If you are overweight and searching for a natural appetite suppressant, you might have heard of garcinia cambogia. This weight-loss supplement has been around quite some time, and it has received both excellent press and bad press.
With the prevalence of obesity skyrocketing over the last couple of decades, it is easy to understand how fad diets and supplements go viral in today’s world. But are they going to help you lose weight—and keep it off?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity rates in the United States have risen to 39.4% as of 2016. That means that over a third of the country is obese. This is a stunning figure that has serious consequences for the future health of America.
Obesity is related to severe chronic health conditions, including stroke, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes. For those who are overweight or classified as obese, losing weight can be difficult.
Certain underlying conditions, including hypothyroidism and some of the more common autoimmune diseases, can make it difficult to lose weight and keep it off. Of course, Americans are now more sedentary than ever before, and without adequate exercise, it can be difficult to lose weight.
So, can garcinia cambogia help you win the weight loss battle? Let’s dive into the facts.
What Is Garcinia Cambogia?
Garcinia cambogia is a Southeast Asian tropical fruit also called brindleberry or Malabar tamarind. When ripe it almost resembles a small pumpkin, but it has a very different flavor and nutrients.
The rind is where the active chemical compound, hydroxycitric acid, or HCA, lives. It is believed that HCA actually blocks the enzyme citrate lyase from converting sugar into fat.
Traditionally, garcinia cambogia extract has been used in culinary preparations and in native medicinal practices for rheumatism, intestinal problems, appetite control, exercise performance, weight loss, joint pain, parasites, and more.
4 Health Benefits of Garcinia Cambogia
Unfortunately, there aren’t many human trials on garcinia cambogia. In fact, there are only five studies in the NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine database. And of these five studies, zero are currently active. In the past, garcinia cambogia has been researched, and the results for weight loss are mixed. However, there are some clinical trials and animal studies that have shown garcinia cambogia extract may have some health benefits, in addition to weight loss.
1. Lower Triglyceride Levels
In a small study, overweight women were given either a placebo or garcinia cambogia extract for 60 days. The women receiving the garcinia cambogia experienced a nearly 1/3 decrease in total triglyceride levels. However, researchers noted that HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and body weight were unchanged.
2. Inhibit Lipid Accumulation
In a new study to be published in February 2019 in the Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, researchers have found that garcinia cambogia extract and citrus junos extract when used together appear to reduce the reactive oxygen species that cause lipid accumulation. Authors of this yet-to-be-published study stress that the results show a potential for this potent combination to be an effective treatment in the management of obesity-related disorders.
3. Reduction of Abdominal Fat
Researchers in Japan have found that garcinia cambogia can reduce abdominal fat accumulation in both men and women with visceral fat accumulation. This was a comprehensive double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial that lasted for 12 weeks and looked at the effects of garcinia cambogia extract supplementation versus a placebo.
4. Appetite Suppressant
Garcinia cambogia has been used in parts of Southeast Asia and India as an appetite suppressant for generations. It is believed, although not definitively proven, that garcinia cambogia increases the production of serotonin—the happy and calm hormone. This has led people to hypothesize that when we are happy we experience fewer cravings, have a reduced desire for high-calorie comfort foods, and generally a lower appetite.
Weight-Loss Supplement Limitations
No “magic” pill will cause dramatic and sustained weight loss without changes in diet and exercise. Even the best, most proven weight-loss supplements have their limitations. Successful weight loss takes an action plan—one that includes a healthy nutrient-dense diet, exercise, and supplements—for success.
Today, there are a number of diets that have been shown through research to help many individuals lose weight, and keep it off. Some people have found that following a keto diet is an effective way to lose stored fat, especially when partnered with intermittent fasting and appropriate levels of exercise and activity.
If you are intrigued by garcinia cambogia and would like to try it, be sure to source it from a reputable company like Fitoru. This garcinia cambogia supplement contains a proprietary blend that includes calcium, chromium, and potassium in addition to the garcinia cambogia extract.
Precautions and Considerations
Garcinia cambogia is not without its controversy, and certain precautions and considerations should be taken into account before you try this natural appetite suppressant.
According to a case study published in Case Reports in Gastrointestinal Medicine, acute hepatitis has occurred due to garcinia cambogia extract. Previous to this specific case, through systematic reviews of randomized controlled clinical trials, researchers have found that "adverse events” are twice as common in groups receiving HCA than in groups receiving a placebo.
Garcinia cambogia supplements do adversely interact with certain medications including:
- Asthma medications
- Allergy medicines, including over-the-counter
- Diabetes medications
- Iron supplements
- Pain medications
- Depression and anxiety medications
Potential side effects include:
- Liver damage
- Skin rashes
- Brain fog
- Lower immune function
- Dry mouth
- Bad breath