Garcinia cambogia is an herbal weight loss supplement that prevents the conversion of excessive sugars and starches in the body into fat. It will also promote the oxidation of lipids, and thereby lowers the blood cholesterol levels.
Garcinia cambogia has been used traditionally to treat a variety of conditions including rheumatism, bowel disorders, piles, cancer, intestinal parasites, constipation and irregular menstruation. It is also used as an astringent, antioxidant, anticatarrhal and thermogenic. It can help improve your heart health and prevent liver or bile-related diseases.
What Does Science Say?
- In a study involving 60 overweight and obese men and women, individuals taking Garcinia cambogia lost more weight than the control population taking placebo or dummy supplement.
- An animal study with obese male Zucker rats demonstrated the ability of Garcinia cambogia in preventing fat accumulation in the body. In fact, high doses of the herb used in the study did not cause any unwanted side effects in the animal models.
- Another study published in the “Molecular Cell Biochemistry” has indicated that the herb can promote oxidation of fat, increased production and availability of serotonin in the brain, and reduction in serum leptin levels in obese individuals. The 90 day trial also established the safety of the supplement.
- An animal study involving the Sprague-Dawley rats revealed that Garcinia can restrict weight gain the animals by influencing the expression of abdominal fat genes.
- Other studies have found that Garcinia inhibits ATP Citrate lyase, the cellular enzyme that helps break citrate to Acetyl coenzyme A and oxalocitrate. The low levels of Acetyl coenzyme A will prevent the conversion of spare carbohydrates into fats.
- One study evaluated the effects of 3.3% garcinia extract on serum leptin and insulin, and found that the supplement has the ability to improve glucose metabolism.
- A popular, but controversial, study conducted by the Obesity Research Center of Columbia University did not find Garcinia cambogia useful in promoting weight loss. Critics of the study, however, argue that the high fiber diet used in the study prevented the absorption of the herb, and have indicated that the herb works best when taken with normal diet.
- The extracts also protect your body from gastric ulcers by enhancing the mucosal defensive mechanisms in stomach. Animal models taking the herbal extracts experience reduced acidity in the digestive tract.
Mechanism of Action
Apart from blocking the conversion of unused carbohydrates into fats, and promoting oxidation of lipids, Garcinia cambogia causes accumulation of glycogen in the body. The unused glucose and glycogen signal the satiety center of the brain to suppress the appetite. The herb also increases the levels of neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, which also lower your appetite. It also burns more calories and increases heat production in the body.