Garcinia cambogia is a fruit containing adynamiccomponent called hydroxycitric acid (or HCA), that is thought to have the ability of helping you achieve weight loss. Because of this property, there are a large number of pharmaceutical supplements containing garcinia that claim to reduce body weight. Hence, it is important to know which one is really effective.
How can Garcinia cambogia produce weight loss?
Being a natural extract, you may be tempted to choose this kind of supplement to help you lose some weight. However, you should consider whether it can really work and knowing the working mechanism might help you understand if taking it would really benefit you.
The reason why this fruit can lower body weight is through its active ingredient, hydroxycitric acid. This acid is mined from the peelof the somewhat pumpkin-like fruit, Garcinia that usually grows in India or South Asia and is included in a variety of supplements and formulas.
Theoretically, garcinia can cause an inhibition of citrate lyase in cells; this enzyme is needed for the transformation of carbohydrates into fat to be possible. Inside the cells, carbohydrates are fragmented down into citrate compounds. HCA blocks the process that causes the citrate to turn into acetyl CoA.
Preventing the carbohydrase conversion to fat is believed to be able to induce the body to oxidize the excess carbohydrates, thus leading to fully loaded glycogen stores that play a very important part in suppressing appetite.
However, the citrate lyase only has a significant action under some specific conditions like carbohydrate overconsumption. If you diet is usually based on high carb, low fat foods, the glycogen reserves will be brimming and the citrate lyase enzymes will be effective in converting them to fat.
If production of fat is blocked, there will be excess carbohydrates left unused; these cannot be warehoused as glycogen, so the body will dispose of them by accumulating carbohydrate oxidation (it is basically a burning process).
This entire process that garcina produces can theoretically cause the burning process of the carbohydrates to increase, hence boosting the body’s ability to reduce body weight.
What do Garcinia cambogia supplements claim to produce?
There is a series of beneficial effects that the supplements containing Garcinia cambogia can produce, such as:
- reducing serum lipids
- suppressing or reducing the appetite
- promoting weight loss
- Increasing the fat oxidation (burning) process
- increasing energy levels
These effects are not guaranteed and may be different for you, depending on your metabolism or any associated diet. It is recommended to consult your doctor about any weight loss methods that you want to try; blood tests and physical exams are required in order to establish if taking any supplements will be safe for you.
Is garcinia really effective?
Some clinical trials have shown that body weight was reduced in rats that were fed HCA and its ability to suppress appetite was confirmed. However, in humans HCA has failed to produce such impressive results. This is possibly due to the fact that citrate lyase is only important in very high carbohydrate diets, and most of the studies have not prescribed this diet.
Studies of garcinia incorporation in human diets have had mixed results. A study that involved the administration of 1000 to 2400 milligrams of hydroxycitric acid extracted from garcinia led to the conclusion that it doubled or tripled the percentage of weight loss as opposed to the placebo group. However, in 1999 another study was published that showed that garcinia cambogia has no effect in producing weight loss; neither in men nor women that had been treated with this extract.
Since then, other studies have confirmed that there is no major role of garcinia in facilitating or producing any weight loss apart from the effects of a high fiber, low calorie diet that it is usually associated with.
Another double blind, placebo controlled study experimented on the effects of the ingestion of HCA alone and combined with medium chain triglycerides on satiety, lipid oxidation, and energy burning and body weight. All males that had participated in the study had a significantly reduced body weight, but there were no differences among the groups. This shows that the efficiency of Garcinia cambogia extract is relative and so far any effects have been hard to prove.
Still, the garcinia extracts may be able to produce some effects of appetite suppression and reduce cravings, this way leading to a potential weight loss.
For the best weight loss effect, regular intake of a garcinia extract is required in order for it to produce a reduced appetite and accumulation of body fat. The results will probably not be very satisfying, and you should not expect any major changes in your body weight from administering this extract.
Better results can probably be acquired if you try to combine the administration of Garcinia cambogia extract with a nutritious, low caloric diet, and regular physical exercise.
Garcinia cambogia extracts are pretty safe to use and no severe side effects have been associated to their intake so far. Sometimes, it may cause some minor gastro intestinal discomfort, but this usually happens with the administration of very high doses.
Hence, considering the safety profile of garcinia cambogia extracts and its other properties, it is clear that it may be difficult to produce or help in sustaining a reduced body mass. It may be possible for the extract to be more effective in preventing weight gain rather than stimulating any significant weight loss.
Appetite suppression usually appears when garcinia extract is administered in a dosage of 750 to 1500 mg taken in two doses, approximately 30 minutes to an hour before eating. It is important for the extract to be standardized and to contain at least 50% of hydroxycitric acid to be effective.
Supplements that do not have a standardized content of HCA may not be very effective as they can have a very low percentage of active ingredients to cause any changes in appetite.
Considering that the Garcinia cambogia extract has an arguable efficiency, it is not recommended if you suffer from severe obesity or if you want to lose a considerable amount of weight.
You should be careful to watch for any changes that occur regarding your body weight during treatment with Garcinia cambogia extract. If you do not see any noticeable changes after approximately 30 days of starting treatment, you should not expect any weight loss in the future. In this case it is recommended to try other weight loss methods that have been proven as effective for weight loss.