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Known interactions

No interactions found.

Introduction into Garcinia Cambogia

Scientific Name: Garcinia Cambogia

Other Names: Brindal Berry, Gorikapuli, HCA, Hydroxycitric acid, Malabar Tamarind

Who is this for?

In recent years, Garcinia cambogia has been promoted for weight loss due to various possible effects it may have on the body. First, it is believed to interfere with an enzyme needed to store fat, possibly causing more fat from foods to be eliminated from the body. In addition, Garcinia cambogia may cause the body to use existing fat stores for energy during prolonged exercise. Ordinarily, carbohydrates are used first during exercise. In animal studies, hydroxycitric acid (HCA), a major component of Garcinia cambogia, also seemed to reduce appetite by raising the amount of serotonin in the body. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is thought to affect appetite control. In clinical studies of humans, however, individuals who took Garcinia cambogia while following a weight-reduction diet lost no more weight, on average, than members of a control group who followed the same diet without taking a supplement. Other human studies have had mixed results on appetite reduction; some showed little or no effect, while others reported a 15% to 30% decrease in food intake. More studies are needed to prove or disprove the effectiveness of Garcinia cambogia in weight control.

In unrelated studies, Garcinia cambogia has appeared to prevent the development of stomach ulcers in laboratory animals exposed to alcohol. Although the exact process is still unclear, the HCA in Garcinia cambogia is believed to reduce the production of stomach acid. Excess amounts of stomach acid may contribute to the development of stomach ulcers. Garcinia cambogia may also enhance the ability of the stomach lining to resist damage. No human studies have been performed to confirm this effect.

When should I be careful taking it?

Very little information is available on how Garcinia cambogia or HCA might affect a developing fetus, an infant, or a small child. Therefore, its use is not recommended during pregnancy, breast-feeding, or early childhood.

What side effects should I watch for?

One case of a condition known as rhabdomyolysis has been reported in an individual who was taking a combination weight loss product that contained Garcinia cambogia in addition to several other herbal ingredients. Rhabdomyolysis is a potentially fatal deterioration of muscle cells into substances that damage the kidneys. Exactly what components of the product may have contributed to the condition are not known.

No side effects have been associated with using Garcinia cambogia or HCA as individual agents. Since few reliable studies of its use have been conducted in humans, however, Garcinia cambogia may have side effects that are not yet known. If you experience unexplained side effects while taking Garcinia cambogia, you should stop taking it and talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the side effects.

What interactions should I watch for?

No interactions between Garcinia cambogia or HCA and prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs, other herbal products, or foods have been reported. However, because few reliable studies of Garcinia cambogia have been conducted in humans, its possible interactions may not be understood completely.

Some interactions between herbal products and medications can be more severe than others. The best way for you to avoid harmful interactions is to tell your doctor and/or pharmacist what medications you are currently taking, including any over-the-counter products, vitamins, and herbals.

Should I take it?

Garcinia cambogia is the small, sour fruit of an evergreen tree that grows in India and southeastern Asia. The fruits are eaten and used to add a tangy flavor to cooking. For use in medicine, the fruit rinds are dried and either powdered or extracted. Extracts are concentrated liquid preparations usually made by soaking chopped or mashed plant parts in a liquid such as alcohol, and then straining out the solid parts. Garcinia cambogia may be available as a single agent in capsules or tablets. More commonly, however, it is included in combination herbal products for weight loss.

Dosage and Administration

Although dosing recommendations differ according to the manufacturer, commercial Garcinia cambogia products generally contain 50% of HCA. Doses of HCA used in human studies have ranged from 250 mg three times a day to 1000 mg (one gram) three times a day. For weight loss, Garcinia cambogia is usually taken about half an hour before each meal.

Summary

Garcinia cambogia and the hydroxycitric acid (HCA) that it contains are promoted for weight loss. They may also protect against stomach ulcers that result from consuming alcohol.

Risks

Pregnant and breast-feeding women and small children are advised to avoid Garcinia cambogia because little is known about possible risks with its use.

Side Effects

No side effects have been attributed to the use of Garcinia cambogia.

Interactions

No interactions have been identified between Garcinia cambogia and drugs, other herbal products, or foods.

References

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(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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