Garcinia Forte focuses on the potential weight loss effects of Garcinia cambogia. The product is however only available through the official website and it is not possible to view an ingredients list.
Below we have reviewed Garcinia Forte against our review criteria to help consumers make an informed decision.
Garcinia Forte Pros
- Garcinia cambogia, the active ingredient, has induced weight loss-associated effects in rats and mice
- Lots of very important information is missing from the official website
Garcinia Forte Review
Garcinia cambogia products have become an area of media interest in recent years, particularly after the ingredient featured on the ‘Dr. Oz Show’. However, there are doubts regarding whether this fruit is really the miracle weight loss product it is claimed to be, and Valuemarket’s impressive claims do not appear to be backed by strong scientific evidence.
Claimed weight loss benefits
Valuemarket Limited make several claims about Garcinia Forte, but do not provide any references to support them. The primary claim is that Garcinia cambogia, the active ingredient, contains a high concentration of hydroxycitric acid, a chemical which can supposedly bind to the enzyme citrate lyase in the body and prevent it from working. They explain that this enzyme is needed to convert carbohydrate from the diet into body fat, so inhibiting it means more carbohydrate is stored as carbohydrate in the muscles, not as fat in adipose cells.
Another claim made is that the product ‘improves metabolic functions’; whilst this is a vague claim, it can be interpreted to mean that Garcinia Forte boosts the rate of metabolism in the body, meaning all reactions that use energy should occur more quickly, leading to increased calorie burning.
The only other quantifiable claim made is that it improves sleep patterns and mood, presumably leading to a more positive approach to dieting and a healthier body. The English used by the advertisers is grammatically poor and many of these claims could be misconstrued; however, the main claims appear to be reduced fat formation, increased metabolic rate and better mood/sleep patterns.
How Garcinia Forte Works
The advertisers of Garcinia Forte, Valuemarket Limited, don’t reveal specifically what is in their product; no ingredients list is available on their website. They do provide an explanation of how their allegedly ‘100% natural’ Garcinia cambogia -based product works however. They begin by claiming that ‘one of the unique features of Garcinia cambogia is its ability to stop carbohydrates from turning into fat’, referring to carbohydrates consumed in the diet being stored as body fat (adipose tissue); this is attributed to Garcinia Forte’s supposed ability to inhibit the enzyme ‘citrate lyase’, which Valuemarket claim is responsible for the conversion of carbohydrates into fat.
This is an unusual claim for a diet supplement, as the ‘enzyme inhibition’ method normally involves blocking amylase from breaking down starch in foods into sugars for digestion. Confusingly, the advertisers then claim that ‘each capsule of this supplement contains enough enzyme to help you lose weight faster’-which implies that the supplement is actually providing citrate lyase, contrary to the previous statement, though this could just be poor English.
A few more vague claims are made about the product, for example that it ‘contains chlorogenic acid that has been very effective in enhancing the process inside the body’, and that it ‘improves metabolic functions’, which presumably means boosts metabolic rate. The main effect of Garcinia cambogia is attributed to ‘hydroxycitric acid’ (HCA), which is supposed to inhibit the previously mentioned citrate lyase. A picture comparing two arteries is also included though the purpose of this is unknown. HCA is also claimed to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain, which ‘helps for better moods and healthier sleep patterns’.
As a summary, the manufacturer claims Garcinia Forte can stop carbohydrate from turning into body fat, can help boost metabolic rate to burn more body fat passively, and can help improve sleep and mood to make weight loss more feasible. How true these claims are depends on the concentrations of the ingredients and what research on these ingredients suggests; however the ingredients are not specified other than Garcinia Cambogia.
The Hong Kong Department of Health actually banned Garcinia Forte because they believe it contains two dangerous ingredients- Sibutramine and Phenolphthalein (see ‘The company behind Garcinia Forte’ below for more details), though it is unclear whether these are official ingredients in the product.
Garcinia cambogia is a tropical fruit, resembling a small greenish-yellow pumpkin. It typically contains citric acids as 10-30% of its dry weight, of which a large amount is hydroxycitric acid. It is the citric acids which are supposed to induce the weight loss related effects, and hydroxycitric acid- the claimed main ingredient of Garcinia Forte- is suggested to be the most potent. Several studies have been undertaken on the potential effects of Garcinia cambogia on weight loss, but most of these have been performed on small mammal subjects rather than humans, and so the potential impact on weight loss is yet to be confirmed. These studies will be discussed in more detail in the ‘Clinical Studies’ section below.
Sibutramine and Pheolphtalein
Sibutramine was a prescription anti-obesity drug until 2010, when it was removed from the market due to the risk of serious cardiovascular events. It helps with weight-loss by altering neurotransmitters in the brain, increasing the level of dopamine and serotonin which meant people felt more satisfied. However, several studies demonstrated that patients taking sibutramine were more likely to develop cardiovascular issues and were at greater risk of suffering a stroke, though these events were almost never fatal.
Phenolphthalein was often prescribed as a laxative, which acted within 6 to 8 hours of ingestion; however several studies demonstrated that long term exposure to this drug could induce tumours in rats, although the effects were not observed in humans since the concentrations in laxatives are not high enough. These two ingredients would only be harmful in very high concentrations; however, since the concentrations in Garcinia Forte are not made available to the public, consuming this supplement carries a risk of the aforementioned side-effects.
Key Garcinia Forte Ingredients
The only active ingredient that is revealed in this product appears to be Garcinia cambogia. There is no mention of any other ingredients, and a complete ingredients list is not provided. This means that it is possible that the product will contain other ingredients that have not been mentioned and there is no way of knowing how much of each ingredient is present within the product.
There have been many studies on this ingredients active component, hydroxycitric acid, though the evidence is occasionally conflicting. For example, one study from 2013 saw two groups of obesity-prone mice being fed high-fat diets for sixteen weeks, with or without a Garcinia cambogia supplement, with their food consumption and body weight measured daily and weekly respectively. The results showed no significant differences in body weight or food intake between the two groups at the end, although visceral fat (around the organs) was shown to be reduced.
However, a similar study on rats found, after 90 days of testing, that whilst no adverse effects were noticed, a decrease in body weight was observed in GC treated rats, with one group seeing an average 26.7% reduction in food intake compared the control. The dosages here were up to 5% of daily food intake, which likely explains the difference in effectiveness.
This result was supported by a further study which observed that HCA could reduce weight gain in starved rats; the 2001 paper saw 24 male rats be starved for 10 days, then fed one of four different diets of varying glucose and fat levels. HCA was found to reduce food intake for three of the four diets, with strong effects on the high glucose and fat diets, leading to lower total weight gain after the study. Again, the HCA concentration was very high for this diet. It’s worth noting that mice, which were fed a simple HCA supplement similar to that in Garcinia cambogia, did not show any signs of change in bodyweight.
Garcinia Forte’s manufacturer, Valuemarket Limited, does not provide any references to trials carried out on this product. A literature review also reveals no clinical studies on Garcinia Forte as a whole product. The lack of access to a full ingredients list makes it impossible to research all of the ingredients in the product in order to determine how effective it may be. Nevertheless, it is possible to look at clinical studies on those ingredients that have been mentioned.
One study from 2013 saw two groups of obesity-prone mice being fed high-fat diets for sixteen weeks, with or without a Garcinia cambogia supplement, with their food consumption and body weight measured daily and weekly respectively. The results showed no significant differences in body weight or food intake between the two groups at the end, but garcinia cambogia did show signs of lowering visceral fat (around the organs) and the size of the adipocytes (fat cells), by inhibiting the fatty acid synthase activity (an enzyme which helps create fat molecules), along with increased glucose tolerance. There were some side-effects revealed however, including inflammation in some areas.
Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is a chemical found within Garcinia cambogia that has been shown to decrease uptake of serotonin by the brain during in vitro studies on rat brains. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter associated with feelings of satiety, usually secreted when the organism is eating or about to eat. A salt containing 60% HCA was shown to inhibit serotonin reuptake in rat corticol slices by 20%, though another drug tested outperformed it; however, very high doses of HCA were shown to have no effect. This suggests that HCA, and so Garcinia cambogia, could help suppress appetite.
This is supported by a study which tested the effects of a Garcinia cambogia supplement on rats, examining their body weight and changes in lipid metabolism. It was found, after 90 days of testing, that whilst no other effects were noticed, a decrease in body weight was observed in Garcinia cambogia treated rats, with one group seeing an average 26.7% reduction in food intake; however, the dosages used were up to 5% of HCA as the food intake, so this result is not reliably translated to humans.
A further study observed that HCA could reduce weight gain in starved rats: the 2001 paper saw 24 male rats be starved for 10 days, then fed one of four different diets of varying glucose and fat levels. HCA was found to reduce food intake for three of the four diets, with strong effects on the high glucose and fat diets, leading to lower total weight gain after the study.
However, no studies have replicated these results in humans. A 1998 study found that HCA could not reduce appetite in overweight humans: when groups of mixed gender individuals were given either a placebo or a HCA compound, it was found that, over a 12 week period, the 135 subjects saw very similar levels of weight loss, with no differences in fat oxidation, body fat levels or lipid levels between the groups.
A review article did support the safety of Garcinia cambogia however, claiming that following examination of several studies of Garcinia cambogia in animals, ‘studies conducted in experimental animals have not reported increased mortality or significant toxicity’.
In summary, Garcinia cambogia has shown a variety of effects which could help induce weight loss, but these effects have generally been seen in low-quality studies using small mammal subjects. Until human trials with widely agreed upon results are carried out, it cannot be known how effective this ingredient is.
Sibutramine and Phenolphthalein
The two rumoured ingredients sibutramine and phenolphthalein are both associated with negative health side-effects- increased stroke risk and inflammation respectively- though both have been used as treatments for different medical conditions in past years.
Sibutramine is an ‘oral anorexiant’ which is said to help reduce the uptake of the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine back into the neurones they came from; these neurotransmitters allow nerves to communicate with each other and signal to the brain that food is present, and so increase the sense of satiety and reduce hunger. Sibutramine was therefore used until 2010 as an anti-obesity drug; however, a higher risk of cardiovascular events was observed in people taking sibutramine versus the control patients, and the FDA noted that the drug caused greater probability of strokes and heart attacks in patients with a history of cardiovascular disease.
This paper, published in 2010, studied the results of a trial involving over 10,744 patients of 55 years of age or over, with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions and/or diabetes; all subjects were given a 6 week weight management program with sibutramine supplementation, then for the rest of the treatment period (on average 3.4 years in length) the patients were given either a placebo or sibutramine daily. The study found that whilst the sibutramine group lost more weight, the risk of a cardiovascular disorder was slightly higher with a sibutramine supplement (11.4% to 10%), and the risk of stroke or minor heart attack was significantly higher.
Phenolphthalein is a hydrocarbon which has been used as a laxative for over a century, but has recently been withdrawn from over-the-counter laxatives due to carcinogenicity concerns. These concerns have varying support depending on the nature of the studies; one study from 2007 found that when given to mice which were not able to produce enough of a particular protein, there was little difference in the survival rate or the probability of cancer development in either group. The authors admitted that there was uncertainty in whether the techniques used were sensitive enough to detect carcinogenic effects. However, growth of tumours and toxicity of the kidneys and reproductive system were observed in both genders.
Another study on rats and mice, with varying dosages of the phenolphthalein, found that tumours occurred in the kidneys, adrenal glands and in the ovaries of both species at higher concentrations. Finally, another study examined the use of phenolphthalein laxatives in 410 cases of ovarian cancer and 713 control cases. Frequent use of the laxatives was associated with slightly higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. That there is strong evidence that phenolphthalein use can lead to higher risk of cancer.
Garcinia Forte Side Effects
Valuemarket Limited, the advertiser of Garcinia Forte, does not make clear what the main ingredients are, but only suggest that Garcinia cambogia is the primary active ingredient. Two other ingredients are suspected to exist in this product- sibutramine and phenolphthalein, which are suspected to have negative side-effects including increased risk of cancer, heart attack and stroke. These two ingredients pose the most threatening potential source of side-effects and whether or not the product is safe to take really comes down to the concentrations of these two ingredients.
There have been many studies on the cancer-inducing effects of phenolphthalein and the cardiovascular-problem inducing effects of sibutramine, mostly on rodents; in these trials the concentrations varied heavily but were usually present in much higher concentrations than would be found in any supplement. For example, in a phenolphthalein trial on rats, the side-effects were only significant in rats fed the equivalent of a human taking 540 milligrams of the substance per day- which is likely to be much higher than would be present in Garcinia Forte.
However there have also been human trials which suggest that the risk of developing cancer or heart issues is slightly higher than the control groups in subjects taking phenolphthalein or sibutramine respectively, in dosages conceivable in a supplement. It cannot be known in what concentrations these ingredients are present, but since Valuemarket do not specify these ingredients in the product description, it is possible that the dosage is of a dangerous level.
Garcinia cambogia has few associated side-effects observed in clinical trials. Hydroxycitric acid, the primary active component, has been tested extensively in rodents; a study in rats saw two groups, one fed with a hydroxycitric acid supplement and the other with a placebo, found that daily dosages of up to 5000 milligrams (5 grams) per kilogram of bodyweight caused no negative side-effects in the hydroxycitric acid rats. A similar study on rats, where the rats were fed up to 5% of their total food intake as HCA, observed no negative effects within a period of 90 days.
Though no genotoxicity (poisonous effects on genes) has been observed with this ingredient in most studies, one study on bacteria, human cells and in micronuclei observed that hydroxycitric acid massively increased the concentration of ‘polychromatic erythrocytes’, which are believed to cause genotoxicity. However this particular study was criticised due to design flaws and lack of control of other variables.
However, it is important to note that Valuemarket Limited are not a well known or registered manufacturer/advertiser. They have no credentials, offer no information about themselves, and there are no product reviews online which suggest they are particularly reliable. The risk of getting ill as a result of taking Garcinia Forte is much higher than associated with a product made by a reliable manufacturer, particularly since the ingredients and quantities are not revealed.
In summary, the presumed primary active ingredient in Garcinia Forte, Garcinia cambogia, appears to be generally safe in supplement level dosages. However, since the advertisers do not provide any information about themselves and the Hong Kong Department of Health has banned this supplement due to it containing potentially dangerous ingredients, users are advised that there are many possible side-effects associated with this product, including cancer risk, stroke, and heart attacks.
How to Use
Garcinia Forte’s advertisers, Valuemarket Limited, do not specify the best way to take the supplement. The main ingredient of the product appears to be Garcinia cambogia, a plant which is thought to increase metabolic rate and block the conversion of carbohydrates to body fat. No information is provided on the official website regarding usage instructions. There is no way of knowing how often one should take the product, when it should be taken, and if there is anybody who shouldn’t take it.
Garcinia Forte has been banned in Hong Kong because it was discovered that at least one variety has the additional ingredients sibutramine and phenolphthalein. These ingredients should no longer be used in medicines due to suspected side-effects including higher risk of cancer, heart attacks and stroke. This means that taking Garcinia Forte in large quantities could lead to significant risk of one of these side-effects, all of which are too dangerous to ignore.
It is recommended that anybody considering taking this product should contact a doctor before use. Due to the lack of a full ingredients list, there is no way of knowing whether or not the product may interact with certain medications or make any health conditions worse. Due to a lack of clinical studies on Garcinia cambogia, it is advised that pregnant and breastfeeding women avoid the product, as should those who have a history of cardiovascular disease.
Who Makes It?
The advertisers of Garcinia Forte state that the website is operated by Valuemarket Limited, a company based in Lancashire UK; a postcode and address is provided. However, no other information is provided about this company at all, though the terms and conditions lay out the contract the company expects the customer to uphold.
No information about the company appears to be available online either; the address cannot be confirmed, as searching for companies with this postcode reveals a number of different companies, none of which have this name or run a diet supplement business. This brings the validity of the company into question.
A Valuemarket Limited company exists in London but doesn’t operate in the same business. However, the company apparently also advertises a product called ‘Cleanse Plus’; the terms and agreement section is almost identical to that of Garcinia Forte indicating that they may be the same advertiser. This is allegedly a ‘detoxifying’ product that uses almost the same layout as Garcinia Forte’s website, with stock images and ‘customer accounts’ with no verifiable source. For both products, the advertiser warns that the statements made have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and that the results described are ‘not typical’. Neither product has any described ingredient beyond Garcinia Cambogia.
There is evidence that Garcinia Forte exists; however this same evidence suggests the product may be dangerous. There has been a warning issued by the Hong Kong Department of Health, and seconded by the health department of Canada, that states that Garcinia Forte is not legal for sale because it contains two banned ingredients. Sibutramine and Phenolphthalein have both been detected in the supplement, and both ingredients are considered unsafe for human consumption- both were once used for suggested health benefits but usage stopped when associated cardiovascular and cancer risks were detected.
If this information is accurate and the product described is the same as Valuemarket’s product, then the company may not be trustworthy. A company that produces a supplement which is poisonous to humans has not tested the product and likely does not have qualified scientists working to develop the product; any supplement which has not been created by qualified professionals should be avoided.
There are several websites which all advertise Garcinia Forte including ‘meatandmuscles’ and ‘weightloss-place’ All use the same format and all use screenshots of Valuemarket Limited’s website. The grammar is poor in each of them, but each is written in the same style; this information suggests that each website is maintained by the same user. Both websites make similar claims about the product, and ‘weightloss-place’ also claims that the product has clinical studies to back up these claims, though these are not linked in their article. Suspiciously, the terms and conditions description of each website uses language taken directly from Valuemarket’s terms and conditions. This information suggests that the creator of these websites could be either the same individual behind Valuemarket Limited, or sponsored by Valuemarket to positively review their product
In conclusion, no information is available about the company behind Garcinia Forte, but the website-owners appear to be a fabricated company with no physical address, no information given about them, and plenty of evidence that the product they advertise is both ineffectual and potentially dangerous.
Where to Buy Garcinia Forte
Garcinia Forte only appears to be available through its official website. The website is owned by Valuemarket Limited. The website offers a 1 month supply for 39 Euros, a 2 month supply of Garcinia Forte for 26 Euros per bottle (79 Euros), and offers a three month supply for 24 Euros per bottle (119 Euros); these correspond to £31.32, £63.45 and £95.58 respectively. Valuemarket specify that customers ‘may receive a refund for any product ordered up to 14 days after the order was placed’, and that open products will not be refunded.
The company don’t provide a verifiable address, company name, email address or any external references to show that they are a real company. The Hong Kong Department of Health has banned Garcinia Forte for containing two banned substances, sibutramine and phenolphthalein. This suggests Valuemarket Limited probably does not have a qualified team of professionals working on their products.
There are no customer reviews to assess the speed or reliability of the delivery service. The product is only available through one site and cannot be found in any other online retailers or high street stores in the UK.
Does Garcinia Forte Meet our Approved Criteria
Money-back-guarantee: No, there is no mention of a money-back guarantee.
One-off payment: Yes, there are several packages to choose from.
Manufacturing Standard: The product website does not give any information regarding manufacturing quality standards or certifications.
Accompanying Diet Plan: No diet plan or advice is offered.
Ingredients and quantities disclosed: No full ingredients list is available to view.
Company contact details readily available: No, only a postal address which has not been verified.
Garcinia Forte does not meet our ‘Approved’ criteria as there is no information regarding manufacturing standard or contact details. There is also no money-back guarantee or diet plan.
Garcinia Forte is claimed to target several areas of weight loss and general health. However, the official website for Garcinia Forte lacks a lot of important information, including precisely what ingredients are within the product and how much of each ingredient is in a serving. Contact details are also missing, and there is no information regarding the manufacturing standard. Moreover, potentially dangerous ingredients have been identified in the product in the past and so it is banned in some regions, including Hong Kong.Google+
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