Can Garcinia Help You Lose Weight?

It is near impossible to go a day without seeing or hearing about a new weight loss method, product or plan that is supposed to revolutionize the way people shed excess pounds. As the fitness and weight loss industry grows at a rapid rate, more and more magic solutions hit the shelves. And while many of these overnight fat burning pills and supplements seem too good to be true, there must be at least one product that works.

Enter Garcinia Cambogia, a natural fat busting ingredient that claims to help you drop a dress size without extensive exercise or dieting.

What Is Garcinia Cambogia?

Garcinia gummi-gutta, is a pumpkin shaped fruit that is native to Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Also referred to as Brindleberry, this fruit varies in color from a green to light yellow. Rising in popularity as a weight loss supplement, this ingredient is rich in Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA).

Hydroxycitric Acid is a naturally occurring chemical that is found in tropical fruit rinds. Similar in composition to that of citric acid, HCA is most commonly used to improve athletic abilities and promote weight loss. This chemical is said to inhibit appetite, prevent fat storage and regulate energy consumption in the muscles. However, Garcinia Cambogia is no new discovery and has been used in traditional medicines for centuries.

Bottom Line:
Garcinia Cambogia is a fruit that can be found in Southeast Asia and the subtropics. This fruit has been used in traditional medicine for many years and is becoming a popular weight loss supplement. This is because it contains an active fat busting ingredient known as HCA.

The History Of Garcinia Cambogia

Holding Garcinia Cambogia Fruit

As a household fruit in Southeast Asia, Garcinia Cambogia is known by many names, such as Gambooge, Assam fruit and Malabar Tamarind. There are also many different types of this fruit, found in subtropical forests and ranging in color and size. This fruit is utilized in a variety of different ways. While it is present in many Indian recipes, for example in chutneys and curries, it is most popular as a medicinal and herbal remedy. It is said to help treat parasites and worms, act as a mild natural laxative and even claimed to improve gut health.

Fast forward to the late 90s, when a study was conducted to determine the effects of HCA, which is found in the Garcinia fruit, on obesity. The research showed that this active ingredient could suppress fat build up. Since then, this natural weight loss 'miracle fruit' has been endorsed by many celebrities and industry leaders alike.

Bottom Line:
Garcinia Cambogia is a popular weight loss aid that is made from the rind of the Garcinia fruit. It is used in Southeast Asian cuisine and has also been widely accepted in traditional medicines. It is said to fight parasites, suppress fat build up and has been promoted by celebrities and doctors.

How It Works

Garcinia Cambogia's active ingredient HCA has fat burning and appetite suppressing properties. This chemical is also believed to hinder citrate lyase (an enzyme that your body uses to produce fat cells) and increase the level of serotonin in the brain.

  • Citrate lyase is responsible for producing cytosolic acetyl-CoA and oxaloacetate. Linking the metabolism of carbohydrates and the production of fatty acids, citrate lyase converts carbs into fat.
  • Serotonin is a substance which is produced by nerve cells. Responsible for sending signals throughout the nervous system, it is most commonly found in the digestive tract, blood and central nervous system. Made from tryptophan, an essential amino acid, proper serotonin levels can reduce anxiety, improve mood and promote satiety.
Bottom Line:
Garcinia Cambogia contains Hydroxycitric Acid, which is a compound that promotes serotonin levels in the brain, suppresses hunger and prevents fat from being stored in the body.

Weight Loss

Woman on Weighing Scale

Weight loss is probably the main reason why this fruit has become so well known. Containing the compound HCA, Garcinia Cambogia increases satiety and prevents carbohydrates from turning into fat which means that it is beneficial to those who consume a high volume of carbs. By hindering the process where glucose is converted into fat, the potential for weight loss is tremendous.

Bottom Line:
Garcinia Cambogia is most renowned for its fat burning abilities and preventing excess carbohydrate intake to be converted to fat.

How Much Should I Take For Weight Loss?

Taking the correct dosage of Garcinia Cambogia is important if you want to obtain its weight loss benefits. Ensure that you get a supplement made in a cGMP and FDA approved facility that includes at least 50% HCA.

As HCA is the active ingredient responsible for weight loss, products with high levels of HCA have proven to be more efficient than those falling short of the 50% content requirement. Before buying a dietary supplement, check to see what type of HCA Garcinia Cambogia is included.

There are two types of Garcinia Cambogia. The first is a high-grade premium state that is more effective. The second is a compound supplement state, with low levels of HCA, made from multiple ingredients. Always opt for the premium or pure Garcinia Cambogia.

The more weight you have to lose, the more Garcinia Cambogia you will have to take. Every person experiences different results as no one is the same. It is recommended that you should take between 500 mg and 1,000 mg, three times a day before meals. Make sure you do not exceed the 3,000 mg daily quota.

Bottom Line:
Always consult a doctor before starting a course of diet pills. You should take a Garcinia Cambogia supplement that contains at least 50% HCA (in order for it to be effective). Ensure that the supplement you purchase is made from pure Garcinia Cambogia. Take no more than 3,000 mg per day.

The Health Benefits Of Garcinia

Although weight loss is its main selling point, Garcinia Cambogia has many other related health benefits. These include:

Managing Depression

side view photograph of woman smiling

Depression and anxiety can really hinder your weight loss efforts. And while dopamine is believed to be a chemical responsible for regulating your mood, serotonin plays the lead role in managing your emotions.

HCA is said to increase the level of serotonin in the brain while reducing cortisol. This results in an uplifted mood and improved sense of wellbeing. As these mood-improving effects are quite potent, it is advised not to mix with prescription medications.

Regulating Cholesterol

This fruit boasts cholesterol managing properties, as it can further your attempt to improve blood lipid profiles. It also helps to decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and boost HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

Additionally, it helps to inhibit the formation of blockages to blood vessels, which can reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks and thus promote blood flow.

Increasing Satiety

Contributing to its effectiveness as a weight loss aid, this fruit helps to suppress your appetite. As overeating is a big problem when it comes to weight gain (which is often caused by emotions) this ingredient affects the neurochemical imbalances in the brain.

As it increases the level of serotonin, it increases satiety which reduces the desire for food after you are full. This particularly helps with getting sugar cravings under control.

Promoting Ketosis

Garcinia positively affects fat metabolism. It prevents fat from being stored in the body and helps to burn existing storages. Similarly, this plant's extract can bring on ketosis. A state that occurs when the body uses fat, instead of carbohydrates, for energy. By turning fat into ketone bodies, energy is always readily available from a better fuel source.

Reducing Inflammation

One of the most popular attributes of this natural weight loss aid is that it can reduce inflammation. The best example of this is how it has been used to treat hemorrhoids.

These inflamed blood vessels are often painful and uncomfortable and can be managed by shrinking the inflamed tissue. Because Garcinia Cambogia has astringent properties, it helps to reduce the size of these protruding vessels.

Similarly, this fruit can be used to alleviate joint pain and muscular inflammation, making it a great addition to pain management regimes.

Bottom Line:
Garcinia Cambogia helps to promote weight loss, manage depression and mood, regulate cholesterol levels, increase satiety, promote ketosis and fight inflammation.

Maximize The Benefits

As with most dietary supplements, HCA Garcinia Cambogia works best when combined with an active and healthy lifestyle. To maximize the benefits of this natural product, you should:

woman eating fruits and sandwich
  • ExerciseWeight loss without exercise is possible but not always healthy. In order to reap the rewards of this supplement, you should get your body moving. This will improve overall health and boost the effects of Garcinia Cambogia.
  • Eat Healthily: By following a healthy and well-balanced eating plan, you will supplement your weight loss efforts. If you want to help yourself, it does not help to take diet pills if you are still consuming fattening foods as the outcome would be counterproductive.
  • Drink Water: Keeping your body hydrated is important for fat loss. Water helps to flush out toxins, making it easier to shed pounds and keep your body performing at its best.
Bottom Line:
The benefits of this fruit can be maximized through diet and exercise.

What Are The Side Effects Of Taking Garcinia Cambogia?

While Garcinia is generally regarded as safe, and many individuals claim never to have experienced any side effects, others have reported adverse reactions.

When overused or not used in the correct dosage, there have been cases where individuals endured symptoms associated with hepatotoxicity and acute liver injury/failure.

The above mentioned are the most serious and rare reactions that could occur. However, there are some more common side effects that are related to the use of Garcinia Cambogia. These are:

  • Dizziness
  • Rash
  • Lower immune function
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Keep in mind that Garcinia Cambogia might not interact with some prescriptions and individual medical and health conditions. For this reason, it is best to consult your doctor or avoid using this supplement if you are:

  • Pregnant/Nursing
  • Have an existing liver/kidney damage/disorder
  • Taking prescription/chronic medication
  • Taking medication for mental disorders/cholesterol
  • Taking blood thinners
  • Diabetic
Bottom Line:
There are some side effects and precautions to keep in mind when taking Garcinia. Consult your doctor before use.

Clinical Proof

Photo of Garcinia Cambogia Capsules

As with many other dietary supplements, the effects of this natural weight loss extract has been studied. According to some clinical trials, this ingredient has been shown to promote fat loss. And Garcinia was found to be safe for use. Trials that found negative effects, were predominantly focussed on multi-ingredient or compound supplement forms of Garcinia cambogia, which made it difficult to verify which compound caused the adverse reactions.

However, the evidence does suggest that the user should take caution if they are already taking medication for depression, anxiety or other mental disorders where serotonin is already present. One review, published in the Journal of Obesity, determined that those who took Garcinia cambogia did lose more weight more than individuals who did not.

This being said, there is still much more research that needs to be done on this sub-tropical fruit and its weight loss benefits.

Bottom Line:
Research shows that Garcinia Cambogia could potentially help you lose weight, as some trials showed this to be the case.

The Conclusion

Garcinia Cambogia has many associated benefits, including helping you shed excess pounds and improve your overall health. But you should keep the downside of this product in mind as well. When you properly evaluate the positives and negatives of using Garcinia, it comes down to personal preference. Many dieters will try this natural fat buster for its proposed benefits.

If you do decide to try this supplement, it is important to find the most effective and pure Garcinia Cambogia available. Remember that it has to contain 50-60% HCA and that it should be manufactured in an approved facility.

Researched and written by experts, brought to you by our team at Mommy Authority.

Amy Roberts studied psychology and has been working with kids for over 10 Years. She has 3 adorable kids of her own and has a passion for writing and horseback riding. Amy is a contributing writer for MommyAuthority and also writes for her local neighborhood paper in Wisconsin.