Are you looking for a new diet plan in 2021? Or are you just looking to try something new and different in your health regime? If so, you may have heard of Garcinia Cambogia, and you may be wondering exactly what it is.
Hailed by many as a wonder product for dieters, opinions, and evidence on Garcinia Cambogia benefits are scattered and varied. Read on to find our guide to the possible benefits and side effects of this strange fruit.
What Exactly Is It?
Garcinia Cambogia is actually a tree. Found in parts of South East Asia, India, Sri Lanka, and some sections of Africa, it is also known as Garcinia-gummi-gata.
The actual fruit of the tree is sometimes known under a variety of names, given its wide geographical basis. Red Mango, Malabar and Pot Tamarind, Gambooge, Brindel Berry, and Kokum Butter Oil are other aliases. It is the fruit that has potential weight loss properties.
The fruit itself looks like a small pumpkin. It can be yellow, or yellow with a green tinge. It is so sour that it is seldom eaten raw, but used in cooking. The peel is the ingredient in weight loss supplements.
It supposedly suppresses the appetite and blocks the production of fat. This can help keep cholesterol levels in check and regulate blood sugar. You can purchase it in bottles or pills in many health shops.
How Does It Work?
The rind of the fruit is high in hydroxycitric acid (HCA). This blocks an enzyme known as citrate lyase. Your body needs this enzyme to make fat, so without it, fat production slows.
This enzyme also raises serotonin in the brain. This can also have the effect of making you feel less hungry.
Garcinia Cambogia Benefits for Weight Loss
HCA has been shown to make you feel fuller for longer and decrease the production of fat. This has led to its rise as a wonder food for dieting and its inclusion in many diet supplements. Many of these studies had been conducted on animals, and human trials are still pending.
Studies on rats suggested that the HCA in Garcinia Cambogia peel was responsible for increasing serotonin. This is a known appetite suppressant, and the study did show that the rats tended to eat less. In other tests, however, effects were the same on those taking the product and those taking a placebo.
Studies on humans and animals have shown that it can lower levels of fat in the blood and decrease oxidative stress. It has also been suggested that it can slow the accumulation of belly fat in people who are overweight.
In the study, obese subjects took 2800 mg of Garcinia Cambogia over a period of 8 days. Cholesterol was shown to be 6.3% lower overall with bad LDL levels slipping to 12.3% lower, and good HDL cholesterol levels making increases of 10.7%. You can learn more about its weight loss potential here.
Possible Side Effects
Some adverse effects have been reported about the use of Garcinia Cambogia. However, these have mostly been mild and not serious. The main complaints are dizziness, headaches, dry mouths, and upset stomachs.
Like many dietary supplements and products, it is advised that anyone with health problems like diabetes, or anyone on certain medications like antidepressants, should not take it. It is not advised for pregnant women.
The most alarming side effects have been three reported cases of mania induced by the consumption of Garcinia Cambogia. It was also reported that it caused some damage to the liver. This may be down to the ability of HCA to increase serotonin levels in the brain.
This study should be taken with a pinch of salt, as in the studies, Garcinia Cambogia was just one of many ingredients in the questioned products. No long term studies have actually been undertaken, so its long term effects are unknown, good or bad.
In 2009 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to consumers about a product named Hydroxycut. It was reported that Hydroxycut had caused liver damage and jaundice in a number of people who had used Hydroxycut products. Other health problems linked to the product were rhabdomyolysis, seizures, and cardiovascular problems.
Hydroxycut contained Garcinia Cambogia as one of its many ingredients, and since then it has somewhat tarnished the reputation of the fruit. However, as it was one of many, it is not known if it was Garcinia Cambogia that caused the problems. In its defense, it has been used in cooking for thousands of years with no adverse health effects.
How Much Can I Use?
There is really no information on dosage levels for Garcinia Cambogia. In studies where the benefits have been apparent, amounts taken have been extremely varied. Some people took 300 milligrams for two weeks, while others took varying amounts over the same time period.
In all of these studies, the time taken has been a fortnight. As such, it is not recommended you take the product in any quantity for longer than 14 days.
Balancing Your Diet
In summary, the evidence for Garcinia Cambogia benefits is conflicting and varied. However, that does not mean it will not work for you and if you are willing to try it, you may find some excellent results. Like any diet product, balance it with exercise and a healthy diet and see what results take place.
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