Garcinia cambogia is the fruit of an evergreen tree native to South and Southeast Asia. The tree bears bright red or yellow fruits, and the fruits are often referred to as Malabar tamarind. The fruits are also used as condiments in local cuisine’s of India, Malaysia, and Indonesia, while Garcinia cambogia itself is used in Ayurvedic medicine. In some parts of Malaysia, Garcinia cambogia is brewed as a tea and eaten before a meal in order to enhance digestion and prevent overeating.
Garcinia cambogia has already made its way to the Western hemisphere, where it is packaged as a pill that prevents weight gain.
Garcinia cambogia is said to block the formation of fat cells; suppress a person’s appetite; control a person’s cravings for food or an urge to overeat; decrease the amount of belly fat; balance a person’s moods; and finally, help the body cope with stress by discouraging overeating.
No single company is responsible for shipping, extracting, processing, producing, or distributing Garcinia cambogia. Several health and fitness supplement makers are already distributing bottles of Garcinia cambogia extract, and health and fitness buffs, including Dr. Oz, are touting the benefits of taking Garcinia cambogia as a way to lose weight.
Garcinia cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid, which has been shown in laboratory studies to stop the work of an enzyme that is tasked with converting dietary sugar into stored fat. Researchers believe that this proposed mechanism for the effects of Garcinia cambogia can send a signal to the brain that the body is already full. As a result, hydroxycitric acid is believed to be an appetite suppressor, and early studies also show that it can lower the production of low density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol as well as triglycerides. Hydroxycitric acid has also been linked to regulating the levels of the brain hormone serotonin, which can lead to better moods. Another study has also shown that hydroxycitric acid can encourage fat burning during exercise.
Early research on Garcinia cambogia shows that patients lost as much as three times more weight than those who did not take the pill. Some patients were able to lose as much as 10 lbs in a month without engaging in either diet or exercise.
Experts discourage overusing Garcinia cambogia, however, since laboratory research shows liver toxicity following the overuse of weight supplements that contain extracts of the fruit. A tablet of Garcinia cambogia will contain 300-500 mg of the fruit extract, and this tablet can be taken, at most, three times each day, around half an hour before a meal, and with water. Side effects of Garcinia cambogia can include nausea, stomach upset, as well as headaches. Garcinia cambogia is not recommended for use by diabetics, those who suffer from dementia, and pregnant women.
Reviews for Garcinia cambogia have been mixed. Some reviewers did not report any weight loss, although some reviewers believed that the extract elevated their mood. Some reviewers did not gain or lose weight, but felt that their appetite was indeed suppressed and that they no longer felt the need to eat more.