In 2012 Dr Oz promoted Garcinia Cambogia extract as a breakthrough miracle fat buster that subsequently had viewers clamoring for it. His expert guest, Dr Julie Chen claimed the average woman can loose two to three times more weight using the supplement in conjunction with a calorie restricted diet and will feel less hungry.
Is Garcinia Cambogia the Holy Grail of Weight Loss
The fact is studies where rats were given high doses of Garcinia Cambogia extract showed that it may have positive results for weight loss, but is accompanied by the disturbing side effects of testicular atrophy and liver toxicity. Studies on humans show less promise. One such study in 1998 where the intervention group consumed 3,000 mg of Garcinia cambogia extract every day concluded: "Garcinia cambogia failed to produce significant weight loss and fat mass loss beyond that observed with placebo." A review published in 2011 of 12 randomized clinical trials with a total of 706 participants showed a short-term weight loss effect of 88 grams (less than 1 kg or 2 lbs) favoring HCA over placebo. In one of those studies it was noted that gastrointestinal adverse events were twice as common in the HCA group compared with placebo.
Cambogia is a light green, sour tasting, pumpkin-shaped fruit the size of a mandarin that grows in south east Asia and India. It is from the genus Garcinia and its botanical name is garcinia gummi-gutta. Other names for it are gambooge, and Malabar tamarind. The purple mangosteen fruit comes from the same genus ‘Garcinia’ and contains many of the properties of the cambogia but it is deliciously sweet. Garcinia cambogia is sometimes confused with the tamarind plant which produces a pod-like fruit, but it is from a different order, family and genus.
Traditionally Garcinia cambogia fruit is used to aid digestion, as a food preservative, flavoring agent and carminative (something that prevents formation of gas in the gut or induces an explosion of it as in flatulence).
The pulp and the rind of the garcinia cambogia fruit contain about 30 percent hydroxycritic acid (HCA). HCA has been shown to have potential (in rodents) for modulation of fat metabolism and acts as an appetite suppressant. This differs from most other weight loss supplements and drugs which are stimulants that affect the nervous system.
According to proponents, Garcinia cambogia extract must contain at least 50 to 60 percent HCA, have no fillers, binders or artificial ingredients. Some say potassium and calcium help it metabolize. The dose is 1500 mg taken on an empty stomach with at least 240 ml (8 oz) of water 30 to 60 minutes before a meal twice a day.
But if you are tempted to try Garcinia cambogia, it is recommended you first seek the advice of a qualified medical professional or herbalist.