People are always looking for the magic bullet when it comes to weight loss. We always want the newest product out there and Garcinia cambogia is a supplement that has been much spoken and publicized about recently. So what is all the hype about and does it really work?
Garcinia is known to grow in tropical regions of India, Malaysia and Africa. The yellow, orange or red fruit ripens during the rainy season and contains Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA). It is egg or oval in shape, 5 centimeters around, has 6 to 8 seeds and is listed in the US Department of Agriculture inventory of perennial edible fruits. Garcinia cambogia is also known as Malabar Tamarind and is a popular weight-loss supplement.
Weight Loss with Garcinia cambogia
Manufacturers claim that it blocks the body’s ability to make fat and stops or reduces your appetite. It also could help stabilize blood sugar and cholesterol levels. You can find this product separate or mixed in with other ingredients.
The fruit’s rind contains the compound HCA. Hydroxycitric acid has been shown to block citrate lyase which is an enzyme your body produces to make fat. It also increases serotonin in the brain which reduces your hunger. One study showed that the serotonin levels increased in subjects by as much as 10.7%. In the same study BMI was decreased by 7.8 to 7.9% respectively. Studies in conjunction with herbal coffee supplements with garcinia cambogia enhances energy used while at rest which increases metabolic rates and theoretically causing weight loss.
HCA assist in glucose metabolism
Some studies allude to the fact that HCA has been show to assist in glucose metabolism. This is achieved through the delaying and reducing intestinal glucose absorption. Keep in mind that the results are not exact so if you are on medications to control your blood sugar, your blood sugars could become perilously low.
The other area of both increased health and concern is in relation to cholesterol levels. HCA has had positive results in lowering both triglycerides and LDL while raising HDL levels. LDL was decreased by up to 12.3% and HDL was increased by up to 40%. There are strict guidelines on this herbal supplement as people already taking anti-cholesterol medications should avoid taking HCA.
2 pounds to 7 pounds weight loss
Back to the original question as to this herbal supplements efficacy for weight loss; the answers are as varied as the studies that produce the results. They vary from 2 pounds weight loss to 7 pounds while other studies show that more weight was lost in the placebo group.
HCA has proven to be beneficial for some health conditions however, as with everything in life the best thing we can all do for our health is eat right and exercise. Balance your macronutrients, decrease unnecessary calories and increase caloric output with exercise is always going to be the best way to lose weight in a healthy lasting way. Before starting on any natural supplements discuss what you will be taking with your certified personal trainer. Your trainer will assess who you need to see prior to commencing the supplement. Should you currently be taking medications see your physician to ensure they will not be any interactions with current medications. Should you be discussing nutrition with your certified personal trainer ensure they have taken the appropriate nutrition courses and are certified to put together nutrition plans and make nutritional recommendations.
Cathie Glennon, BCRPA-SFL, CSNA Sports Nutrition Advisor, Pharm Tech (Level 3)