Facts and myths about Garcinia Cambogia and weight loss

Garcinia Cambogia
Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia Cambogia is a fruit that is specifically found in Africa and the Southeast Asia, especially India. It has been traditionally used in Indian cuisines. Dishes that contain the fruit are more filling than those that do not. Garcinia Cambogia is used in Ayurvedic medicines for the production of digestive aids too. It is also known as blindberry, gambooge and Malabar tamarind. The extract of Garcinia Cambogia has Hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is in significant demand in the American market. it is being targeted for the weight loss capabilities that it possesses. The popularity of the ingredient shot up significantly since the celebrity Dr. Oz advocated its use as cheap and fast-action fat buster that prevents formation of fat as well as suppresses appetite.

How Garcinia Cambogia works?

The carbohydrates that enter the human body are burned to release to energy or stored as fat by the relevant enzymes. Garcinia Cambogia is said to inhibit the storage of carbohydrates as fat by the enzymes. Thus, all the carbohydrates remain available to be burnt and are eventually utilised in the form of energy. In addition to facilitating burning of fat and carbohydrates, Garcinia Cambogia offers the advantage of appetite suppressant too. Thus, one ingredient has dual action towards weight loss.

Effectiveness of Garcinia Cambogia

Taking separately the supplement containing Garcinia Cambogia extract can help reduce about 4 pounds in a month, according to Dr. Julie Chen, who is a Doctor of Medicine (MD) in integrative medicine. However, complementing the supplement with exercise or diet or both can double or even triple its effectiveness in weight loss. Studies have found that the consumption of Garcinia Cambogia supplements has connection with increase in serotonin and improves mood and sleep thus. So, it is more effective in case of emotional eaters.

Despite claims that the supplement reduces fat, suppresses appetite and enhances mood, the ground reality is not as impressive. Evidence that support its efficacy is based on research with inaccurate measurement of body-lipid alteration or small sample sizes or without placebo-treated groups, according to Journal of the American medical Association (JAMA). However, HCA failed to produce any significant result after a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomised 12-week trial. Therefore, as of now, there is no unanimous statement on the effectiveness of Garcinia Cambogia in weight loss.

Dosage & side-effects of Garcinia Cambogia

There is no hard and fast dosage recommended by experts. However, there are a few confirmed limitations. Though short-term use of the supplement is confirmed safe for weight loss, its effect in the long-term use is not established yet. Digestive tract discomfort, nausea and headache have been reported as common side-effects of HCA supplements. Moreover, certain brands of supplement containing HCA can be more dangerous than others. In fact, there were 23 reports of cardiovascular problems, seizures, liver issues and even a death in 2009. FDA issued a safety warning against the brand, which was effectively pulled out of the market. HCA supplements are inappropriate for patients of dementia, Alzheimer’s and diabetes. It is unsafe for pregnant and/or lactating women too. So, extra research before consumption of controversial weight loss supplements is the safest bet for all.

Image source: Wikipedia