Garcinia Cambogia - weight loss miracle or bogus pill?
Dr OZ raved about it. Celebrities supposedly use it. So is this the weight loss aid we've been searching for?
Where's it from?
Garcinia Cambogia is a native plant from Indonesia. It's part of the Garcinia family of plants, shrubs and fruits which includes mangosteen - hence their similar appearance.
What's the active ingredient?
Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) found naturally in the skin of the fruit.
How does it work?
The claim is that HCA might prevent fat storage and control appetite. HCA is thought to stop the enzyme citric acid lysase from creating new fatty acids from the carbs we eat (de novo lipogenesis).
Does it actually work?
On rats, it appears to work pretty well. Unfortunately, in humans not so much. Turns out we have a lower rate of do novo lipogenesis than rats, so the impact of the HCA isn't quite as dramatic. Weight loss results from studies are not consistent and varies quite a bit. Many studies report participants said they had a reduced appetite but this benefit was also inconsistent with everyone. The most you'll probably lose without doing anything else to support weight loss is around 2kg over 3 months or so.
It doesn't appear to be as dangerous as some other weight loss aids available, but Garcinia can cause nausea, digestive tract discomfort, and headache. Safety of long term use has not been evaluated yet.
How much do you need to take?
A standard dose is 500mg 3x a day 30-60minutes prior to meals. This dosage hasn't been proven by science to show effects in humans though.
Average cost for a one month supply containing 50% or more of HCA comes in at around $25-35.
Bottom line - If you've got some spare cash, then go ahead and try it. Just don't say I didn't warn you that it probably won't work. Changing your diet and being active more often is the only truly proven way to lean up and keep it off.