Since ancient time garcinia cambogia has been used as a flavoring ingredient of curry and folk medicine. Today, this citrus fruit is more sold as a weight loss supplement all over the world, especially in the United States and Japan thanks to its effects on preventing body fat gain and suppressing appetite. Moreover, it has been shown to help keep blood glucose levels more normalized and decrease LDL cholesterol. But others argue that it is nothing but a well marketed hype or a diet pill scam. So, what is the truth about this popular weight-loss supplement?
Does garcinia cambogia work?
Also called the Malabar tamarind, garcinia cambogia is a yellow tropical pumpkin-shaped fruit that is as big as oranges when it is ripe. It is native to India and also distributed throughout Southeast Asia. These days it has been getting considerable attention because it is touted as a superfood with weight loss properties. In fact, its active ingredients and structure haven’t been revealed until decades ago when the related research began. Hydroxycitric acid (HCA), an extract from its rind, contains 10 to 30% substance that is similar to the citric acid. Although HCA is derived from natural extracts, its chemical composition and mechanism of weight loss are clear. That’s to say, it helps you reach your weight loss goals by inhibiting the synthesis of fat, promote fat burning, and reduce food intake in the same time.
When you ingest carbohydrates, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which thus will be transported to the muscle and converted into energy. However, when calorie supply exceeds the body’s calorie needs, excess glucose will be converted into and stored as fat. And so you gain weight. That is where HCA comes in if you don’t want it happen this way. When excess glucose is converted into fat, HCA inhibits ATP citrate lyase, stops the synthesis of fatty acids, and suppresses glycolysis. In other words, taking garcinia cambogia extract diet pills before meals can prevent glucose converting into fat and promote the conversion from glucose to glycogen, a substance that is more easily used as energy.
As mentioned above, it is rich in fat-burning ingredient HCA, which is able to increase fat consumption by rapidly activating adrenaline. Besides, it contributes to satiety or fullness. And the reason for that is twofold. On the one hand, it is worth mentioning that it still stimulates a satiety center that is hidden in your hypothalamus. Since it makes you feel full fast after eating by regulating your appetite, you eat much less than usual. On the other hand, its dietary fiber can contribute to satiety too to reduce food intake. And it has been confirmed that HCA is able to reduce more than 40% of the fat formation from carbohydrates within 8-12 hours after the meals.
Side effects, interactions and warnings
Although it helps lose weight fast and avoid rebound weight gain, garcinia cambogia has its own side effects, interactions and warnings.
1. No doubt, it can regulate body fat metabolism and reduce fat formation by transferring the extra nutrients into glycogen stored in the muscle and liver. However, it may cause adverse reactions like dry mouth and irritation because it adds more work to the liver;
2. Recent studies claimed that it might have very serious consequences. The researchers found that obese male rats did shed pounds after they were administered with a high dose of pure HCA extract, but these rats also showed testicular atrophy and slight symptoms of poisoning;
3. Some studies have found that it also lowers the levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. For that reason, it cannot be used with cholesterol-lowering drugs;
4. If it is taken together with hypoglycemic drugs, the blood glucose levels may be reduced to dangerous levels.
In addition to the above-mentioned things, garcinia cambogia shouldn’t be used in pregnant and lactating women and patients with kidney or liver disease. Given that its weight loss effects remain unclear in human body, plus side effects like stomach upset and headache, the daily recommended HCA dose should be controlled between 1500 and 2000mg and the continuous use shouldn’t exceed 12 weeks. And to be safe, please consult your doctor before use.