Garcinia cambogia, which has received both positive and negative media attention lately for supporting weight loss, is a tropical fruit grown in Asia. The sour tasting fruit looks like a small, green pumpkin and has been used in traditional Asian cuisine for its flavor, for centuries.
Some scientists discovered that the rind of garcinia cambogia contains a natural compound called Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA). This is the active ingredient in the fruit that is responsible for its much-touted fat burning and appetite suppressing properties.
The Success Story
Few say it is just a fad, others say it is not well understood and yet others have success stories to share.
HCA first got on to the world stage back in the 90s, after a couple of studies showed its weight loss benefits in animals. Later in 2013 Dr Oz promoted garcinia cambogia extract as ‘revolutionary fat buster’. The promotions led to an exceptional increase in consumer interest in the endorsed products.
But it has been a roller coaster ride for garcinia cambogia, since there have been scientific studies that backed all the media claims followed by not so favourable research.
But the big question is, if it is just another scam or is it legit?
To cut the long story short, there are no miracle pills to support weight loss while you eat away junk and maintain an unhealthy lifestyle.
How does it work?
This blockbuster support supplement you can accelerate weight loss when you know how to make it work.
The active ingredient HCA, in garcinia cambogia, works two ways to promote weight reduction:
First, it curbs your appetite by increasing serotonin levels. Low levels of serotonin have been known to trigger depression and anxiety, which cause emotional binging. Hence as your serotonin levels improve, your mood elevates and reduces the urge to eat during emotional stress.
Second, HCA stops the fat-making process in your body by blocking a key enzyme called citrate lyase that your body uses to make fat from sugar and starch. It can also help reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
But is it for me?
While this is a natural product and has been consumed safely for ages, people who are nursing or pregnant should avoid taking an HCA supplement. Additionally, diabetics who take insulin or pills should first consult their doctors before taking HCA supplement since it may interfere with the medication.
And although it can help lower cholesterol, those taking a statin should talk to their healthcare provider because it can put you on the risk of harmful side effects such as muscle degradation.
Also, individuals taking prescription medicines for iron deficiency, pain, psychiatric conditions and warfarin as a blood thinner should consult their physician first.
Lastly, as with most dietary supplements, HCA is not evaluated by the FDA for safety or effectiveness. However, the research study done for safety assessment of the HCA proves that “there is sufficient qualitative and quantitative scientific evidence, including animal and human data suggesting that intake of HCA at levels up to 2800 mg/day is safe for human consumption.”
Beware of fake products
- When looking for quality product, you need to make sure it contains “garcinia cambogia” or “GCE” with a minimum of 50 percent HCA.
- There are three popular salts of hydroxycitrates – calcium, potassium, or magnesium salts. These salts allow effective absorption of HCA by our body. Prefer the HCA supplement that is bound with potassium and magnesium as they increase the absorption and effectiveness of HCA.
- Take 500 to 1000mg before each meal on an empty stomach, and limit your intake to 2800 mg total a day to avoid side effects or other complications.
Obviously, garcinia cambogia supplements alone cannot help you get a flat belly. However there are strong clinical evidences to prove that when paired with healthy diet and regular exercise, they can show positive result in effective weight loss process.