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4 Benefits and Side Effects of Garcinia Cambogia (9 Contraindications To Be Noted)[Updated Feb/2023]

Garcinia Cambogia is by far the most common natural weight loss ingredient, and it can be found in almost half of commercially available weight loss products.

What are the benefits of Garcinia Cambogia in empirical medicine? Are there any side effects of Garcinia Cabogia? See text analysis for details

What is Garcinia cambogia?

Garcinia cambogia, also known as Malabar tamarind, is a fruit (about 5 cm in diameter) produced by a small to medium-sized tree species of the Garcinia family that originates in Southeast Asia, India and Africa.

The fruit of this plant is yellow or red and resembles a pumpkin. Although this fruit can be eaten, it is usually not eaten raw because it has a distinctive sweet and sour taste, and the pulp and peel have long been used as a condiment and food preservative in Asian countries.

The chemical components of Garcinia cambogia extract include xanthones, benzophenones, amino acids and organic acids, the most important of which is hydroxycitric acid, which has the inhibitory effect on ATP-citrate lyase, which can regulate the production of cholesterol and fatty acids, promote gluconeogenesis and glycogenogenesis.

How to eat Garcinia Cambogia most effectively?

It is generally believed that the intake of garcinia cambogia should be 30-60 minutes before meals, but a study found that it takes about 60-90 minutes after taking garcinia cambogia to achieve a high concentration in the blood, which is the best effect at this time.Therefore, in order to achieve the best results, please take it on an empty stomach, preferably 1-2 hours before meals, instead of the generally recommended 30-60 minutes.

What are the recommended benefits of garcinia cambogia? (Does it really help with weight loss?)

  1. Garcinia cambogia assists in weight loss

Obesity can be defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that impairs health. It is an important risk factor for chronic diseases and disability burden worldwide, reducing life expectancy, and is associated with osteoarthritis, fatty liver, cardiovascular disease, digestive problems, diabetes, etc.

There are many causes of obesity, increased calorie intake and sedentary lifestyles are essentially linked to the development of obesity, both of which are preventable, and other related causes are socioeconomic factors, birth weight, pollution, stress, and microbial infections.

A systematic literature review and meta-analysis (8 randomized controlled trials, 530 participants) showed that Garcinia cambogia extract significantly reduced body weight -1.34 kg, body mass index (BMI) -0.99 kg/m2, fat mass percentage (PFM) -0.42%, and waist circumference (WC) -4.16 cm compared with placebo. Note 1

The mechanism behind it may be related to the main ingredient hydroxycitric acid to suppress appetite and improve fat and carbohydrate metabolism.

*Conclusion: Garcinia cambogia extract may have positive effects on weight loss, but due to insufficient sample size and high heterogeneity, more studies are needed to further validate

  1. Garcinia cambogia suppresses appetite (make you feel fuller)

Energy intake is largely controlled by an individual’s appetite, which in turn is influenced by many physical, psychological, and social factors.

Therefore, satiety and hunger can predict an individual’s ability to control weight, and increased appetite becomes an important reason for weight loss failure and weight loss maintenance.

A randomized placebo-controlled trial (6 weeks in 24 overweight adults) reported that hydroxycitrate (HCA) reduced energy intake for 24 hours while maintaining satiety. Note 2

Another randomized placebo-controlled trial (12-week study of 89 mildly overweight women) found that Garcinia cambogia extract capsules did not show an appetite suppressant effect. Note 3

*Conclusion: So far, there is no clear evidence that garcinia cambogia suppresses appetite, and more trials are needed to further validate

  1. Garcinia cambogia is beneficial for blood lipid regulation

Hyperlipidemia can be defined as blood lipid levels above the normal range, and individuals may have abnormal triglycerides (>200 mg/dL), total cholesterol (≥240 mg/dL), and low-density lipoprotein (>130 mg/dL), and high-density lipoprotein (<40 mg/dL).

The main treatment for hyperlipidemia is lifestyle and diet changes. Nevertheless, in some chronic cases, statin therapy for hyperlipidemia is preferred.

A randomized placebo-controlled trial (60 days, 43 overweight women) showed that Garcinia cambogia extract helped reduce triglyceride levels (up to 28%). Note 4

*Conclusion: Garcinia cambogia may have a positive effect on blood lipid regulation, but limited by the small sample size, more studies are still needed for further verification

  1. Garcinia cambogia reduces visceral fat accumulation

Visceral fat has unique biochemical properties that affect several pathological processes in the human body, abnormally high deposition of visceral adipose tissue is called visceral obesity, this body composition phenotype is associated with diseases such as metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and some malignant tumors, including prostate, breast and colorectal cancer.

Observational studies have found that intake of fruits, dairy products, whole grains, and fiber is protective, while intake of fried foods, alcohol, red and processed meats, sugary beverages and refined grains, and foods with a high glycemic index is associated with higher levels of visceral fat or waist circumference.

A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study (16 weeks, 44 participants aged 20 to 65 years with visceral fat zones >90 square centimeters) showed that taking Garcinia cambogia extract significantly reduced visceral, subcutaneous, and total fat areas. Note 5

*Conclusion: Garcinia cambogia extract may have a positive effect on reducing abdominal fat accumulation, but due to the small sample size, more studies are needed to further validate

Are there any side effects of Garcinia Cambogia extract capsules?

Garcinia cambogia is generally considered to be a safe weight-loss ingredient. Up to now, most human experiments have not observed significant side effects, but a small number of subjects have experienced diarrhea, gastrointestinal discomfort, headache, rash, and cold symptoms after taking it.

The ultra-high-dose toxicity test on animals also found that when the rats were given 5000 mg/kg body weight of Garcinia Cambogia-(HCA Hydroxycitric Acid), the fatality rate did not increase after 14 weeks, and no toxicity was found.

Safety precautions

1. Do not use in combination with serotonin drugs (Serotonergic Drugs), commonly used in antidepressant, analgesic, antitussive drugs, because Garcinia cambogia may increase endogenous serotonin concentration, if used together may cause serotonin toxicity, there have been related cases reported (Note 6), possible symptoms are: headache, spontaneous gusts, sweating, tremor, hyperreflexia, restlessness, Altered mental status, diarrhea, physical incoordination, fever, irregular heartbeat

Common serotonin agents are:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine

Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (NSRIs): trazodone, bupropion

Others include: L-tryptophan, linezolid, moclobemide, selegiline, methylphenidate, mirtazapine, triptans, dihydroergotamine, Fentanyl, Tramadol, Pethidine, Dextromethorphan, Imipramine, Ondansetron, Graisetron, Buspirone, Pethidine, Lithium

2. Do not use by pregnant women, lactating and children (due to unknown safety)

3. Please stop taking it 2 weeks before surgery, as it may affect blood sugar level and coagulation function

4. Do not use in patients with abnormal liver and kidney function (due to unknown safety)

5. Do not use diabetics or take hypoglycemic drugs, because it may have a hypoglycemic effect

6. Several rare cases of acute liver injury caused by the use of Garcinia cambogia-related products have been reported, usually with fatigue, nausea, elevated serum aminotransferase levels and jaundice symptoms 1 to 4 weeks after starting the treatment, and some cases are more severe, leading to acute liver failure or even liver transplantation (Note 7)

7. Rare cases of visual impairment caused by use have been reported, and patients have symptoms of deepening myopia and macular swelling (Note 8)

8. Rare cases of acute necrotizing eosinophilic myocarditis after use have been reported (Note 9)

9. Do not use in patients with bipolar disorder, it may aggravate the symptoms of mania (possible symptoms include: irritability, decreased need for sleep, restlessness, arrogance, exaggeration, excessive consumption, oppressive speech). Note 10

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