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Garcinia cambogia

Garcinia Cambogia is a fruit known to enhance the culinary experience of food. It increases the satiety of a meal (by enhancing the taste experience). Its use as a fat burner does not seem to extend to humans.

Table of Contents


What is Garcinia cambogia?

Garcinia Cambogia, also known as Malabar Tamarind, is a small fruit that has some traditional use to enhance the culinary experience of a meal but beyond limited medicinal use.

It is an excellent source of hydroxycitric acids (related to citric acid and sour flavoring).
One of the isomers, known as (-)-Hydroxycitric acid, is thought to help control weight.

Uses & Effects

Appetite Suppression

In rats, (-)-Hydroxycitric acid (salt form; 60 percent HCA by weight) was able to inhibit serotonin re-uptake in rat cortical slices by 20 percent (300uM concentration) higher than that of fluoxetine (100uM) plus clomipramine (10uM) which inhibited 30 percent of uptake;, no inhibition was observed with 1000uM (1mM) of (-)-Hydroxycitric acid.

Another possible mechanism is the thought to be related to leptin. One rat study (which failed to find a reduction of 3.3 percent (-)-Hydroxycitric acid in food intake or weight after 4 weeks) found that serum insulin and leptin levels had decreased, which was thought to be in response to leptin mimetic action (not established).

In rats with quantified reductions in feed intake, 13.7 percent (0.2 percent feed intake), 26.7 percent (2 percent feed intake) and 25.6 percent (5 percent feed intake) of male rats with similar reductions in female rats were reported, with significant decreases in feed intake in this study occurring only 46 days after (earliest) or 74 days (earliest) intake.

In rats, it suppressed the intake of food.


Garcinia Cambogia has once been associated with reduced brain oxidation and neurodegeneration pathology but has been reported to work through reduced food intake and body weight (a study concluded that the state of obesity and high-fat diet impairs neural function).

Mechanism of Action

How Does Garcinia cambogia Work?

The mechanism of action inhibits an enzyme called citric acid lysase, which is essential for fatty acid synthesis, known as de novo lipogenesis. At least in rats, evidence of suppressed de novo lipogenesis has been noted, and oral consumption of (-)-Hydroxycitric acid appears to reduce food intake and body weight (to the degree that food intake cannot explain all the observed effects)

Studies in humans, for the most part, do not replicate this; this may be relating to less actual activity of de novo lipogenesis in humans and a much higher level in rats. Some isolated studies do note weight loss, but it seems to be quite variable and unreliable.

Many studies also report a subjective decrease in appetite, but tend to record drop-out rates (how often people leave the study because they are unable to maintain the diet protocol) rather than food intake; even then, the benefits are still unreliable and sometimes not present.

Although there is limited potential for (-)-hydroxycitric acid as a weight loss aid, the size of the effect is small (up to 2 kg over 3 months). The benefit is unreliable, making it difficult to recommend this compound as a fat burner or anti-obesity agent.

Side Effects

What Are Garcinia cambogia Side Effects?

Acute (14 days) administration of 5000 mg/kg bodyweight (-)-Hydroxycitric acid to albino rats of both sexes (small sample size 10) was not associated with any mortality or clinical signs of toxicity.

Studies that are not designed to evaluate toxicology but nevertheless use (-)-Hydroxycitric acid supplementation have also not been able to detect any toxicity associated with 3 percent of the rat diet for 5 days or 10 days or up to 5 percent of feed for 90 days.

At present, the human studies cited in Examine do not report any adverse reactions that occur in treatment groups (using Garcinia Cambogia) to a higher degree than placebo.

No observed toxicity in rats or humans following oral ingestion at this time.


How To Take Garcinia cambogia?

The standard dosage of Garcinia Cambogia is bioactive (-)-Hydroxycitric acid is 500 mg (-)-Hydroxycitric acid takes 30-60 minutes before the meal usually made at up to three different meals per day.

It is uncertain whether this is the ideal dose since human studies usually fail to benefit from any dosage.