Garcinia cambogia is just the latest remedy to fast weight loss. It is derived from a fruit called Malabar tamarind which is scientifically known as Garcinia gummi-gutta.

According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 10% of men and 21% of women in the United States have used Garcinia cambogia to expedite their weight loss program. It is a supplement made specifically for weight loss.

Studies indicate that the peels of Malabar tamarind are highly concentrated with hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which is believed to have weight loss properties. Before you get that supplement, you need to know a few facts about it.

This article outlines some of the facts and also explains how this supplement works to aid in weight loss.

Facts about Garcinia Cambogia

  1. Garcinia Cambodia is a popular plant that is widely grown in some parts of Africa, Sri Lanka, India, and Malaysia.
  2. Garcinia cambogia is a former name, but currently, it is botanically called Garcinia gummi-gutta.
  3. Apart from being called Malabar tamarind, the fruit has other names like gamboge, pot tamarind, kokum butter oil tree, and brindal berry.
  4. The fruit produces HCA resembling a multipored pumpkin with green, red, or yellow skin. The fruit can sometimes grow to grapefruit size depending on the condition of the soil but normally it has the size of a tomato. Its flesh has a very sour taste which can pucker your lips and in many cases used as a condiment.
  5. The seeds of garcinia cambogia, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Data Central, contains up to 30% of fats and they can be used in place of ghee.
  6. Garcinia cambogia can be made into an extract which is said to have several potential health benefits including treatment of cancer, ulcer, diabetes, constipation, and diarrhea. Its main and known benefit is promoting weight loss, improve exercise performance and reduce appetite.
  7. There are many health problems that are also associated with the use of garcinia cambogia. They include extreme liver damage, jaundice, seizures, testicular atrophy, rhabdomyolysis, and heart problems which are linked to the use of Hydroxycut.
  8. Side effects of using garcinia cambogia include dry mouth, headache, dizziness, and nausea.
  9. How Garcinia Cambogia Works to Help Lose Weight and Belly Fat
  10. Many claims have been advertised on televisions on the health benefits of garcinia cambogia. The most that hit the market is how it can miraculously help one lose weight in the body and around the belly without having to exercise.

What is Garcinia Cambogia?

As has been mentioned earlier, garcinia cambogia is a supplement that helps one lose weight and it is obtained from a tree and fruit that bears the same name. It more or less resembles a pumpkin in shape and appearance with green, yellow, or red skin. Its average size is that of a tomato.

According to the study findings by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the fruits of garcinia cambogia have a very sour taste. For that reason, they can’t be eaten fresh but rather used in cooking.

The garcinia cambogia supplements and extracts usually contain about 20% to 60% of HCA.

How It Helps With Weight Loss

So far, scientists have proposed two main ways through which garcinia cambogia can help someone lose weight.

a.      May Help Reduce Appetite

One particular study was done on rats and published in Science Direct. The researchers found that rats that were fed with garcinia cambogia ate less. Several studies on humans by the National Center for Biotechnology Information also found that garcinia cambogia can inhibit appetite and make someone feel full.

The exact mode of action on appetite inhibition is not yet fully understood, but researchers think that its ingredient, HCA, increases the production of serotonin in the brain. According to one study finding in the National Institutes of Health, serotonin works by suppressing appetite. Therefore, a high amount of HCA can result in higher levels of serotonin in the blood which further suppresses appetite.

b.      May Suppress Fat Production As Well As Reduce Belly Fat

The greatest action of garcinia cambogia is by affecting fats in the blood and the production of new fatty acids.

Several studies by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that garcinia cambogia works effectively by reducing the levels of blood fats as well as reducing the rate of oxidative stress in the body. Additionally, it may also be effective in burning and reducing fats around the belly especially in people who are overweight.

One 8-weeks study examined people who were obese by giving them 2,800 mg of garcinia cambogia per day. By the end of the study, several changes were noticed including a reduction in total cholesterol level by 6.35%, reduction in “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels by 12.3%, increase in the levels of “good” high-density lipoproteins (HDL) by 10.7%, reduction in the levels of blood triglycerides by 8.6% and reduced levels of fat metabolites by 125%.

According to Springer, the secret behind garcinia cambogia performing this way is that it inhibits the production of an enzyme called citrate lyase. This enzyme is responsible for the production of fat. This way, the production of fat in the body is blocked thus reducing the risk of weight gain and reducing blood fat.

Additional Health Benefits of Garcinia Cambogia

Based on the study findings by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, there can be added health benefits of garcinia cambogia apart from aiding weight loss. This includes possessing anti-diabetic properties such as decreasing the levels of insulin and leptin which are two hormones associated with diabetes.

It also reduces inflammation, improves blood sugar control as well as increased sensitivity to insulin by cells. Another research also found that it can help boost the health of the digestive system. This is because it helps combat gastric ulcers and reduce intestinal damages.

The recommended dosage of garcinia cambogia is 500 mg every 8 hours in a day (3 times a day). It should be taken 30 to 60 minutes before meals.


Garcinia cambogia is widely grown in India and Malaysia. It has gained popularity for its effectiveness in aiding weight loss. It works by inhibiting the production of fat and suppressing appetite.

Mental health expert
MS, University of Latvia

I am deeply convinced that each patient needs a unique, individual approach. Therefore, I use different psychotherapy methods in my work. During my studies, I discovered an in-depth interest in people as a whole and the belief in the inseparability of mind and body, and the importance of emotional health in physical health. In my spare time, I enjoy reading (a big fan of thrillers) and going on hikes.

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