Does Garcinia Cambogia Work to Help You Lose Weight and Burn Fat?
Table of contents:
- What is Garcinia Cambogia?
- What does research say about the effects of Garcinia Cambogia?
- Garcinia Cambogia weight loss effect
- Garcinia Cambogia health benefits
- Garcinia Cambogia side effects
- How to use it for weight loss
- Garcinia Cambogia and apple cider vinegar – can it improve your weight loss success?
Garcinia Cambogia may be a popular ingredient in weight loss supplements, but can it really work? Can it really help you to burn fat, shed those excess pounds and get in shape?
We explore the claims behind this pumpkin shaped fruit and whether there is any truth to its many claimed health benefits.
Native to India and Southeast Asia, Garcinia Cambogia is derived from a small, pumpkin-shaped fruit (Garcinia gummi-gutta) that is so sour in taste that it is rarely eaten fresh. In fact, the only time you’ll see this fruit is if it has been cooked, or if the hydroxycritic acid (HCA) found in its peel has been extracted and added to weight loss supplements.
And it is this Garcinia Cambogia extract that we’re most interested in, as it is HCA which has the power to help you lose weight.
Available as a powder or as Garcinia Cambogia pills; HCA is an active substance that has been linked to a number of weight loss benefits. Typically you can expect to find 20-60% HCA within pills; however, the bigger its presence – i.e. 50-60% HCA to be precise – the more Garcinia Cambogia benefits you can expect to experience.
The biggest problem with any weight loss supplement is the number of claims which cannot be verified. In this section, we aim to get past all of these bold assertions and see if there is any truth to what the manufacturers are saying.
For instance, is it only a marketing ploy to get you to buy? Or can Garcinia Cambogia really help you to burn fat and lose weight?
Here is what the research says:
Honestly, opinions on Garcinia Cambogia are mixed. There are many human studies which indicate that it can cause a small amount of weight loss; whilst there are several others which suggest that this fruit gave them no weight loss advantages.
Study One: on average Garcinia Cambogia helped participants to experience weight losses of 2lbs more than those given the placebo (when administered over a 2-12 week period).
Study Two: during a study on 135 people, researchers saw no differences in weight loss between those given Garcinia Cambogia pills and those given the placebo.
These studies suggest that whilst Garcinia Cambogia has the potential to produce modest weight loss results; it cannot always be guaranteed.
We know we’ve literally just said that Garcinia Cambogia cannot guarantee weight loss; however, it is important to know that there are more studies which suggest that it can compared to those that say that it can’t.
So how does Garcinia Cambogia work? How does HCA trigger weight loss? Well, it can help you in one of two ways – appetite suppression and reduced fat production:
- Reduced appetite
During a study on rats, when given Garcinia Cambogia supplements, researchers noted that they ate less. Similarly, a study on humans found that it helped to reduce participants’ appetites and made them feel fuller faster.
It is not fully understood ‘how’ it can help to suppress your appetite. However, the results of numerous rat studies suggest that HCA increases the amount of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a known appetite suppressant, so the more of it that is present in your blood; the smaller your appetite will be.
NOTE: this hasn’t been the case in all studies. There have been others that saw no appetite suppression from Garcinia Cambogia. Because of this, it would be wise to take this claim with a pinch of salt, as evidence suggests that its effectiveness is partially based on the individual.
- Block fat production/reduce belly fat
This theory stems from the impact Garcinia Cambogia can have on your blood fats and the production of new fatty acids. In human and animal studies, it was found to lower high levels of fat in your bloodstream, whilst helping to reduce oxidative stress on your body.
In fact, during one study, researchers noted how Garcinia Cambogia was effective at reducing the amount of belly fat accumulated on overweight participants.
- Other health benefits
Another benefit you may experience with this fruit is improved athletic performance. Research suggests it may increase your endurance levels during exercise and stop you from feeling fatigued too quickly (NOTE: further studies on humans are needed to verify this claim). By boosting your ability to workout harder, this will enable you to burn more calories and benefit from greater weight loss.
In addition, it has been linked to decreased leptin levels, boosts to your digestive system and reduced inflammation. An animal study discovered that it can protect you from stomach ulcers, as well as can reduce damage to the inner lining of your digestive tract.
Well, like we mentioned before, of the human studies that have been done there have been mixed results. For instance, when the Journal of Obesity compiled nine different studies the findings were mixed, with Garcinia Cambogia pills producing weight loss in some and little to no difference in others.
Now, some have argued that these discrepancies are down to how short some of these studies were. But again, unless further research is done (for longer study periods), this is still all hypothetical.
- Effects on diabetes
A common theory surrounding Garcinia Cambogia is that it makes it easier for your body to use glucose (which provides energy for your cells). During a study on mice, it was found to lower the insulin levels in those who received this fruit compared to those who didn’t.
Now, whilst this sounds like a bonus for anyone with diabetes – as it can potentially improve your blood sugar control and increase your insulin sensitivity – if you’re taking diabetes medication, you need to be careful as this combination could make your sugar levels too low. For this reason, you need to speak to your doctor first before using Garcinia Cambogia pills.
- Effects on cholesterol
Garcinia Cambogia may be best known for its weight loss capabilities, but that is not all it can do.
During a study on obese participants, when they were given 2,800mg of Garcinia Cambogia every day for 8 weeks, it helped to dramatically reduce the risk factors that come from this disease.
For instance, it was found to:
- Lower total cholesterol by 6.3%
- Reduce bad cholesterol by 12.3%
- Improve good cholesterol by 10.7%
- Decrease blood triglycerides by 8.6%
- Excrete 125-258% more fat metabolites into urine
These improvements in cholesterol are believed to be due to Garcinia Cambogia inhibiting citrate lyase (an enzyme) which is involved in the production of fat. By helping to slow down/block the creation of fat – which is not only good for lowering blood fats, but can limit the amount of weight you put on – this can decrease your risk of heart disease.
Most studies on Garcinia Cambogia seem to suggest that this fruit is safe for use in healthy people – if you keep to the recommended dosage i.e. less than 2,800mg of HCA per day. It is also a far better choice than more extreme weight loss solutions such as The DNP Drug.
That being said, these supplements are NOT regulated by the FDA, meaning there is no guarantee that what you receive is the amount of HCA that they are claiming to offer on their label.
That is probably why the following side effects have been linked to these pills. If you cannot find out what is safe, how can you keep your dosage in check?
Common side effects of Garcinia Cambogia include: digestive symptoms, headaches, skin rashes, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, low blood sugar, diarrhea, and an upset stomach.
Sadly, these aren’t the only Garcinia Cambogia side effects you can expect…
Studies have reported that high intakes of this fruit can cause testicular atrophy/shrinking of the testicles, whilst studies on rats have noticed a negative impact on sperm production. Similarly, there have been a number of studies where Garcinia Cambogia was linked to liver damage and worse; liver failure in some cases.
For that reason, it is essential that you source it from a reputable supplier who can verify the quality of their product and in turn their ingredients. At the same time, you should always speak to a doctor first, before you decide to use it.
This is especially true if you’re taking medications for the following conditions, as it may badly interact with them: asthma, allergies, diabetes, anemia, pain medications, prescription pills for psychiatric conditions, statins (cholesterol) and blood thinners. In addition, if you’re pregnant, nursing or have got liver/kidney problems, you should NOT take it. In these situations you should probably stick to a simpler weight loss solution such as restricting your calories.
For optimal results, it is recommended that you take Garcinia Cambogia pills that contain 50-60% HCA (from a reputable supplier), and that you only take them for 12 weeks at a time. Between cycles, you should aim to have a few weeks break. This will help to minimize any potential side effects.
Now, the amount you take will depend on the brand. But on average it is suggested that you take 500mg, three times a day, roughly 30-60 minutes before meals. This should be enough to trigger promising results, whilst keeping you well below the 2800mg a day threshold. Any higher and you risk negative side effects, including liver toxicity.
Some would argue that yes, it can.
By combining Garcinia Cambogia and apple cider vinegar; Garcinia Cambogia can help to block fat production and suppress your appetite, whilst apple cider vinegar can help to boost your metabolism and leave you feeling fuller sooner.
The theory behind apple cider vinegar and weight loss links back to its main active ingredient – acetic acid. This acid can supposedly increase fat burn, improve your cells ability to take up sugar, and decrease your appetite (by suppressing areas of your brain that trigger hunger).
During a 12 week study on 144 obese adults, when they were given 15-30ml of apple cider vinegar (in a diluted drink every day), they managed to lose on average 2.64-3.74lbs, whilst those on the placebo actually managed to gain weight.
Similarly, in a separate study of 11 healthy men; when they combined this vinegar with a high-carb diet, they ate 200-275 calories less (a day) and had lower blood sugar levels.
This suggests that when you combine them together, they have got the power to boost each other’s activity, whilst also encouraging faster and longer-lasting weight loss.
But here is the thing…
There are NO studies to prove that this ‘theory’ is true. NONE. Sure they have been analyzed individually, but together? Never. Meaning this theory is once again pure speculation.
As is the case with a lot of weight loss products – where there is not enough evidence to support its claims – Garcinia Cambogia suffers from the same problem.
For starters, most of its studies were done on animals. And second, a good number of them gave mixed messages about its ability to help you lose weight. When faced with the possibility of little to no results, but a good chance of side effects – who can blame you for not wanting to take a risk?
That is why, if you’re serious about losing weight, we always recommend sticking to proven, natural and 100% quality assured products – such as PhenQ – as there is no danger of it harming your body.
Instead, you can benefit from its ability to burn stored fat; suppress your appetite, and block fat production, whilst being 100% free of any negative side effects. For more information visit the PhenQ homepage.