Garcinia Cambogia Benefits

Garcinia Cambogia: Benefits, Side-Effects, Supplements, Uses, And Capsules

Garcinia cambogia is a plant endemic to Asia, particularly in the continent’s southeastern region and India. Also called brindle berry and Malabar tamarind, the tree grows a pumpkin-like fruit that contains hydroxycitric acid, which is believed to help support weight loss. Garcinia cambogia is a popular medicinal herb used to decrease blood glucose levels and improve mood by increasing serotonin.

Garcinia cambogia supplements are derived from hydroxycitric acid extracted from the plant’s fruit. They come in tablet, capsule, powder, and liquid extract forms. The top producers are DaVinci Labs, Klaire Labs, NOW, and Life Extension. Garcinia cambogia supplements are primarily used for weight management. Some supplement manufacturers say their products can help reduce food cravings, block fat production, and build lean muscle.

The herb is more known by its former scientific name Garcinia cambogia, although its updated Latin name is Garcinia gummi-gutta from the family Clusiaceae. Apart from hydroxycitric acid, the herb’s fruit contains phenolic compounds such as luteolin and kaempferol.

The herb can sometimes lead to side effects such as headache, nausea, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms when used in excess, but these disappear with discontinued use. Garcinia cambogia can also lead to serious adverse effects. Keri E. Lunsford et al., for instance, documented a case of hepatic failure in a 34-year-old male who consumed 80 mg Garcinia cambogia three times daily for five months. Annete M. Lopez et al. also documented a case of serotonin toxicity in a 35-year-old woman who consumed Garcinia cambogia up to three times daily for two to three months. The supplement product she used contained 1,000 mg Garcinia cambogia extract with 60% hydroxycitric acid, 200 μg chromium, 50 μg potassium, and 50 μg calcium. However, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health said these severe cases appear to be uncommon.

What Are The Benefits Of Garcinia Cambogia?

Scientific studies found that Garcinia cambogia yields positive health effects. Below are some of those benefits:

1. Aids In Weight Loss

Studies have shown that Garcinia cambogia can support weight loss. Researchers Igho Onakpoya et al. concluded in their meta-analysis of 13 randomized clinical trials that looked into the herb’s effects on weight loss that, while the difference between the subjects and the placebo groups in these trials was small, it was statistically significant. The doses subjects consumed in these trials ranged from 1 g to 2.8 g daily. The treatment period ranged from two to 12 weeks.

Kohsuke Hayamizu et al. also found slight decreases in men’s body mass index who consumed nine tablets of Garcinia cambogia extract daily at 60% hydroxycitric acid for 12 weeks. The total daily dose ingested by the subjects was 1,667.25 mg Garcinia cambogia with 1,000 mg hydroxycitric acid.

The studies did not say how Garcinia cambogia’s hydroxycitric acid, in particular, helped cause weight loss in subjects. However, Diana Cullum-Dugan et al. noted in their article published in the book “Comprehensive Biotechnology” that this may have to do with hydroxycitric acid’s capacity to inhibit mitochondrial citrate lyase, which plays a role in the synthesis of fatty acids. Because of the different doses used in the studies that showed Garcinia cambogia’s effect on weight loss, consultation with a healthcare professional is advised prior to consumption for weight management.

2. Boosts Serotonin Levels

Research studies have shown that the hydroxycitric acid in Garcinia cambogia may increase serotonin levels. Low serotonin levels. Low serotonin levels have been linked to anxiety and depression. An in vitro study by S E Ohia et al. concluded that 10 microM-1 mM hydroxycitric acid applied on rat brain cortex slices led to a concentration-dependent increase in serotonin release. 

A study by Li Oon Chooah noted that the rise in serotonin levels might have to do with the hydroxycitric acid inhibiting ATP citrate lyase, thereby suppressing cytosolic acetyl-CoA. With the limited availability of two-carbon units derived from the acetyl-COA; as a result, fatty acid synthesis is inhibited. The consumed carbon is taken to the liver for glycogen synthesis instead. The change prompts a signal to be released to the brain, resulting in an increase in serotonin levels.

A study by HG Preuss et al. found that moderately obese subjects administered 4,667 mg hydroxycitric acid divided into three equal doses daily and taken 30 to 60 minutes before meals for eight weeks yielded a 45% increase in serotonin levels. However, since the research involved moderately obese subjects, consultation with a healthcare professional is advised to determine the proper dosage for individuals who do not fall under this category.

3. Regulates Bowel Movements Of The Body

Garcinia cambogia has been found to regulate bowel movements to ensure colonic health. A study by Ju Yeon-Park et al. using animal models found the total fecal excretion of lipid in different sets of subjects each given varying doses of a mixture containing Garcinia cambogia, one dose at 1.6 g and 50 doses at 80 g/kg diet, for eight weeks was higher than the control group. When analyzed, the feces of the subjects in the experimental group had a higher amount of triglycerides and cholesterol. The researchers noted the increased fecal excretion in the animals brought about by the Garcinia mixture might have to do with the regulation of lipid metabolism. However, they pointed out that further studies are required to determine precisely how this occurs. 

In their article published in the book “Complementary, Alternative and Integrative Medicine,” Jill K. Deutsch et al. stated that Garcinia cambogia is used as a complementary and alternative treatment for diarrhea and constipation in humans, promoting colonic health. However, its mechanism of action is unknown. The human body is known to excrete excess lipids in feces. Because many of the studies that affirmed the positive effects of Garcinia cambogia on bowel movement used animal models, those who wish to benefit from this effect should consult a healthcare professional for the recommended dosage.

4. Improves Mood

Garcinia cambogia may improve mood because of its proven boosting effect on serotonin levels. While low serotonin levels are linked to depression, high serotonin levels are connected to euphoria, Stephanie Watson, executive editor of the Harvard Women’s Health Watch, said. The serotonin-boosting property of Garcinia cambogia is linked to its hydroxycitric acid content. The HG Preuss et al. study affirmed that hydroxycitric acid increased serotonin levels in 

moderately obese subjects after treatment for eight weeks. The subjects had been administered 4,667 mg hydroxycitric acid divided into three equal doses daily and taken 30 to 60 minutes before meals.

Although the HG Preuss study noted a daily dosage of 4,667 mg hydroxycitric acid taken for eight weeks suffices for increasing serotonin levels, it involved moderately obese patients. Those who wish to improve their mood who do not fall under that category should consult a healthcare professional for the recommended dosage of hydroxycitric acid through Garcinia cambogia to increase serotonin levels.

5. Blocks Fat Formation

Studies have shown that Garcinia cambogia prevents the formation of fat in the body. According to Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Ph.D., and senior author of the American Heart Association guidelines published in 2021, increased fat around the midsection or visceral adipose tissue, in particular, is linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, regardless of body mass index.

In their study, researchers Kohsuke Hayamizu et al. concluded that Garcinia cambogia might help prevent and reduce fat accumulation. They came to this conclusion after noting a decrease in the visceral, subcutaneous, and total fat areas of men who consumed 1,667.25 mg of Garcinia cambogia extract with 1,000 mg hydroxycitric acid daily for 12 weeks, compared to the placebo group. The same effect was seen four weeks after the 12-week treatment period. During those four weeks, the control and experimental group were given a placebo to assess any possible rebound effects. According to the researchers, the overall fat areas in the Garcinia cambogia group members decreased 10% to 15% from the baseline. The study did not delve into how Garcinia cambogia reduced fat in the subjects. However, multiple studies have shown that the hydroxycitric acid in Garcinia cambogia inhibits ATP citrate lyase, which is critical to fatty acid synthesis. 

Based on the Kohsuke Hayamizu et al. study, the recommended dosage is 1,667.25 mg of Garcinia cambogia for 12 weeks. However, consultation with a healthcare professional prior to consumption is advised.

6. Decreases Glucose Or Blood Sugar Levels Of The Body

Garcinia cambogia has been found to reduce glucose or blood sugar levels, thereby decreasing one’s risk of diabetes or improving the glucose levels of those who already have the disease. A study by Andrea Maia-Landim et al. found that patients who suffered from diabetes mellitus type 2, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and a combination of these yielded significantly lower glucose levels (p<0.05) after consuming 1 g Garcinia cambogia per day with konjac extract for six months. 

The researchers did not specify which individual ingredient was responsible for reducing glucose levels. However, a study by Peter Wielinga et al. using animal models noted that 310 mg/kg hydroxycitric acid, a significant component in Garcinia cambogia, “strongly attenuated postprandial (after-meal) blood glucose levels” in the subjects through gastric emptying. The researchers also found the body’s absorption of glucose in subjects administered Garcinia cambogia took over two hours, even when absorption of sugar that can be digested quickly typically takes 20 minutes. According to the researchers, this delay in glucose absorption instigated by hydroxycitric acid is significant because it means the “high peaks of glucose” that warrant a release of insulin in the body are reduced.

Based on the Andrea Maia-Landim study, the recommended dosage for this benefit is 1 g/day for six months. Consultation with a healthcare professional is still advised prior to consumption.

 

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What Are The Risks (Side-Effects) Of Garcinia Cambogia?

Garcinia cambogia is relatively safe to use. When taken in excess, the herb can yield the following side effects:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastrointestinal issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and constipation

These side effects, however, disappear with discontinued use of Garcinia cambogia.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health said severe cases appear to be uncommon. However, the following adverse side effects have also been reported:

  • Acute hepatitis: Akshay Sharma et al. documented a case of acute hepatitis in a 57-year-old female who had no history of liver disease after consuming two capsules of Garcinia cambogia daily for one month. Each capsule had 1,400 mg pure Garcinia cambogia fruit extract each.
  • Hepatic failure: Keri E. Lunsford et al. documented a case of hepatic failure in a 34-year-old male who had consumed 80 mg Garcinia cambogia three times a day for five months. The patient necessitated a liver transplant.
  • Serotonin toxicity: Annete M. Lopez et al. documented a case of serotonin toxicity in a 35-year-old woman who had consumed Garcinia cambogia up to three times a day for two to three months. The supplement product she took contained 1,000 mg Garcinia cambogia extract with 60% hydroxycitric acid, 200 μg chromium, 50 μg potassium, and 50 μg calcium.

What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Garcinia Cambogia?

Garcinia cambogia has a high nutritional value. Its rind, which is of particular interest to supplement manufacturers, contains protein (1%), pectin (0.9%), total sugars (4.1%), fat (1.4%), and tannin (1.7%). The leaves contain 500 mg fat, 2,300 mg protein, 17,200 mg carbohydrates,15.14 mg iron, 1,240 mg fiber, 250 mg calcium, 18.10 mg oxalic acid, and 10 mg ascorbic acid. The plant contains citric acids at 10% to 30% of dry weight, the bulk of which is hydroxycitric acid. The seed is also high in stearic and oleic triglycerides.

How Does Garcinia Cambogia Work Within The Human Body?

The studies that confirmed Garcinia cambogia’s positive effects on the human body typically highlight the critical role of hydroxycitric acid to arrive at these benefits. Once Garcinia cambogia enters the body, its hydroxycitric acid content inhibits ATP citrate lyase, leading to a suppression of cytosolic acetyl-CoA. Because the two-carbon units derived from acetyl-COA are limited, as a result, fatty acid synthesis is also inhibited. This is believed to be the mechanism behind the weight-reduction property of Garcinia cambogia.

Meanwhile, because fatty acid synthesis is inhibited, the consumed carbon is taken to the liver for glycogen synthesis, prompting the body to release a signal to the brain and increase serotonin levels. This is believed to be the mechanism behind the mood-boosting property of Garcinia cambogia. The glucose-lowering effects of Garcinia cambogia are attributed to hydroxycitric acid’s ability to affect gastric emptying, although studies on the precise process are limited to none.

How Do You Determine The Correct Garcinia Cambogia Dosage?

The correct Garcinia cambogia supplement dosage depends on the benefits one wishes to gain from the herb. For instance, based on their meta-analysis of 13 randomized clinical trials that looked into the effects of Garcinia cambogia on weight loss, Igho Onakpoya et al. noted that the doses consumed by subjects in these trials to avail the positive results ranged from 1 g to 2.8 g daily. The treatment period ranged from two to 12 weeks. Meanwhile, the HG Preuss et al. study noted that moderately obese subjects who saw an increase in serotonin levels had consumed 4,667 mg hydroxycitric acid divided into three equal doses daily for eight weeks. For their part, researchers Andrea Maia-Landim et al. noted a decrease in glucose levels in patients who suffered from diabetes mellitus type 2, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and a combination of these was observed after they consumed 1 g Garcinia cambogia per day with konjac extract for six months. 

What Are The Most Common Questions About Garcinia Cambogia Usage?

A check online shows that the most common questions for Garcinia cambogia revolve around its health benefits, specifically its weight-reducing property. Below are some of those inquiries:

  • What are the health benefits of Garcinia cambogia?
  • Is Garcinia cambogia safe for weight loss?
  • Does Garcinia cambogia work for weight loss?
  • Is Garcinia cambogia safe and effective?
  • How can Garcinia cambogia help you lose weight?
  • Is Garcinia cambogia the newest diet miracle?
  • Is Garcinia cambogia an answer to obesity?
  • What are the side effects of Garcinia cambogia?

What Are The Facts About Garcinia Cambogia?

There are many interesting facts about Garcinia cambogia. It is a small to medium-sized tree that can grow up to 20 meters tall. Its drooping branches contain oval-shaped leaves that are dark green. The part of the plant of particular interest to supplement manufacturers, the fruit, resembles a pumpkin. Its original color is green but acquires a yellowish or reddish hue when ripe.

The fruit is not only used to create health supplements but its dry rind is also used in cooking. According to Food NDTV, Garcinia cambogia fruit is used to prepare curries in Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand, Malaysia, and Burma. The rind gives dishes a sour taste and can be used as an alternative to lemon or tamarind. It is believed to make meals more filling and can also be used to make tea.

How Is Garcinia Cambogia Processed?

Garcinia cambogia does not need to undergo a complex procedure to be processed. According to Rajinder Raina et al., once ripe, or when the green fruit acquires a reddish or yellowish color, it is plucked, washed, and dried under the sun. The fruit is cut into thin slices when dry and then sun-dried again. Drying takes place for at least six hours. 

G.W. Lim et al., however, have described a superheated steam drying technique to fast-track the process and allow for heat control and better retention of the fruit’s contents that yields health benefits. Instead of drying the fruit under the sun, the slices are placed on drying trays and put inside a superheated steam oven. According to G.W. Lim et al., the optimal temperature for drying is 302 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius). At this temperature, the fruits are dried after 46.6 minutes, with a desirability value of 0.91738. G.W. Lim et al. describe putting the resulting fruit slices in a blender for both these methods. The resulting substance is packed in resealable bags. 

Food NTV describes a slightly different process to create tea from the fruit of Garcinia cambogia. Once the fruit is ripe, it is plucked and soaked in a pan filled with water for up to 15 minutes. Once the fruit is cleansed of foreign agents, it is submerged in another pan filled with water and heated on a stove. The pan is removed once the water starts boiling, and the resulting liquid is placed in a glass. This liquid is left to cool for 30 minutes and then consumed as tea afterward.

What Are The Supplements Of Garcinia Cambogia?

Garcinia cambogia comes in many types of supplements. Those who wish to avail of the herb’s benefits may consume it in the following forms:

1. Garcinia Cambogia Liquid Extract

Garcinia cambogia liquid extract is the liquid derived from the dried fruit rind of the plant. It can be consumed as is, with some supplement manufacturers suggesting that the drops be placed under the tongue for consumption. Ultra recommends that half a dropper of liquid extract be taken twice daily before big meals. 

Some manufacturers recommend consuming the liquid supplement by mixing it with food or beverages. Drops of Nature, for instance, says that while its Garcinia cambogia liquid extract can be consumed directly, it can also be mixed with smoothies, coffee, soups, salads, sauces, yogurts, and desserts. Its recommended dosage is one to two droppers per day.

Why Is Garcinia Cambogia Extract Useful?

Garcinia cambogia liquid extract is helpful because, when consumed orally, it allows for faster absorption and optimized use. According to Medicare Europe, this is because, in general, the body doesn’t need to break liquid extracts down for digestion. Instead, it only requires one to four minutes to fully assimilate it. Medicare Europe says when it does get assimilated, the body uses around 98% of the liquid extract. 

However, there are disadvantages to using Garcinia cambogia liquid extract. Because it is liquid, users have a higher risk of overdosing than when consuming tablets or capsules. Supplements in solid form have a fixed amount of Garcinia cambogia, but the amount of liquid extract ingested by the patient ultimately depends on what they or a medical professional administers.

2. Garcinia Cambogia Powder

Garcinia cambogia can also be consumed in its raw powder form in different ways. NaMaximum, for instance, says its Garcinia cambogia powder should be mixed with water for consumption 30 to 60 minutes before a meal. The supplement manufacturer’s recommended dosage is ½ teaspoon. On the other hand, Micro Ingredients says its Garcinia cambogia powder can be mixed with juice, smoothies, or milk. The powder can also be sprinkled on food such as desserts. Its recommended dosage is one scoop of herb powder, equivalent to three capsules, for consumption between meals.

3. Garcinia Cambogia Pills (Capsules and Tablets)

The powder derived from Garcinia cambogia can be enclosed in capsules or made into tablets. Many scientific studies that confirmed the positive health effects of Garcinia cambogia involved the consumption of Garcinia cambogia in these forms. For instance, of the 11 studies that demonstrated the weight-reduction impacts of Garcinia cambogia analyzed by researcher Igho Onakpoya et al., six included subjects who consumed the herb in either capsule or tablet form. Of the remaining five studies, one study involved the use of Garcinia cambogia in powder form (in sachets), while the remaining four studies did not specify the vehicle used.

Consumption of Garcinia cambogia capsules and tablets is a straightforward process. NOW  recommends swallowing its Garcinia cambogia tablets with water one to three times a day. Its recommendation is to consume the same amounts 30 to 60 minutes before meals. On the other hand, Life Extension recommends ingesting one to three capsules of its Garcinia cambogia per day 45 minutes before meals.

Consumers can be more accurate in their dosage with capsules and tablets than with liquid extracts since each of these solid forms sold by supplement manufacturers already comes with a specific dose. For example, one NOW Garcinia cambogia tablet contains a fixed 1,000 mg hydroxycitric acid. On the other hand, one Life Extension Garcinia cambogia capsule consists of a fixed dose of 500 mg Garcinia cambogia extract.

What Are The Garcinia Cambogia Types?

Garcinia cambogia is known by other names. Below are some of the common ones:

  • Malabar tamarind
  • Brindle berry
  • Kudampuli
  • Goraka

The term kudampuli is typically used for Garcinia cambogia fruit in India. According to Food NTV, it is a souring agent used in curries in Karnataka and Kerala. The Sinhalese term goraka refers to the herb’s fruit in Sri Lanka, where it is important in cuisines.

What Is The Etymology Of Garcinia Cambogia?

The genus Garcinia of the family Clusiaceae was said to be named after French botanist Laurent Garcin, who was believed to be affiliated with the Dutch East India Company, a multinational establishment composed of rival Dutch companies in the 1700s.

While the origin of the word Garcinia is clear, cambogia is not. According to The Comprehensive Medical Dictionary, cambogia is the pharmacopeial term of gamboge, derived from an undetermined tree. Citing Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary published in 1984, Wikipedia, gamboge was derived from the Latin name gambogium, meaning pigment. Gambogium, it said, originated from Gambogia or Cambodia in Latin.

What Place Does Garcinia Cambogia Have In Society And Culture?

Garcinia cambogia plays an essential role in society and culture. Even before it became known for its weight loss properties, the Garcinia cambogia fruit already played a role in the culinary scene, particularly in some Asian countries. According to Food NTV, the Garcinia cambogia fruit, also known as Malabar tamarind and kudampuli, is used as a curry souring agent in Karnataka and Kerala in India and is typically employed as an alternative to lemon and lime. Gosumitup, an Indian food blog, said one could easily obtain the fruit since the tree is endemic to the Western Ghats from Konkan to Kerala. In fact, according to Gosumitup, in Kerala, practically every household has a stockpile of Garcinia cambogia fruit. When the fruits plop to the ground, “families scamper out to gather them,” it said. According to Spices Board India, in Sri Lanka, the fruit’s dried rind is also used for curing fish. 

At present, the Garcinia cambogia supplement market is thriving. According to GM Insights, the consumption of Garcinia cambogia as a weight-loss supplement and for its other health benefits at the start of the pandemic “looked promising” as people became more health-conscious amid the rise in COVID-19 cases. The result was stiffer competition in the health supplement industry in general, with manufacturing companies resorting to strategic moves to secure their position in the industry. GM Insights noted that in 2020, for instance, efforts were made for Natrol and Jarrow Formulas, both leading U.S. supplement manufacturers, to merge under one company. In an article published on Businesswire on January 11, 2022, they officially “came together” as a new company, Vytalogy Witness, although the product names Natrol and Jarrow Formulas were retained.

From 2021 to 2027, GM Insights said the Garcinia cambogia market size is expected to generate “notable proceeds” due to the “growing instances of obesity” and intestine-related issues globally. North America is likely to be a “considerable shareholder” in the industry, it said, because of the “expanding intake of fast food in the region.” GM Insights also noted the enhanced product penetration and obesity prevalence in the United States in predicting the market expansion. Citing the latest figures from the Center for Disease Control, it said in 2017 to 2018, in particular, obesity prevalence was 42.4%.

 

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What Are Some Food Recipes That Contain Garcinia Cambogia?

Garcinia cambogia is a widely used ingredient to create dishes and drinks in Asian cuisines. Below are some recipes that feature the herb, particularly the fruit, as the main ingredient or a condiment:

  • Sol kadhi: This chilled soup from India is made by mixing Garcinia cambogia or Garcinia indica fruit extract with coconut milk. It is usually consumed for refreshment during the summer.
  • Garcinia cambogia or kudampuli juice: This drink from India is made by mixing Garcinia cambogia fruit extract and ginger sweetened with Jaggery syrup. It is also consumed to beat the summer heat.
  • Rasam: This sour soup from India is made by mixing Garcinia cambogia extract with Jaggery syrup, onions, turmeric, and coriander. It is typically consumed with curd rice and sambar rice in South India.
  • Kudampuli fish curry: In this dish from India, Garcinia cambogia fruit extract is used as a souring agent. The fish curry is often consumed with boiled red rice or tapioca in Kerala.
  • Ambulthiyal: This is Sri Lanka’s fish curry version. Goraka extract (Garcinia cambogia extract) is mixed with pepper, ginger, garlic, chili, and turmeric in water to create a sour paste for fish, which can be kelewella (yellowfin tuna), balaya (skipjack tuna), or thalapath (sailfish).

What Are The Garcinia Cambogia Parts?

Garcinia cambogia has many parts. Below are these parts:

  • Leaves: Garcinia cambogia leaves have a dark green color. They have an elliptical to ovate shape and can grow from 1 to 1.5 inches in width and 2.5 to 3.5 inches in length.
  • Flowers: The petals of the flowers are red or yellow and grow alone or in clusters of four to 20.
  • Branches: The branches of Garcinia cambogia are drooping, giving the herb an overall crown shape.
  • Fruit: The fruit has a diameter of 1 to 1.5 inches. It is originally green but turns yellow or red when it ripens. It can sometimes acquire a purple color. Of the Garcinia cambogia parts, the fruit has gained much recognition for its health benefits and role as a souring agent in Asian cuisine. 

What Is The History Of Garcinia Cambogia?

There is limited to no research on the exact origins of Garcinia cambogia. However, a study by Rajinder Raina et al. said the herb’s fruit was used for centuries as a condiment and flavoring agent because of its sour taste. Rajinder Raina et al. said the fruit was also eaten raw in some parts of India. 

According to Raina et al., Garcinia cambogia was used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, a natural system of healing that originated in India over 3,000 years ago. In an article, Dr. Nirav Joshi said that Garcinia was described in the nighantu or Ayurvedic glossaries as a Vata and Kapha dosha pacifier, or a substance that maintains electrolyte balance and ensures joint function. In Ayurveda, Garcinia cambogia decoction is used to treat gastrointestinal issues and bone fractures.

According to Dr. Nirav Joshi, modern scientists discovered the health benefits of the Garcia cambogia fruit in the late 1960s. In 2012, the herb was featured on the Dr. Oz show, resulting in Western interest in the fruit as a weight-loss supplement.

What Are Other Plants Mistaken For Garcinia Cambogia From Time To Time?

Garcinia cambogia is sometimes confused with other plants because of their similarities. For example, the scientific names for related plant species are kokum or Garcinia indica, mangosteen or Garcinia mangostana, and gamboge or Garcinia hanburyi. These plants belong to the same species Garcinia as cambogia, which might explain why they are wrongly used interchangeably. However, it may be easy to tell these plants apart from Garcinia cambogia just by looking at the fruits. Kokum’s fruits are reddish in color, mangosteen’s are purple, and gamboge’s are yellow and look like a lemon. The fruits of these plants also have proven health benefits.

Are Garcinia Cambogia Supplements Approved By The Authorities?

No. The Food and Drug Administration regulates health supplements like Garcinia cambogia as dietary supplements, not as drugs. That means supplements do not need prior approval from the FDA to be sold on the market. However, once they are on the market, the FDA starts exercising its safety monitoring function and reviews supplement labels and promotional materials as its resources allow and monitors safety complaints about the product. The supplement manufacturer is required to report complaints to the FDA within 15 days. 

Is Garcinia Cambogia An Anticoagulant?

The hydroxycitric acid in Garcinia cambogia may slow blood clotting. That means Garcinia cambogia should not be taken along with other anticoagulant medications such as dalteparin, heparin, aspirin, warfarin, or clopidogrel. Consumption of Garcinia cambogia in conjunction with any of these medications may increase the risk of bruising and bleeding. Consultation with a healthcare professional is advised prior to the consumption of any health supplement.

Can You Take Garcinia Cambogia At Night?

You can, but it is not recommended. Researchers Duhyeon Kim et al. recommend consuming the supplement during the day because of its arousal-inducing effect. The researchers made the recommendation after they found a significant increase in wakefulness and a decrease in non-rapid eye movement sleep in mice administered 1,500 mg/kg Garcinia cambogia peel extract. The researchers noted the effects, which lasted for two hours upon administration, were comparable to the effects of caffeine in subjects administered 25 mg/g doses of Garcinia cambogia. The researchers concluded that an amount of over 3,000 mg Garcinia cambogia could yield a stimulatory impact on humans based on these results. Consultation with a healthcare professional prior to the consumption of Garcinia cambogia is still advised.

Can You Take Garcinia Cambogia After Meal?

You can, but you may not maximize the supplement’s health benefits. Many Garcinia cambogia manufacturers recommend consuming their products before meals. NOW, for instance, recommends ingesting its tablets one to three times daily 30 to 60 minutes before a meal. Life Extension, for its part, recommends the consumption of its Garcinia cambogia capsules once per day, 45 minutes before a meal. The same recommendation can be observed if the supplement is sold in liquid or powder form. Bio, for example, recommends 2 mL Garcinia cambogia liquid extract twice daily before meals. Bio Medicals, which sells Garcinia Cambogia in powder form, recommends consuming ½ teaspoon of its product mixed with water or another drink 30 to 60 minutes before a meal for best results.

According to Alana Kesller, a registered nutritionist and dietitian, some supplements and vitamins need to be taken before a meal because food (or some food components) may affect the way they work. Garcinia cambogia works by inhibiting fatty acid synthesis through the suppression of ATP citrate lyase. According to a study by Elizabeth Parks et al., dietary sugars, which some foods such as honey and corn sugar contain, on the other hand, stimulate fatty acid synthesis. In other words, when taken together, the sugars from food may make Garcinia cambogia less effective.

Can You Take Garcinia Cambogia Every Day?

Yes. Many supplement manufacturers recommend daily ingestion of their Garcinia cambogia products for maximum effect. NOW, for instance, recommends consumption of its tablets once to thrice daily 30 to 60 minutes before a meal.

This recommendation for daily consumption of Garcinia cambogia supplements is based on scientific studies affirming the positive health effects of the herb involved in subjects taking daily doses of the same amount. Research by HG Preuss et al., for instance, observed an increase in serotonin levels, which leads to mood improvement, in moderately obese subjects who consumed 4,667 mg hydroxycitric acid divided into three equal doses daily for eight weeks. A study by Andrea Maia-Landim et al. found that consuming 1 g Garcinia cambogia per day with konjac extract for six months yielded a decrease in patients’ glucose levels who suffered from diabetes mellitus type 2, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and a combination of these. In their study, researchers Kohsuke Hayamizu et al. also observed a decrease in visceral, subcutaneous, and total fat areas of men who consumed 1,667.25 mg of Garcinia cambogia extract daily for 12 weeks compared to the placebo group. Consultation with a healthcare professional prior to use is advised.

Can A Child Take Garcinia Cambogia?

It is not recommended for children to take Garcinia cambogia. Most of the studies that affirmed the positive health benefits of Garcinia cambogia involved adult subjects. For instance, the study by Andrea Maia-Landim et al. that showed the positive effects of Garcinia cambogia in glucose levels involved subjects aged 18 to 59. The HG Preuss et al. research concluded that hydroxycitric acid, a major component of Garcinia cambogia, increased serotonin levels in subjects aged 21 to 50. The Kohsuke Hayamizu et al. study that affirmed Garcinia cambogia reduced fat accumulation also involved adult subjects aged 20 to 65. 

According to Alex L. Rogovik et al., there have been no studies on the effects of weight loss supplements, like Garcinia cambogia, in children. Only studies on fiber supplements, they said, have been conducted. As a result, the researchers concluded that “most weight-loss supplements cannot be recommended for children.”

Can Your Pet Consume Garcinia Cambogia?

It is not recommended for pets to consume Garcinia cambogia. The European Food Safety Authority Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed could not conclude the safety of Garcinia cambogia used as a flavor additive in cat and dog food. According to the panel, this was due to the absence of existing data.

VCA Animal Hospitals, which operates over 1,000 animal hospitals in Canada and the United States, said that while weight-loss supplements containing hydroxycitric acid, chitosan, linoleic acid, and pyruvate were being sold on the market for pets, “virtually no research” has been conducted on the effects of these on the animals.

Which Tree Produces Garcinia Cambogia?

Garcinia cambogia is a tree endemic to Asia, in particular in India and the continent’s southeastern part. The tree is also called brindle berry and Malabar tamarind and has green leaves and produces fruits that resemble pumpkins. These fruits are of particular interest to supplement manufacturers for their proven health benefits and are used as souring agents, particularly in Asian cuisine. 

What Are The Top Scientific Research Topics For Garcinia Cambogia?

Garcinia cambogia is of interest to researchers as well. By and large, studies focus on concepts revolving around the plant as a possible therapeutic remedy, especially in weight management. Below are the top scientific topics on Garcinia cambogia:

  • Garcinia cambogia as a potential anti-obesity agent
  • Garcinia cambogia for weight loss
  • Comprehensive scientific overview of Garcinia cambogia
  • Long-term effects of Garcinia cambogia
  • Risks associated with Garcinia cambogia
  • The effect of Garcinia cambogia as a coadjuvant in the weight loss process
  • Anti-obesity effects of hydroxycitric acid
  • Gut microbiota modulated by probiotics and Garcinia cambogia extract

What Is The Best Form Of Garcinia Cambogia Supplement For Weight Loss?

The best Garcinia cambogia supplement for weight loss depends on the user’s preferences. Those on the go may prefer to use the pill form since these already have set doses and don’t require measuring. Many studies that affirmed the effects of Garcinia cambogia in weight management involved subjects consuming pills, either in capsule or tablet form.

On the other hand, those who have difficulty swallowing tablets and capsules may see the liquid form and powder form dissolved in liquid as the best way to take Garcinia cambogia. Consultation with a healthcare professional is advised prior to the consumption of supplements.

 

Garcinia Cambogia Benefits Content Image 3

 

What Is The Initial Reaction Of The Body When You Take Garcinia Cambogia?

Once Garcinia cambogia enters the body, hydroxycitric acid content suppresses ATP citrate lyase, which is critical in fatty acid synthesis. Because fatty acid synthesis is a result inhibited as well, the consumed carbon is instead taken to the liver for glycogen synthesis, prompting the body to release a signal to the brain. The result is an increase in serotonin levels, which leads to mood improvement.

Garcinia cambogia is relatively safe to use but can yield side effects such as headaches, nausea, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome and constipation when taken in excess. However, the side effects disappear with discontinued use of Garcinia cambogia. Although adverse side effects such as acute hepatitis, hepatic failure, and serotonin toxicity have been reported, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health said these severe cases appear to be uncommon. 

Can Anyone Take Garcinia Cambogia?

No. According to Alex L. Rogovik et al., “most weight-loss supplements cannot be recommended at this time for children.” The researchers came to this conclusion because they said there was an absence of studies on the effects of these weight loss supplements in children. Only studies on fiber supplements, they said, have been conducted. 

Pregnant and nursing women are advised against taking the supplement without prior consultation with a healthcare professional. Those who are taking anticoagulant supplements such as dalteparin, heparin, aspirin, warfarin, clopidogrel, among others, should also consult a healthcare professional prior to consuming Garcinia cambogia as well.

How Long Should You Take Garcinia Cambogia To See Results?

The period it takes to see results after consuming Garcinia cambogia depends on the health benefit one wishes to achieve. Researchers Andrea Maia-Landim et al., for instance, concluded that the decrease in glucose levels in patients who suffered from diabetes mellitus type 2, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and a combination of these was observed after consuming 1 g Garcinia cambogia per day with konjac extract for six months. Meanwhile, in their study, researchers Kohsuke Hayamizu et al. said compared to the placebo group, a decrease in the visceral, subcutaneous, and total fat areas of men were observed after they consumed nine tablets of Garcinia cambogia extract daily for 12 weeks. HG Preuss et al., stated they observed an increase in the serotonin levels of their subjects after treatment of Garcinia cambogia for eight weeks, which leads to mood improvement. The subjects had been administered 4,667 mg hydroxycitric acid divided into three equal doses daily and taken 30 to 60 minutes before meals. Consultation with a healthcare professional is advised prior to the consumption of Garcinia cambogia to prevent any possible side effects.

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