Garcinia Cambogia Extract: Uses & Side Effects

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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Garcinia cambogia extract has gained popularity and attention over the last few years because of its effects on weight loss. It is derived from garcinia cambogia fruit also known as Malabar tamarind.

The fruit rind has been traditionally used to relieve digestive issues, rheumatism, and improve bowel movements. Let us look at how the use of its extract affects the weight loss efforts.

Garcinia Cambogia Extract for Weight Loss

This extract suppresses the appetite and helps prevent the production of fats by the body. The rind of garcinia cambogia has HCA or hydroxycitric acid that promotes fat burning. This compound blocks the activity of the citrate lyase enzyme. Further, it increases the levels of serotonin that is associated with a feeling of satiety.

But, just increasing the levels of serotonin does not seem to lower the food intake as there can be many factors governing the same.

Close-up of fresh and green garcinia cambogia on a wooden table

Garcinia cambogia is also known as the Malabar tamarind. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The exact mechanism by which garcinia suppresses the appetite is not clear. In fact, there are studies that suggest that the intake of garcinia does not change the appetite.

A study published in Nutrition Journal found that 10 weeks of supplementation with garcinia cambogia extract did not result in any weight loss however, it did seem to increase HDL or good cholesterol levels.

Another study conducted in 2014 on obese women supplemented with this extract found no significant change in weight. However, there was a reduction in the triglycerides levels that are linked to a higher risk of heart diseases.

There is no strong evidence that suggests the impact of this extract on lowering cholesterol levels. Also, it is not clear whether it actually helps in weight loss as the research studies supporting the claim are limited.

Side Effects

The use of garcinia cambogia extract may cause side effects. HCA found in the extract has adverse effects that include nausea, dry mouth, etc. People on medications should check with their doctor before taking garcinia cambogia.

According to a patient case reported in the Journal of Toxicology, the intake of garcinia cambogia extract was linked to higher levels of serotonin and caused serotonin toxicity in a woman who was 35 years old.

Note: Make sure to consult a medical professional before incorporating the weight loss supplement to your diet.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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