The fruit Garcinia cambogia, native to certain parts of Africa and Asia has found its way back into the spotlight due to a glowing recommendation by Television personality Dr. Oz Memet. Also known as Gambooge, the fruit has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples for cooking and traditional medicine for gastrointestinal problems as well as an appetite suppressant.
The extract from the Garcinia cambogia fruit is very high in hydroxycitric acid, one of the primary ingredients in the popular weight loss supplement HydroxyCut by Muscletech. Hydroxy citric acid has been found to promote fat loss and have some impact on metabolic syndrome in sedentary subjects.
In a larger meta-analysis of Garcinia cambogia studies published in theJournal of Obesity, nine different trials and studies were examined to determine what possible effects the Gambooge fruit had on weight loss metrics. In the studies, 706 participants in total were given Garcinia cambogia extract containing consistent levels of Hydroxy Citric Acid (HCA). The researchers found that across the studies, the extract did in fact have a small and statistically significant effect on weight loss. Not enough to pursue in clinical development, but significant enough for natural supplemental purposes. There were some side effects however associated with the hydroxycitric acid, which included “gastrointestinal issues, skin rash, headache, and the common cold.” In one study gastrointestinal side effects were twice as likely in the hydroxycitric acid group compared to the placebo group.
Both Garcinia cambogia and HCA have been studied since the mid 1990s. One of the first studies on the fruit’s effectiveness on weight loss was published in theJournal of the American Medical Association. This study was a double blind, 12-week randomized and placebo-controlled trial with 142 test subjects. Half of the participants were given HCA while the other group was given a placebo. In this study both groups lost weight, but there was little statistical difference between the groups, making HCA less viable as a natural weight loss aid.
Ultimately it seems there may be evidence to support Garcinia Cambogia and HCA as an effective aid in weight loss, but always be sure to consult a doctor before beginning any diet or loss program.