Garcinia cambogia has been a key ingredient in many different weight loss products since the 1990s, but it really started to take off in popularity in 2012. There’s been a lot of criticism of this supposed “magic weight loss” supplement, so if you’re thinking about using it, you probably have questions.
Safe or not?
The simple answer to this question is that garcinia cambogia is, in fact, safe to use. You will recognize the safety when you understand more about what this impressive product is and how it works.
What is Garcinia Cambogia?
The purest form of garcinia cambogia is the citrus fruit that is grown in Southeast Asia. Before its starring role as a weight loss supplement, garcinia cambogia was simply used for cooking by many of the natives in the area. Now, an extract of hydroxycitric acid (HCA) has been pulled from the fruit’s rind to create this supplement.
You can purchase garcinia cambogia in both pill and powder forms, but the capsule is much more common. Because it comes from a fruit, garcinia cambogia is often seen as being a natural or organic product that can help you feel better and help you lose some weight.
How does Garcinia Cambogia Work?
Scientists have conducted dozens of studies on both rats and humans to discover the effectiveness of this product. There are two different ways that weight loss supplements like garcinia cambogia can work in your body, including:
1. lessening hunger – Your feeling of hunger is decreased when your body produces extra serotonin. This hormone tells your brain that you have had enough food and that you feel content. This feeling will cause you to stop trying to eat.
2. blocking fat – Supplements can also inhibit your production of citrate lyase. This enzyme creates fat from excess levels of starches and sugars.
These studies have concluded that garcinia cambogia blocks fat creation and also increases the levels of serotonin in your brain. Therefore, garcinia cambogia provides both of these benefits to you.
Some studies also indicate that you can improve your cholesterol levels by using garcinia cambogia because it lowers your LDL (the bad cholesterol) levels and raises your HDL (the good cholesterol) levels. In addition, some Type 2 diabetic patients have also seen lowered insulin levels while taking garcinia cambogia. Of course, no one currently on medication for cholesterol issues or diabetes should take garcinia cambogia without first speaking to your doctor.
What Do the Clinical Studies Show?
Although the research completed on rats is compelling for the use of garcinia cambogia, it’s the studies conducted on humans that give you a more realistic picture of what this product can do.
Human test subjects were given either garcinia cambogia or a placebo. The average amount of weight lost by the subjects who took 900-1000 milligrams of garcinia cambogia was 2 pounds more than those who simply ingested the placebo. This indicates that there’s something in this product that will help you lose weight.
Even more encouraging are the results for the subjects who were given 2.8 grams of garcinia cambogia daily. These subjects lost 8-10 pounds more than those taking the placebo in their studies.
Are there Side Effects?
The Food and Drug Administration officially recognizes many products that include garcinia cambogia as safe under the conditions of its intended use. The studies conducted by the FDA found that this product in appropriate quantities produces no major side effects in doses up to 2.8 grams per day.
You may occasionally notice some feelings of dizziness, dry mouth or even upset stomach, but most users report that these side effects are short-lived and mild.
How Should You Take Garcinia Cambogia?
Researchers and medical professionals suggest that you take garcinia cambogia by following these specific recommendations:
- take 500 to 1000 mg capsules
- capsules should be 50-60 percent HCA
- take one capsule three times per day
- take the capsule 30-60 minutes before eating a full meal
- drink 8 ounces of water with each capsule
The 50-60 percent HCA recommendation means that the extract is 50-60 percent hydroxycitric acid by volume. Some manufacturers now market capsules that are 80-95 percent HCA. You can still take these capsules safely, but you need to remember that using the higher HCA should decrease the number of capsules that you take. Higher percentages do not automatically mean that the product is better.
So is garcinia cambogia safe to use? That question can be answered with a simple yes for most people. However, if you have concerns about your current health, you should always check with your doctor before taking this new product.