The Good and the Bad of Garcinia camogie as a Diet Supplement

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Garcinia cambogia
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Garcinia cambogia is an exotic tropical fruit which is also termed as Malabar tamarind. This pumpkin-shaped fruit can be found growing mostly in Indonesia, Myanmar, southwest India, and Africa. Millions of people of all ages are finding it hard to lose or keep off weight, but only a few medications can effectively help them.

Though it is general knowledge that embracing a healthy way of life is the best way to lose weight.  You can achieve this by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. But every week, we witness another launch of a magic diet pill with a certain diet that will make you shed those kilos with ease.  The rave has taken us from green tea extract, Acai berry to capsaicin. However let us explore a diet supplement that is in limelight on the weight loss scene recently: nature wise garcinia cambogia.

The magical diet pills are believed to have the ability to block appetite and increase weight loss. A single search of these pills might make you think that the miracle is finally here. It was endorsed by some TV personalities and other celebrities made it an appealing option as a slimming product. But do they work?

A study was done on Garcinia cambogia as a Potential Antiobesity Agent. Overweight men and women with BMI of 32 were used in the double-blind, twelve-week randomized study. The researchers found that all the patients lost some weight in the course of the trial; no significant differences in weight or fat loss was observed between the treatment groups – one that used the extract and the other that didn’t (Heymsfield et al., 1998).

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The good side

Research studies have shown that the extract i.e. hydroxycitric acid (HCA), an organic acid found in the fruit rind, have only a slight anti-obesity activity. It makes one full by controlling the serotonin levels thereby reducing the intake of food. Read more here.

According to a 2013 review in Complementary Theories in Medicine Journal, when Garcinia extracts were administered with another herb, Gymnema sylvestre, weight loss was slightly increased. Though more research is needed.

The bad side

Most research has not studied the effect of high level of serotonin, particularly in people that take drugs which also cause an increase in the level of serotonin.

In most cases of diet pills, manufacturers do not really reveal the percentage of active ingredients in the pills. Once they are caught by scientific evidence and regulation, they peacefully remove the product from the market, reformulate it slightly, rename to sometime else to continue sales.

A study was carried out to test how the extract suppresses the accumulation of body fat in obese male Zucker rats and its effect in high doses. They found that the rats lost weight significantly but very high doses containing 102 mmol HCA/kg diet or more appeared to result in toxicity and testicular atrophy (Saito et al., 2005).

Though future clinical trials could reveal that just an extract of Garcinia cambogia help in losing weight, presently we are not sure what dose is needed to get this benefit and side effects that it might cause.

Safety issues

Presently, a group of researchers believes the pills containing Garcinia cambogia works to reduce weight while other researchers classify the pills as hazardous and hepatotoxic (harming the liver).

In the USA, around 1 million pieces of this product are traded yearly. The symptoms of hepatotoxicity include fever, exhaustion, chills, seizures, queasiness, stomach pain, puking, and jaundice.

Most times, manufacturers do not provide such reports to the FDA or other government bodies. As bewildering as it seems, they are not compelled to meet any of the specifications relating to food and pharmaceutical items (medications) so they can use the loophole to keep negative and harmful incidents secret.

As indicated by the findings, the proof isn’t persuading in showing that most dietary enhancements utilized as hunger suppressants for weight loss are safe and effective. While we hang tight for increasingly broad and decisive proof acquired with greater quantities of test subjects for randomized controlled clinical trials, rather abstain from utilizing any weight reduction supplement that has not been tried altogether.