Garcinia cambogia is a popular weight loss supplement.It is derived from a fruit of the same name, also called Garcinia gummi-gutta or garcinia and cider vinegar.
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 benefits (1Trusted Source).
This article reveals whether garcinia cambogia can help you lose weight and belly fat.
What Is Garcinia Cambogia?
Garcinia cambogia is a small, pumpkin-shaped, yellow or greenish fruit.
The fruit is so sour that it is generally not eaten fresh but rather used in cooking (2Trusted Source).
Garcinia cambogia supplements are made from extracts of the fruit’s peel.
The peel of the fruit contains high amounts of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), an active substance that has been shown to have some weight loss properties (3Trusted Source, 4, 5Trusted Source).
The supplements generally contain 20–60% HCA. Nevertheless, studies show that those with 50–60% HCA may provide the most benefit (2Trusted Source).
Garcinia cambogia supplements are made from extracts of the peel of the garcinia and cider vinegar fruit. They contain high amounts of HCA, which is linked to weight loss benefits.
Can Cause Modest Weight Loss
Many high-quality human studies have tested the weight loss effects of garcinia cambogia.
What’s more, most of them indicate that the supplement can cause a small amount of weight loss (3Trusted Source, 6).
On average, garcinia cambogia has been shown to cause weight loss of about 2 pounds (0.88 kg) more than a placebo, over a period of 2–12 weeks (3Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10, 11Trusted Source, 12, 13Trusted Source, 14, 15Trusted Source).
That said, several studies have not found any weight loss advantage (9Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).
For example, the largest study — in 135 people — did not find any difference in weight loss between those taking garcinia and cider vinegar and the placebo group (9Trusted Source).
As you can see, the evidence is mixed. Garcinia cambogia supplements can produce modest weight loss in some people — but their effectiveness cannot be guaranteed.
Some studies have determined that garcinia cambogia causes modest weight loss, while other studies report no noticeable effects.
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How Does It Aid Weight Loss?
There are two main ways that garcinia and cider vinegar cambogia is thought to aid weight loss.
1. May Reduce Your Appetite
Studies in rats show that those given garcinia cambogia supplements tend to eat less (17, 18).
Similarly, some human studies have found that garcinia cambogia suppresses appetite and makes you feel full (5Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source, 14, 19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source).
Its mechanism isn’t fully known, but rat studies suggest that the active ingredient in garcinia cambogia can increase serotonin in the brain (5Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source).
Since serotonin is a known appetite suppressant, higher blood levels of serotonin could reduce your appetite (22Trusted Source).
However, these results need to be taken with a grain of salt. Other studies have observed no difference in appetite between those taking this supplement and those taking a placebo (10, 11Trusted Source, 12, 23Trusted Source).
These effects may depend on each individual.
2. May Block Fat Production and Reduce Belly Fat
Most importantly, garcinia cambogia impacts blood fats and the production of new fatty acids.
Human and animal studies show that it may lower high levels of fat in your blood and reduce oxidative stress in your body (24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source, 26, 27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source).
One study also suggests it may be especially effective at reducing the accumulation of belly fat in people who are overweight (8Trusted Source).
In one study, moderately obese people took 2,800 mg of garcinia cambogia daily for eight weeks and drastically improved several risk factors for disease (14):
Total cholesterol levels: 6.3% lower
“Bad” LDL cholesterol levels: 12.3% lower
“Good” HDL cholesterol levels: 10.7% higher
Blood triglycerides: 8.6% lower
Fat metabolites: 125–258% more excreted in the urine
The main reason for these effects may be that garcinia cambogia inhibits an enzyme called citrate lyase, which plays an important role in the production of fat (2Trusted Source, 29, 30Trusted Source, 31Trusted Source, 32).
By inhibiting citrate lyase, garcinia cambogia is thought to slow or block fat production in your body. This may reduce blood fats and lower your risk of weight gain — two major disease risk factors (33Trusted Source).
Garcinia cambogia may suppress appetite. It also blocks the production of new fats in your body and has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and blood triglycerides in overweight people.
Other Health Benefits
Animal and test-tube studies suggest that garcinia cambogia may also have some anti-diabetes effects, including (2Trusted Source, 14, 34Trusted Source):
Decreasing insulin levels
Decreasing leptin levels
Improving blood sugar control
Increasing insulin sensitivity
Additionally, garcinia cambogia could boost your digestive system. Animal studies suggest that it helps protect against stomach ulcers and reduce damage to the inner lining of your digestive tract (35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source).
However, these effects need to be studied further before firm conclusions can be drawn.
Garcinia cambogia may have some anti-diabetes effects. It may also help protect against stomach ulcers and digestive tract damage.
Safety and Side Effects
While some weight-loss supplements like ephedra have been shown to be unsafe, garcinia cambogia does not have the same risk. Research shows that garcinia cambogia is safe when taken in normal dosages.
But as with any weight-loss supplement, you will find the most success if you work with a medical professional who can guide you through the weight loss process and help you find the best solutions for your unique needs. And, if you have diabetes or other health conditions, talk to a doctor before taking any new supplements.
Garcia Weight Loss and Wellness Centers offer our very own garcinia cambogia supplement with chromium to boost weight loss efforts by supporting lean body mass and healthy metabolism.
Most studies conclude that garcinia cambogia is safe for healthy people in the recommended dosages, or up to 2,800 mg of HCA per day (37Trusted Source, 38Trusted Source, 39Trusted Source, 40Trusted Source).
That said, supplements are not regulated by the FDA.
That means there’s no guarantee that the actual content of HCA in your supplements will match the HCA content on the label.
Therefore, make sure to buy from a reputable manufacturer.
People have also reported some side effects of using garcinia cambogia. The most common ones are (3Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source):
However, some studies have indicated more serious side effects.
Animal studies show that intake of garcinia cambogia far above the maximum recommended dosage can cause testicular atrophy, or shrinking of the testicles. Studies in rats show that it may also affect sperm production (38Trusted Source, 41Trusted Source, 42Trusted Source).
There is one report of a woman who developed serotonin toxicity as a result of taking garcinia cambogia with her antidepressant medications (43Trusted Source).
Additionally, several case studies suggest that garcinia cambogia supplements may cause liver damage or even liver failure in certain individuals (44Trusted Source).
If you have a medical condition or are taking any medications, consult your doctor before taking this supplement.
Some people experience digestive symptoms, headaches and skin rashes when taking garcinia cambogia. Animal studies suggest that a very high intake may cause toxicity.
Many health food stores and pharmacies offer several varieties of garcinia cambogia. You can also purchase garcinia cambogia supplements online. Choose one from a reputable manufacturer that contains 50–60% HCA.
Recommended dosages can vary between brands. Generally, it is recommended to take 500 mg, three times per day, 30–60 minutes before meals.It is always best to follow the dosage instructions on the label. Studies have only tested these supplements for up to 12 weeks at a time. Therefore, it may be a good idea to take a few weeks off every three months or so.
Look for a supplement that contains 50–60% HCA and is made by a reputable manufacturer. Follow the dosage instructions on the label.
How garcinia cambogia can help you lose weightHave you ever heard of garcinia cambogia? You may have seen it listed as an ingredient in weight-loss supplements and wondered what it is. Garcinia cambogia is a tropical fruit that looks like a small yellowish pumpkin, and its sour taste means it’s not frequently used in kitchens here in the U.S.
But even if you don’t use it in your fruit salad, you may be interested in this fruit’s power as a fat-burning and appetite-suppressing supplement. In fact, garcinia cambogia may be the weight loss boost that you need to support your healthy eating and exercise efforts.
The weight-loss ingredient found in garcinia cambogia is called hydroxycitric acid, or HCA, which is found in the fruit’s rind. Many studies have examined HCA and found that it can have some substantial benefits for people who are trying to lose weight and get healthier.
How garcinia cambogia helps with weight loss
Since the 1990s, garcinia cambogia has been studied as a weight-loss and fat-burning supplement. Many studies have consistently found that people who took garcinia cambogia lost more weight than those who didn’t take it.
Garcinia cambogia can help a person reduce total fat, including stubborn belly fat, as demonstrated by a double-blind study. There were no side effects reported by the study participants. The best results were seen after 16 weeks of taking the supplement, and the study found no “rebound” effect of gaining the fat back afterward.
Several studies found that HCA can help people eat less and lose weight by regulating serotonin in the brain. This helps a person feel full and may help with fat-burning ability. Overall, garcinia cambogia was found to be more effective than a placebo in suppressing appetite and reducing BMI.
Garcinia cambogia with chromium benefits
An HCA and chromium combination, which is found in our Garcinia Cambogia with Chromemate supplement, was shown to have significant weight-loss benefits as well. One study found that after 8 weeks, people who took the supplement had reductions in:
Body weight and BMI
LDL (bad) cholesterol
Meanwhile, these same people saw increases in HDL (good) cholesterol and serotonin levels.
How garcinia cambogia boosts your health
Several studies have found that garcinia cambogia helps lower blood cholesterol levels. In fact, garcinia cambogia was found to be more effective than other plant flavonoids in lowering cholesterol, without toxic side effects.
Garcinia cambogia is also known to have anti-inflammatory power, as well as the ability to reduce blood sugar. It has a protective effect on the digestive tract, which may help prevent problems like stomach ulcers.
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