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Introduction

Garcinia Cambogia is a tropical fruit native to Indonesia. The fruit has been used as a remedy for centuries, particularly for its laxative properties and to treat rheumatism.

It is now commonly taken as a food supplement due to its substantial health benefits. One of these benefits is weight loss.

It is believed that it naturally blocks the body’s ability to produce fat, as well as reduces your appetite. It is also often said that Garcinia Cambogia maintains healthy levels of blood sugar and cholesterol.

Studies have shown that the active ingredient found in the fruit’s peel, hydroxycitric acid (HCA), has successfully boosted fat-burning and reduced appetite. The fruit also appears to block enzyme called citrate lyase, which has a function to convert unutilized carbs into fat and store it for future use.

Garcinia cambogia also appears to raise levels of serotonin in your brain, which could lead to feeling less hungry.

The Bottom Line – Garcinia Cambogia is a tropical fruit, which is often used as a supplement to help aid weight loss. The fruit has received a lot of media attention for its weight loss boosting properties and has even been referred to as the “miracle” fruit. Studies do show that it can be an effective help for weight loss – but only when combined with healthy diet and exercise.

Garcinia Cambogia Health Benefits

The fruit is known for several nutritional health benefits, and, if taken as a supplement, it could possibly boost your health in numerous ways.

Below is a list of the possible benefits we’ve found:

Garcinia Cambogia Can Aid Weight Loss 

Some studies [1] have shown that Garcinia Cambogia can promote weight loss – if combined with healthy diet and exercise. The active ingredient in the fruit, hydroxycitric acid (HCA) helps prevent calories from being stored as fats. HCA also blocks the production of enzyme called citrate lyase, which slows down metabolism, making the body store calories as fat. These calories are converted into glycogen instead, helping the body build muscles. Hydroxycitric acid [2] also has been shown to reduce appetite and decrease body weight without stimulating the nervous system.

Garcinia Cambogia Could Boost Your Mood

Serotonin is a key contributor to healthy functioning of our bodies and has long been known as the “happiness hormone” [3]. It is used to transmit messages between nerves and is believed to play a key role in contributing to our wellbeing and happiness – among many other things. Low serotonin levels have even been linked to depression [4] – even though now the cause-and-effect relationship is often questioned by experts in the field. HCA promotes the production of serotonin levels in the body, which could result in a mood boost.

Garcinia Cambogia Could Lower Cholesterol

Some studies have shown that Garcinia Cambogia has had some effect in lowering cholesterol levels [5] as well as high triglycerides. These studies have also suggested that it may be effective in raising the levels of HDL cholesterol, often referred to as the “good cholesterol”. HDL cholesterol is responsible for eliminating the bad cholesterol from the bloodstream, this way helping reduce the risk of heart disease.

Garcinia Cambogia Can Help Regulate Blood Sugar

There is also some evidence that Garcinia Cambogia can help control blood sugar levels [6] and could be particularly useful for those suffering from diabetes. Due to these properties, Garcinia Cambogia could help prevent the unexpected spikes or drops in blood sugar. However, if you already take prescribed medicine for your cholesterol, you shouldn’t use it.

The Bottom Line – Garcinia Cambogia is known for a multitude of nutritional benefits for the body. Studies have found it to be effective in boosting fat-burning, reducing appetite, as well as lowering “bad” cholesterol levels in the body. If used as a supplement, it could also be particularly beneficial for those suffering from diabetes.

How To Use Garcinia Cambogia

To supplement your weight loss plan, look for “Garcinia Cambogia” with 50 percent HCA.

The most common methods of taking Garcinia Cambogia are:

  1. As a pill, 500-1,000mg before each meal;
  2. As a liquid, 1-2 drops before every meal (equal of about 1,500mg daily).

The typical dosage amount for Garcinia Cambogia ranges between 1,500-3,000mg daily. It is recommended that you do not exceed 3,000mg.

Are There Any Foods That Contain Garcinia Cambogia?

While Garcinia Cambogia has been traditionally used in Thai and Indian cooking, finding it in the foods we consume daily would be rare.

However, hydroxycitric acid (HCA) – the active ingredient in Garcinia Cambogia, which is responsible for the majority of its health benefits –  can be found in a number of other types of fruit, such as grapefruit, lime, papaya, lemon and pineapple.

Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects List

While Garcinia Cambogia has been said to have many health boosting properties, it may also have several side effects, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Digestive tract discomfort
  • Liver problems

Note: these side effects are possible but may not be the typical user experience.

Is Garcinia Cambogia Safe?

Despite the number of apparent health benefits, Garcinia Cambogia is possibly unsafe when taken orally as a supplement. There have been several reports of liver damage following the use of Garcinia Cambogia.

Remember, prior to using Garcinia Cambogia, you should consult with your doctor if you have any kind of medical condition.

When Should I Not Take Garcinia Cambogia?

  • If you are pregnant and/or breast-feeding: There isn’t enough information about the safety of the fruit’s use for pregnant and/ or breast-feeding women. Therefore, it would be best to avoid it if you are pregnant and/ or breastfeeding.
  • If you have liver disease: Garcinia cambogia may harm liver – therefore you shouldn’t use it if you have any form of liver disease.
  • If you have bipolar disorder: The fruit may make mania worse, therefore should be avoided.

Has Garcinia Cambogia Been Linked To Any Deaths?

Garcinia Cambogia hasn’t directly been linked to any deaths, however is has been strongly linked to hepatic (liver) failure.

The Bottom Line – The supplement has been praised for its weight-loss and other properties, however some forms of it are possibly unsafe.

Where Can I Buy Garcinia Cambogia & Do I Need A Prescription?

Supplements of Garcinia Cambogia can be bought at most drugstores without prescription.

Conclusion

While several studies have shown that Garcinia Cambogia has several health benefits (such as weight loss, lower cholesterol and improved mood), there have also been serious concerns about its supplements causing liver failure.

According to the experts, Garcinia Cambogia is possibly unsafe – and you should check with your doctor before you start taking it as a supplement.

Beth Coats, RD LN
Beth Coats, RD LN
Staff Writer & Fact Checker at DietProbe
Beth is a registered dietician with over 20 years experience in general nutrition.
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Fact Checked


This article has been reviewed and fact-checked by a certified nutritionist, and only uses information from credible academic sources.