?
1. Appetite Reduction
- A study conducted showed that taking Garcinia Cambogia supplements can reduce your appetite and make you feel full3,4.
- Other studies suggest that the active ingredient may increase the amount of serotonin produced in the brain5. Because serotonin is a natural appetite suppressant, higher blood levels of serotonin may result in an appetite reduction.
2. It May Reduce Body Fat By Blocking Fat Production
- Studies show it can lower the amount of fat in the blood and reduce oxidative stress6.
- One study suggested that it may be more effective at reducing belly fat in those who are overweight7.
- In another study, individuals who were moderately obese were provided with 2800 mg of Garcinia Cambogia for 8 weeks. By the time the study was over, they had reduced the number of risk factors for disease8:
- Total cholesterol levels: 6.3% lower
- LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol levels: 12.3% lower
- HDL (the “good”) cholesterol levels: 10.7% higher
- Blood triglycerides: 8.6% lower
- Fat metabolites: 125–258% more excreted in the urine
- It is thought that Garcinia Cambogia may inhibit an enzyme (citrate lyase), which is responsible for producing fats9.
- Since the supplement inhibits citrate lyase it may slow down the fat production or block it within the human body. As a result, a lower risk of weight gain and blood fats can occur, which are major disease risk factors10.
Other Health Benefits
Studies suggest that a Garcinia Cambogia supplement may also have some anti-diabetes effects, including11:
- Decreasing insulin levels
- Decreasing leptin levels
- Reducing inflammation
- Improving blood sugar control
- Increasing insulin sensitivity
The digestive system may also benefit when taking Garcinia Cambogia. This was seen in studies that showed some protection against stomach ulcers and reduced damage to the inner lining of the digestive tract were associated with using the supplement12.
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3748738/, Updates on Antiobesity Effect of Garcinia Origin (−)-HCA, 2013 Aug 6
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21197150/, The Use of Garcinia Extract (Hydroxycitric Acid) as a Weight loss Supplement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Clinical Trials, 2011;2011:509038. doi: 10.1155/2011/509038. Epub 2010 Dec 14
3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814609011923, Hydroxycitric acid lactone and its salts: Preparation and appetite suppression studies, 1 May 2010
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12349913, Safety and mechanism of appetite suppression by a novel hydroxycitric acid extract (HCA-SX), 2002 Sep;238(1-2):89-103
5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12349913, Safety and mechanism of appetite suppression by a novel hydroxycitric acid extract (HCA-SX), 2002 Sep;238(1-2):89-103
6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26595408, Antihyperlipidemic and antioxidant activities of the ethanolic extract of Garcinia cambogia on high fat diet-fed rats, 2016 Mar;13(1):9-16. doi: 10.1515/jcim-2015-0020
7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24944404/, Effects of garcinia cambogia (Hydroxycitric Acid) on visceral fat accumulation: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 2003 Sep;64(8):551-67. doi: 10.1016/j.curtheres.2003.08.006
8. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0271531703002215, Efficacy of a novel, natural extract of (–)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA-SX) and a combination of HCA-SX, niacin-bound chromium and Gymnema sylvestre extract in weight management in human volunteers: a pilot study, January 2004
9. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S003193840600165X, Effects of (−)-hydroxycitrate on net fat synthesis as de novo lipogenesis, 30 July 2006
10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23584084, Dyslipidemia in obesity: mechanisms and potential targets, 2013 Apr 12;5(4):1218-40. doi: 10.3390/nu5041218
11. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0271531703002215, Efficacy of a novel, natural extract of (–)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA-SX) and a combination of HCA-SX, niacin-bound chromium and Gymnema sylvestre extract in weight management in human volunteers: a pilot study, January 2004
12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11807973, The antiulcer activity of Garcinia cambogia extract against indomethacin-induced gastric ulcer in rats, 2002 Feb;16(1):80-3