Garcinia cambogia is a weight loss pill that promises to help you lose fat without changing your current diet or exercise habits. GC became popular almost overnight after this “miracle weight loss pill” was featured on many popular television shows, including Dr. Oz.
GC started to fly off shelves almost instantly. There is a huge demand for a pill that can solve weight issues and the people clearly demonstrated that they really want a magic pill so to speak. Many people used it to attempt to lose weight, including Oprah herself.
But the real question is, does garcinia cambogia work?
What makes garcinia cambogia different that other weight loss pills?
First off, let’s talk about what garcinia cambogia is:
It is a fruit that naturally grows in south east Asia and India. It is a small fruit that fits in the palm of your hand and is shaped like a pumpkin. The fruit itself has been used for thousands of years in these parts of the world as flavoring for cooking, especially curries. The fruit it self is sour in taste and doesn’t have a very long shelf life.
It is the rind of the fruit that contains the important ingredient for fat loss. The rind (skin) of garcinia cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA) – a property scientists believe help aid in fat loss. The fruit extract is caffeine free which means it’s a non stimulant – which is another popular reason why this fruit is so popular. The garcinia cambogia extract is taken from the fruit and manufactured into pill format for easy consumer consumption.
HCA – What is it?
HCA is an organic acid naturally occurring in garcinia cambogia. It has some excellent properties that make it the “wonder drug” if you will. Here are a few highlights of what HCA can do for your body:
Makes you feel full – When you feel full, you don’t want to eat as much. In other words, its suppresses your appetite so you won’t feel the urge to eat as often
Metabolism – HCA can affect your metabolism which can help you burn calories faster
What does science say about HCA?
It looks like studies concluded that there is not enough conclusive evidence that show HCA slows your appetite for food and makes you feel fuller. Studies showed positive results in rodents with satiety and appetite, however human trials did not show the same result (1).
Proponents of garcinia cambogia say that this drug is “different” because it attacks fat loss in two ways. It first blocks your liver enzymes from converting the food you eat into fat storages, and also suppresses your appetite which means you don’t eat as often – which will also likely help you lose fat.
In addition to those two main fat loss benefits, GC can help improve your serotonin levels – which affects your quality of sleep, your mood, among other things.
So GC is being marketed as a wonder drug that does many things besides just aiding you in fat loss.
How does Garcinia Cambogia work?
Garcinia cambogia extract works by stopping the enzymes in your liver responsible for turning food into stored energy. Your liver has many jobs. Among them include deciding what to do with food you eat. Normally, carbs, breads, and other high energy sources of food will be stored in your fat cells. Specific liver enzymes takes care of this job. Your fat cells basically balloon up as you continue to eat more food than you need. These fat cells can get really large. This is how you get a large belly, large thigh fat, that muffin top, etc.
What GC does is stop these fat storing enzymes from doing their job. The food you eat is converted to glycogen that will go into your blood stream for your body to use as energy for working out or anything else that requires an expenditure of energy.
It’s kind of like putting a lid on your fat cells. No more fat can go into the cell. When your body is in a non fat storing state, it begins to do the opposite – which is get rid of fat in your body for energy.
So GC is really a pill that stops your body from converting food into fat.
On top of that, GC proponents claim the pill will make you eat less food (satiate your appetite) as well help emotional eaters eat less comfort foods (also related to satiety properties of GC).
Overall, studies does show a positive level of fat loss in subjects who used GC compared to placebo groups. The fat loss recorded is small. About 2 pounds over 12 weeks. That’s not a lot of fat loss from a “miracle pill”. Is it really worth your money then? Is it worth the potential side effects that could result from taking this pill?
Though it looks like GC is safe for most people over a short period of time (12 weeks), is it worth the risk?
It’s also interesting to note that though several studies on GC combined together showed that GC helped people lose weight marginally, it was the average of all the people in the studies that was taken into consideration. Not everyone is the same. We know that. And it was interesting to see that some people showed no change in fat loss compared to placebo groups given a fake drug, and some people showed large improvements in fat loss over placebo groups. Two to three times more fat loss than people who did not take garcinia cambogia.
With that in mind, it’s pretty clear that garcinia cambogia will work for some people and will not work for others. But overall, the studies do show a small positive fat loss from participants.
Results of people using garcinia cambogia
Because of garcinia cambogia’s popularity, there are reviews of people using it and losing weight just about everywhere. Weight loss forums, blogs, Amazon reviews, Youtube, etc. They all have results of people using this diet pill and having success. There are also articles of people who have used GC with no positive results as well.
Again, at best, studies show that GC looks like it works and will have a small positive affect when averaged out across all the studies done on it.
One of my favorite places to see reviews of gc is Amazon here. Around 10,000 reviews should give you an idea of how good GC is.
How to incorporate garcinia cambogia into your diet for maximum weight loss
I am a big proponent of healthy living along with supplementation when needed. I think a lot of people want the magic pill solution that will solve all their problems. Garcinia cambogia, though marketed as that pill, is NOT it. If it was, clinical trials would show more positive results.
What you want to do is take GC along with a proper nutritional plan, and physical activity if you can (though not necessary since you can lose weight with diet alone).
What diet you choose or healthy lifestyle living can vary dramatically. I am a big proponent of a low carb lifestyle or a paleo type eating style. But whatever “diet” you choose as your choice, make sure you are eating real foods most of the time. That’s really the most important part of dieting and losing weight. If you are eating food out of a box or a bag, it’s probably not healthy for you.
Look to eat foods that was alive at one point. Avoid foods that come in a box. And avoid the obvious foods high in sugars.
GC is pill that can HELP you lose weight. But again, it’s not the answer. Some people have had wild success with it, dropping several dress sizes and losing tons of belly fat. It seems like this would be the ideal situation for someone taking GC and not the norm. Is GC worth the try then? Maybe. Since it’s not that expensive of a pill, it could be something worth exploring.
Should you take GC?
It does look like GC is safe for most people when taken for a short period of time. There doesn’t seem to be any long term studies showing the effects of taking GC over long periods of time – so it’s hard to say what will happen if you take GC for a long time.
With that in mind, it could be a drug you could use for a few months to see if it has a desirable effect on you.
If you decide to try garcinia cambogia
The one thing you need to make sure you do is buy high quality garcinia cambogia. When purchasing GC, look for “pure garcinia cambogia”. Pure GC has HCA in the 50%-60% range usually. This is a desirable level of GC. I wouldn’t purchase anything below that. You’re not getting high quality GC if you do.
You can buy pure garcinia cambogia extract here.