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Garcinia Cambogia: What is in It and How to Take It

Garcinia Cambogia, a Southeast Asian pumpkin-shaped fruit also known as Malabar tamarind, has been the topic of weight watchers since it was found in the 90’s that it caused weight loss in laboratory animals. As early as the late 1960’s, scientists isolated an acid in Malabar tamarind that is almost the same as the citric acid in lemons and oranges. That acid, hydroxycitric acid (HCA) had called the attention of scientists and pharmacists over two decades. It is sometimes referred to as a miracle supplement for weight loss but some sceptics claimed it was only effective in laboratory animals.

Early Popularity

Hydroxycitric acid began its popularity when studies conducted in the 1990s showed that animals lost weight when HCA blocked the enzyme citrate lyzase, which converts starches and sugars into fat. When the enzyme citrate lyzase is blocked, the carbohydrates consumed by the body are channeled into energy production instead of accumulating as fat. When the body fat is burned through movement and exertion, there will be nothing to replace it, hence the overall body fat will diminish.

Hydroxycitric acid is also believed to suppress appetite. It works, however, differently from diet pills that are stimulant-based. HCA increased the satisfaction a person receives from food by increasing the satiety level, making it less struggle for a person to eat less. Some nutritionists believe that HCA sends appetite-suppressing signals to the brain through the amino acid 5-hydroxytryptophan, the precursor of serotonin, the so-called happy hormone.

How Does Garcinia Cambogia Work

Garcinia cambogia, as a weight loss supplement, works in the following ways:

  • Blocks fat production. Garcinia cambogia blocks a fat-producing enzyme called Citrate lyase, decreasing the ability of the body to produce fat.
  • Blocks cravings by increasing the levels of hormone serotonin that reduces the food cravings and appetite.

Studies conducted on humans showed that garcinia cambogia resulted on weight loss of the subjects. The studies were randomized controlled trials that made comparison of garcinia cambogia against dummy pills or placebo. The weight loss in human subjects that took garcinia cambogia may seem insignificant but even prescription weight loss drugs do not show also significant results in a short period of time because weight loss is generally a slow and long process.

Other Health Benefits

Garcinia cambogia has been used mainly as a supplement for weight loss but studies have shown that it may also have added health benefits. Some studies showed that Garcinia cambogia might also reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol, raise the level of HDL or good cholesterol and lower triglycerides. Garcinia cambogia has also shown promises of reducing belly fat, that harmful fat that causes diseases.


Garcinia cambogia, as a weight loss supplement, is available in many health food and vitamin stores. The recommendation is to find a brand that has from 50% to 60% amount of hydroxycitric acid (HCA). Buyers are warned though that since food supplements are not FDA regulated, caution must be exercised in finding brands that are of high quality. Because of the popularity of Garcinia cambogia, there are unscrupulous businessmen who flooded the market with imitation or fake products that claim to contain high amount of hydroxycitric acid.

How To Take Garcina Cambogia

Take Garcinia cambogia as a food supplement but the user must continue to watch his diet and continue exercising. You cannot take Garcinia cambogia and then throw all cautions into the wind by eating non-healthy diet and by being a couch potato.

Take 500 mg. of Garcina cambogia three times per day. It is highly recommended that they be taken thirty minutes to one hour before meals for best results. Eat healthy and keep that body moving.

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