What is Garcinia cambogia?
Garcinia cambogia is an extract made from the dried fruit of the Garcinia cambogia tree, a South Indian and South Asian natural plant species. The sour flavor of the fruit, which resembles a little green pumpkin, is utilized frequently in Asian-style cooking.
What is the active ingredient and how does it work?
Hydroxycitric acid is abundant in the skin of the Garcinia cambogia fruit (HCA). HCA is a citric acid derivative that is sold as a weight-loss supplement, either on its own or in combination with other supplements.
How HCA works to promote weight loss is not precisely known, but several theories exist. Some experts believe it works by inhibiting an enzyme called citrate lyase, interfering with the conversion of unused carbohydrates into fat. Although HCA has this impact on carbs in a petri dish, it is unknown if it has the same effect once inside the body.
Additional specialists believe that HCA affects other carbohydrate-metabolizing enzymes such as pancreatic alpha-amylase and intestine alpha-glucosidase. Some believe it promotes appetite control by increasing the release or availability of serotonin in the brain. Nobody knows for sure how HCA works… or even if it works at all.
Is there any evidence that Garcinia cambogia can help you lose weight?
Several human studies have looked into the potential of Garcinia cambogia for weight loss. Some of these studies are of higher quality than others, and evaluations that combine trials to seek for an overall effect provide a better “larger picture” than simply looking at the results of a single experiment.
In 2011, an analysis found 12 trials that met their stringent quality criteria and investigated the effect of Garcinia cambogia for weight loss. They discovered evidence that Garcinia cambogia did help people lose weight in the short term, but the effect was small and barely noticeable. In 2015, 17 experiments, both in humans and animals, came to the same conclusion. Surprisingly, both the active group (those taking GC) and the control group (those taking a sham – or an inert supplement) lost considerable amounts of weight for a 12-week treatment period in one of the largest individual trials of 135 participants. 3 As many other studies have shown, the support and encouragement people receive when trying to lose weight are often more important than any diet or supplement.
For the time being, increasing your physical activity, avoiding alcohol, and eating a healthier diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, and less red meat is more likely to help you lose weight in the long run than taking Garcinia cambogia supplements.
Is taking Garcinia cambogia pills dangerous?
It’s vital to keep in mind that any product branded “natural” or “herbal” isn’t guaranteed to be safe. In the United States, herbal remedies that are classed as dietary supplements are regulated like food products. This implies they haven’t been subjected to the same safety and efficacy standards as pharmaceuticals.
Garcinia cambogia has been linked to liver damage when combined with other substances (for example, in the original formulation of the product Hydroxycut) as well as when used alone. Two severe cases have been documented. After taking 1000 mg of Garcinia cambogia for 15 days, a 45-year-old man developed serious liver failure necessitating a liver transplant, while a 52-year-old woman acquired unusually high liver function tests and coagulopathy (an impaired capacity of the blood to clot) after one week of using GC.
Several days after Garcinia cambogia was withdrawn, the second lady recovered without incident. The producer of Hydroxycut briefly pulled the product from the market, but it has subsequently reintroduced a modified version that does not contain Garcinia cambogia.
Other reported side effects include stomach discomfort, dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, and diarrhea when Garcinia cambogia is taken at the recommended dosage. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid herbal treatments, and anyone with a heart ailment or other medical condition should get medical advice before using them. Garcinia cambogia has been shown in certain studies to drop blood sugar or interfere with diabetic control, so if you have diabetes, you should speak with your doctor.
On the plus side, unlike stimulants like phentermine, Garcinia cambogia does not work on the central nervous system, so it does not induce insomnia, anxiety, or heart or blood pressure problems, and its effectiveness does not diminish over time.
Does Garcinia cambogia affect blood sugar levels?
There have been several conflicting claims about Garcinia cambogia’s effects on blood glucose control, with some celebrity endorsements even suggesting it could be beneficial for diabetics. While studies in rats showed a decrease in the amount of glucose absorbed and a lower spike in blood glucose levels after a meal, humans are not rats, so more research was needed to see if this also applied to humans.
In general, most studies have found no effect of Garcinia cambogia on blood sugar levels or insulin regulation; one study reported a reduction in healthy non-diabetic patients, while another reported an increase in fasting blood sugar levels in overweight people. Human trials have proven conflicting, although laboratory studies on human cells and animal studies revealed Garcinia cambogia reduced cell lipid synthesis and boosted cholesterol breakdown. There have been no reports of triglyceride consequences. Garcinia cambogia appears to not affect blood glucose or cholesterol levels, and it does not appear to be advantageous for those with diabetes, according to the existing research.
Furthermore, Garcinia cambogia pills may contain other minerals such as calcium and potassium, which may have additive effects in persons who are already taking these supplements. Always read the label to discover what ingredients are in your supplement, and always consult your doctor before using any dietary supplements, especially if you are taking other drugs.