Garcinia Cambogia, or Tamarindo malabar and Garcinia gummi-gutta, is a natural way of losing weight quickly. Due to this property, many food supplements are starting to include this plant among its ingredients. Its main component is HCA (hydroxycitric acid), which is quite abundant in the Garcinia Cambogia fruit. It is actually the acid that helps to lose weight naturally.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has recognized the weight-loss properties of this natural food supplement. Moreover, it has claimed that it is an excellent complement to lose weight. However, we always have to make sure that it comes from Garcinia Cambogia and which has more than 40% of HCA.
What is Garcinia Cambogia?
The Garcinia Cambogia tropical fruit is the main source of hydroxycitric acid. This element has a similar structure to that of citric acid and it plays a fundamental role in weight loss processes. Garcinia Cambogia mainly grows in southern India and its bark is the part that used for therapeutic purposes. The research has proven its benefits to regulate obesity and control the appetite.
Currently, there are many products that contain HCA sold without medical prescription and labelled as garcinia cambogia. Most people are often tricked by this due to the potential of garcinia cambogia to support a quick and effortless weight loss. In fact, you will not need to change your habits, as long as you already follow a healthy diet and exercise routine.
Where does it come from?
Garcinia cambogia is not a new product, since it has been consumed in Asia for many years. However, its purpose was not focused on weight loss. Garcinia cambogia (also known as Tamarindo malabar) started to gain popularity in the USA a few years ago. Then, it started to appear frequently in the media and popular tv programs related to health. From then on, the sales increased drastically.
More and more people are purchasing this so-called “miracle-medicine for weight loss” in hopes of loosing body and abdominal fat.
What is the HCA
HCA is an acronym for hydroxycitric acid. It is a natural component that belongs to citric acids which are present in fruits like lime, orange and grapefruit.
HCA helps to reduce the excessive formation of fats. This is possible thanks to the fact that it inhibits of the development of the ATP Citrate Lyase enzyme.
When the researchers isolated this compound, they observed how it reduced the formation of fats. More specifically, it limits the development of the ATP Citrate Lyase enzyme, which produces lipids in the body. These elements tend to accumulate when there is an excess.
Hydroxycitric acid is in charge of hindering this process, which encourages the use of these stored fats by the body, producing more glucose. Therefore, it increases the energy that we can use to boost our physical performance.
The importance of hydroxycitric acid lies in the fact that it improves the digestive process, stimulates the metabolism and reduces the appetite significantly. The feeling of satiety is the body’s response to a complete digestion. Moreover, it provides a fundamental support for those who are changing eating habits or routines.
This is the role of HCA, a natural compound that stimulates the burning of fats and reduces the appetite. Moreover, it is the most valuable property of garcinia cambogia.
Properties of Garcinia Cambogia
- Reducing the conversion of carbs into fat, which helps to prevent the accumulation of fats in the body. This is due to the fact that hydroxycitric acid inhibits the production of the enzymes that are involved in this process.
- Garcinia Cambogia provides satiety directly on the liver and not on the brain like other products available in the market. This will help us avoid several side effects. HCA (hydroxycitric acid) stimulates the hepatic glucoreceptors which reduces the production of fats and increases the production of glycogen.
- Helping our body to burn more calories since it increases the production of heat (thermogenesis) and helps to enhance the metabolism.
- Thanks to its anthocyanosides content it has a protective effect on the blood capillaries.
- Digestive, anti-septic and anti-bacterial effects that help to avoid infections.
- A great supplement for athletes since, apart from not storing fats, it also encourages the production and storing of glycogen.
- Hydroxycitric acid is an extraordinary appetite suppressant.
- It is advised for hypercholesterolemia and cardiovascular problems thanks to the fact that it enhances the fat burning processes in the liver. This is an important aspect if we want to control our cholesterol levels.
These properties are good for:
- Controlling the appetite
- Reducing the cravings for unhealthy foods such as sugar
- A more positive mood (including feeling happier, with more energy and less tired)
- More energy and focus
- Stable blood sugar levels
- Improved intestinal excretion
- Relieving joint pain
- Regulating the cholesterol levels
- A stronger need to be physically active
How does it help to lose weight?
If you decide to take garcinia cambogia to lose weight or due to other of its benefits you need to take some things into account. This is all you need to know about the recommended dose for products containing HCA.
The duration of said studies has also changed quite a lot, from two to twelve weeks in a row.
The optimal dose of HCA is still unknown. It is not clear if a higher dose of HCA means that it is more bioavailable.
There seems to be a significant connection between the dose of HCA and a lose of body weight. This means that a higher dose is slightly more effective.
Garcinia cambogia continues to be the most used supplement in HCA studies. However, apart from garcinia cambogia, HCA can also be found in supplements made from the Hibiscus sabdariffa plant.
Most of the studies on the effects of garcinia cambogia have lasted around eight weeks. The researchers believe that this is “too little time to evaluate the effects of HCA on body weight”.
Make sure that you always read the label and look for the words “pure garcinia cambogia” and “hydroxycitric acid extract (or HCA)” (this should be from 50 to 60% of the product). If you purchase a blend and there is an ingredient listed without an amount, you will not know how much product you are actually getting.
Benefits of Garcinia Cambogia
Some of its most important benefits are:
- Reducing the appetite or increasing the satiety. It is not an anorexigenic effect, rather, it reduces the food anxiety and appetite without affecting the central nervous system
- Burning fat in the body: the reserves are used by limiting their excessive formation, this will support weight loss processes
- Improving the mood: it also enhances the production of serotonin, the hormone of happiness. This also reduces the craving for food and anxiety
- Reducing the cholesterol and triglycerides: by reducing the amount of fats, it consequently lowers the cholesterol and the tendency to develop heart problems
- Supporting the rejuvenation of the body: this is due to its high antioxidant content that reduces the cell deterioration
- Regulating the digestive problems: since its nutrients and components regulate the digestive system
- Increasing the energy levels: thanks to the fact that it regulates the formation of glucose, the fuel of the body, more effectively
- Enhancing the immune system: because it also has great quantities of vitamin C, which are good for our health
- Improved blood flow: since it helps to protect the vascular walls and it helps the blood to flow more easily
- Analgesic properties: the fruit has been used to treat arthrosis in the elderly
- Heightening the thermogenic processes of the body: these are the ones that burn fats to increase the temperature of the body
- Limiting the lipogenesis: or process of fat formation
- Anti-septic and anti-inflammatory: due to the anthocyanosides, which are water-soluble pigments
- Astringent, anti-septic and anti-bacterial: thanks to the tanins from its composition
- It is a detoxifying agent: due to its high fiber content which has the ability to clean the body.
Benefits for the health of athletes
Garcinia cambogia can be a good support to improve the performance of athletes or those who want to start doing more sport.
It can be used as a complement or supplement to improve the physical performance while helping to the define the muscles. More specifically, it reduces the body fat and increases the energy reserves that are used by the muscles.
How to take Garcinia Cambogia
The best way to take garcinia cambogia extract is using food supplementation in the diet. We have to take into account that, apart from the hydroxycitric acid, it also includes minerals like calcium and potassium, which improves the absorption.
In this way, you are fighting against bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides. You will also be getting many benefits for your health thanks to its antioxidants and vitamin C content, which increase the defenses.
Contraindications of Garcinia Cambogia
While some people claim not to experience any side effect, there are others who have had very different and negative experiences.
Taking garcinia cambogia can cause some side effects:
- Blurry and fatigued sight and brain fog
- Skin rash
- Increased sensitivity to cold due to a drop in the immune function
- Dry month and bad breath
- Digestive problems like nausea, eating disorders or diarrhea
Who cannot take Garcinia Cambogia?
- Pregnant and lactating women
- Patients with hepatic or renal damage
- Those who take medicines to control the asthma and allergies
- People who take medicines for diabetes and insulin
- Do not mix it with iron supplements (generally used by people with anemia)
- Nor painkillers
- Or medicines to control mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression
- Do not take either with medicines containing statins to lower the cholesterol
- Nor anti-coagulants (like warfarin)
Studies and References
- Kohsuke Hayamizu, MS, Yuri Ishii, MS, Izuru Kaneko, DVM, Manzhen Shen, PhD, Yasuhide Okuhara, BS, Norihiro Shigematsu, PhD, Hironori Tomi, PhD, Mitsuhiro Furuse, PhD, Gen Yoshino, MD, PhD, and Hiroyuki Shimasaki, PhD. Effects of garcinia cambogia (Hydroxycitric Acid) on visceral fat accumulation: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. 2003 Sep; 64(8): 551–567.
- Steven B. Heymsfield, MD; David B. Allison, PhD; Joseph R. Vasselli, PhD. Garcinia cambogia (Hydroxycitric Acid) as a Potential Antiobesity Agent. 1998;280(18):1596-1600. doi:10.1001/jama.280.18.1596
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