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Garcinia Cambogia For Weight Loss

Garcina CambogiaThe ingredient Garcinia Cambodia has emerged in the media fairly recently as a huge aid to those trying to lose weight. Some even go as far as to say that it is as close to a ‘miracle’ weight loss supplement as we will get in the diet pill industry. In this article we will find out what Garcinia Cambogia is and where it stands in terms of its realistic weight loss properties. To do this we will look into both the research available and to various customers’ opinions in order to get the general feeling surrounding the effectiveness of this ingredient in terms of whether it can actually help users to lose a significant amount of weight. ?

What is Garcinia Cambogia

The Garcinia Cambogia is a tropical plant native to Indonesia. It is quite small and its appearance resembles something like a tiny green pumpkin. Before it was renowned for its weight loss effects, Garcinia Cambogia was primarily grown for its fruit. This was used in cooking and many traditional Indian and Asian recipes including curries.

Garcinia Cambogia PlantIt has also been used in very early and very traditional Indian medicine due to its sour taste. At the time it was thought that this sour taste would help with the body’s digestive system but there is no real evidence to say whether this is strictly true.

In terms of weight loss, Garcinia Cambogia has made a name for itself due to the fact that it naturally contains an active ingredient called Hydroxycitric Acid in very large quantities. This specific ingredient is not actually found in the substance of the fruit but originates and is taken from its skin.

What is the extract claimed to do in terms of weight loss?

So why is Hydroxycitric Acid so important? This particular acid is thought to be able to have significant effects on weight due to a number of different processes that it is involved in. The first of these concern its links with a hormone called Serotonin.


woman with tongue outThis hormone, which has a very important role in the brain, acts as a neurotransmitter and is often something that many diet products use (in one form or another) to try and give their pills/supplements mood enhancing qualities. It should be noted here that this is not a direct weight loss property; a simple addition of Serotonin into your diet absolutely does not mean that you are going to lose weight. What this substance actually does it to help the body to control a number of functions to do with the brain. Out of the many roles it plays there are 2 that are most commonly advanced in order to explain how it can affect the weight of those who consume it.

Mood Enhancement
The first of these is that high levels of Serotonin have been claimed to be able to affect the mood of users in terms of their emotional and mental state. In fact people with low levels of Serotonin are scientifically proven to be more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. This is quite important for weight loss because it has been said that depression is one of the main factors that can lead to or exacerbate obesity and weight gain due to the fact that most people with the condition tend to overeat consuming large portions or more sugary foods – this is what we call comfort eating. But not only does the Serotonin work in this way but it can also directly play a role in our appetite and when the brain sends signals for us to eat.

Fat Inhibition
woman with a flat tummyThe next thing that the Hydroxycitric Acid does is really the main reason as to why Garcinia Cambogia has become so widely known – it stops fat from being produced. To do this is stops the liver from turning the carbohydrates that we eat into fats. It does this by encouraging the liver to turn these into energy instead; it affects the functioning of an enzyme called ATP-citrate lyase. This is the main enzyme that the body needs in order to convert the carbohydrates that we eat into fats.

This also has 2 claimed effects; the first is that users will not put on as much extra weight because the Hydroxycitric Acid is stopping that and the second is that users will have more energy and this combined with a better mood will provide them with more motivation to exercise.

This in turn plays a role where weight loss is concerned not just because its burns fat but also because it can build up lean muscle which is also something that the Hydroxycitric Acid is said to contribute to. This is beneficial for weight loss because muscle burns more calories than fat.


Weight lossMore specifically the acid is also said to help manage a hormone called Cortisol which helps us to deal with stress and has also been connected to weight loss. Due to this it is claimed that the consumption of Garcinia Cambogia will allow users to see a reduction in stomach fat in particular.

It seems then from all of the above then that the Garcinia Cambogia appears to be a highly beneficial and powerful extract to use in terms of weight loss. But making claims is one thing and the actual effectiveness of the extract is another, so is Garcinia Cambogia really proven for weight loss?

Does Garcinia Cambogia live up to its claims?

It seems as though the impressive claims stated above are somewhat grounded by the actual amount of published research that is available to back them up concerning the effects that actually materialise when Garcinia Cambogia is consumed for weight loss.

To learn more, we recommend you read our Garcinia Cambogia in the Media article.

Garcinia Cambogia Reviews

How does it workIn fact a review was carried out in 2012 that is published in the US National Library of Medicine which summarises the position of the extract in terms of safety and efficacy. It must be remembered though that this was 2 years ago and there could have been advances since then – we will see if this is actually the case when we discuss any studies that help to prove the weight loss claims of Garcinia Cambogia later on in the article.

The review is especially helpful because it also addresses the role of Hydroxycitric Acid specifically. It tell us that the suggested effects of Garcinia Cambogia are in fact attributable to the acid but warns that we should be ‘cautious’ when interpreting the results of trials that claim to prove this because there is contradicting evidence.
It also warns that any trials that have been advanced in favour of the extract have only been carried out on a short term basis and on a small number of human subjects. It points out specifically that none of them have shown whether the effects that did result would last for more than 12 weeks.

Unfortunately, the conclusion of this review confirms the opinion set out earlier in this article that there is still little evidence that supports the potential effectiveness of Garcinia Cambogia for weight loss, if not in the short term then at least as far as long term use of the extract is concerned.

More worryingly there have also been studies that have been carried out prior to this review that have potentially devastating effects for the claims of those backing Garcinia Cambogia.

Garcinia Cambogia Clinical Studies

Study One
Clinical StudyThere is a study can be found published in The Journal Of The American Medical Association and was carried out in 1998.

The specific goal of this trial was to evaluate how effective the Garcinia Cambogia is for body weight and fat loss in human subjects that were overweight. The trial lasted for a total duration of 12 weeks and was a randomised, double blind and placebo controlled study.

The overweight subjects consisted of both men and women whose average BMI was approximately 32 kg/m2. All subjects were randomly assigned into 1 of 2 groups in which they received either 1500 mg of Hydroxycitric Acid per day or a placebo.

As well as this, all of the subjects were made to go on a high fibre, low energy diet.

Whilst the results did show that all of the subjects had lost a significant amount of weight during the 12 weeks, the researchers comment that this was actually down to the new diet that they were instructed to follow.

Which diet pills for Weight loss?As well as this, and even more importantly, the results of the trial actually demonstrated that the amount of weight that the subjects in each group lost were not statistically different. This meant that there was no real difference between the weight loss by those taking the Hydroxycitric Acid and those who were receiving the placebo treatment.

Furthermore there were also no significant differences in the estimated percentage of body fat mass that was lost between the groups.

Clearly these results are not good for those trying to allege the power of the extract for weight loss purposes. So far we have only seen studies that at best show that only some trials have supported these claims. This is not to say however that there are absolutely no trials that commend the product and its use for weight reduction.

Study Two
fat burningOne of these was carried out by a Japanese research group in 2003. The primary objective of this study was actually to find out the effects of the Garcinia Cambogia on visceral fat accumulation specifically – this is fat that surrounds the heart so is unlikely to be able to reduce body weight by a significant amount but nevertheless we should examine the study.

The subjects used in this study were aged between 20 to 65 but we are not told how many of these the trial actually consisted of. They all had a visceral fat area of >90 cm2.

Each of the subjects were randomly assigned to receive either 12 weeks of Garcinia Cambogia treatment with the extract containing 1000 mg of Hydroxycitric Acid daily or an equivalent placebo.

At the end of this 12 weeks, all of the subjects were made to take the placebo for a further 4 weeks which was to assess any rebound effect.

The results showed that the very end of the trial (after 16 weeks), the group that was receiving the Garcinia Cambogia treatment had experienced significantly reduced visceral fat areas compared with those receiving the placebo.

Watch the scales go downHowever it must also be noted that even in this trial it was noted that there were no significant differences in either the BMI or body weight of the subjects at week 12 and only slight decreased in these for the men although when this occurred is not actually clear.

There were also no signs of any rebound effects from week 12 to week 16.

As would be expected the conclusion was that the Garcinia Cambogia extract may be recommended for the purpose of reducing visceral fat but there was no mention of whether this was also applicable for general weight loss.
So as far as we are concerned here, there is a lot of unclear and conflicting evidence about whether Garcinia Cambogia does actually live up to its weight loss claims but there is one other source that may be able to clear this up.

Garcinia Cambogia side effects?

Digestive discomfort side effectOne good thing about the extract is that only minimal effects will result from its consumption. WebMD actually states that Garcinia is ‘possibly safe’ for most people when used for 12 weeks or less. It is believed that this ingredient should only cause mild unpleasantries as the body adjusts which include the following symptoms; nausea, discomfort of the digestive tract and headaches. Apart from this there should not be any unexpected surprises.

For this reason if you do want to try out the Garcinia Cambogia extract for weight loss, it does not appear to be the case.

What do the Garcinia Cambogia reviews say?

We have checked a range of customer reviews concerning various Garcinia Cambogia products to find out what they have to say about how effective it is for weight loss.

Surprisingly the ratings are very highly in the extract’s favour with 50 out of 80 reviewers giving it a 4 star ranking. This is compared with only 15 that gave the extract 1 star.

Unsure, puzzled or worriedThose that gave Garcinia Cambogia a lower rating said that it just didn’t work. One person actually made the observation that maybe it will only work for those who are very overweight but at the present time we have no data or information available that can confirm or deny this accusation.

It should also be noted that a current theme throughout these negative reviews is that the users have been taking the extract for between 2-3 weeks and have not noticed any weight loss in this time. This is also inconclusive; as mentioned earlier we do not have any studies that tell us specifically about the use of the extract in the long term but this is also the case for very short time periods as most, if not all, of the studies measure weight loss at 12 weeks and at no point before that.

Those who gave the extract a very high score maintain that the Garcinia Cambogia did work but tended to be very vague on the actual circumstances and details surrounding their alleged weight loss. Whilst we aim to find reviews that are credible, first hand experiences we would encourage potential readers to be cautious and read reviews that seem ‘too good to be true’ with some caution.

So, unfortunately, the bottom line here is that even the reviews of actual consumers do not really begin to shed any light on whether the Garcinia Cambogia extract will work as an effective weight loss aid for the majority of its users.

Is Garcinia Cambogia good for weight loss or not?

In the light of all of the information given above it might seem like we cannot really make a decision here. However, based on the pure fact that there is more solid and published evidence that would suggest that the Garcinia Cambogia does not live up to its impressive claims, we would say that it is unlikely that this extract will make a significant difference to most users weight.

Although the extract has received high ratings from those who have tried it for themselves, due to the vague nature of these reviews we do not believe them to be as reliable as we would like and therefore have attributed only little weight to them when considering our verdict.

It must also be noted in fairness that we have come to this conclusion based on the available evidence and should this evidence change and some studies come to light which show that the extract does cause a significant weight loss effect in users then we would be more than happy to accept this at face value.

For now though, we would suggest that those looking to lose weight try other alternatives which have been more thoroughly researched and contain ingredients that are actually proven to provide material results.

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