Garcinia cambogia or Gambooge fruit is a tropical fruit that looks like a green pumpkin, was traditionally being used to flavor curries and preserve food. The fruit is very sour to be eaten fresh so it is used in cooking mainly. It has gained its popularity as a weight loss supplement in recent times. Garcinia cambogia is also known as Malabar Tamarind and is commonly grown in India and Southeast Asia. It is exported all over the world because of its various health benefits.
The first rigorous research on the effectiveness of Garcinia cambogia as a Weight Loss Herbal Remedy was conducted in 1998 and the study concluded that it performs the same as a placebo when it comes to helping in losing weight. Another research that happened in 2011 concluded that the supplement showed short term weight loss.
The rind of the plant contains a chemical called Hydroxy citric acid (HCA) which is the active ingredient towards making Garcinia cambogia a natural weight loss remedy. This chemical acts as the appetite suppressant. The extract of HCA is available in powdered or pill form in health stores. Garcinia cambogia supplements are made from the extracts of the fruit’s peel. The peel of the fruit is rich in hydroxy citrate which attributes to weight loss.
What is HCA?
- The weight loss claims about Garcinia cambogia are based on its active ingredient HCA ability to keep the body feel full throughout the day, thus curbing the need for high fat foods. It increases the level of satiety or satisfaction one receives from food, making it easier to eat less. Not eating unwanted food, naturally helps in weight loss over time. In some Southeast Asian countries, Garcinia cambogia is used to make soup which is taken before meals due to its appetite suppressing properties.
- HCA blocks the body’s ability to make fat and also keeps the blood sugar and cholesterol levels in normal range. According to research, HCA blocks the enzyme called citrate lyase which is needed by the body to make fat. Citrate lyase helps turn sugars and starches into fat. As the enzyme gets blocked the fat is instead burned as calories leading to weight loss which means the carbohydrates gets diverted into energy production rather than accumulating in body as fat.
- The same active ingredient is known to raise the levels of brain chemical / neurotransmitter called Serotonin which is responsible for overeating. With increase in Serotonin levels, the mood is enhanced and stress related eating gets minimized. Low levels of Serotonin levels, are linked to depression and anxiety which drives people to eat emotionally. The late nutritionist Shari Lieberman suggested that a metabolic change is brought on by HCA which sends an appetite suppressing signal to the brain via the amino acid 5 hydroxytryptophan which is a direct precursor to the happy hormone Serotonin.
What are the Benefits of Garcinia cambogia?
- Garcinia cambogia impacts blood fats and the production of new fatty acids. The consumption of Garcinia cambogia lowers the high levels of fats in the blood and also reduce the oxidative stress in the body. It is known to reduce the accumulation of belly fat in the overweight people. In short, by blocking the production of new fats, the supplements lower the cholesterol levels and blood triglycerides in overweight people. High levels of Triglycerides raise a person’s risk of developing heart disease.
- Garcinia cambogia helps with digestion too and can be used as a dietary supplement for rheumatism and intestinal problems. Thus, Garcinia cambogia decreases belly fat, suppresses, appetite, controls emotional eating and changes the body composition by increasing lean muscle mass. It improves the overall health of a person. It decreases bad cholesterol (LDL), and triglycerides by 30 percent and raises levels of good cholesterol (HDL).
How it’s Work
- Garcinia cambogia is available in the market as tea, extracts, capsules, tablets, powder, lotions, and liquids. Always prefer the supplement with 50 percent HCA in it and low lactone content. In whatever form one wants to consume it, it is best recommended to take on empty stomach an hour before a meal for best results.
- In the presence of food, HCA salt can bind to some of the components of the meal and be inactivated so one needs to keep in mind to take the supplement on empty stomach only and take complete advantage of the appetite curbing effect of the supplement. The daily recommended dose is nearly1.5 g three times a day.
How to Use
- It is important to note that one needs to take the right dose and in right way of the supplement to see results. There are three different forms of hydroxy citrates and they are blended with calcium, potassium, and magnesium salts. These salts are added to decrease the degradation of free HCA into HCA lactone.
- It is recommended to opt for hydroxy citrate blended to both calcium and potassium or the one with potassium but no fillers, binders, or artificial ingredients. This bond increases the absorption and effectiveness of HCA.
Weight Loss Herbal Remedy
- Garcinia cambogia (a fruit derived supplement) is being marketed as a natural weight loss remedy with little or no side effects, with little or no additional efforts. This is not true. The product has side effects like headache, nausea, dizziness, common cold symptoms, upset stomach, skin rash, dry mouth, low blood sugar etc. The company’s manufacturing the products even claim that no exercise or dieting is needed to lose weight while using Garcinia cambogia supplements. Garcinia cambogia is very effective for short term use and when used in limited quantities.
- As a weight loss supplement, the extract of Garcinia cambogia is mixed with other ingredients which might lead to side effects if not taken as directed. A healthy balanced diet with regular exercise is the key to lose weight effectively and naturally. The fruit is very safe to eat but should not be taken by pregnant and breast-feeding women or those taking prescription medicines. The product should always be taken under medical supervision. The effectiveness of the supplements cannot be guaranteed.