Updated: Apr 22
How Garcinia Cambogia Can Help Lose Weight and Belly Fat
Garcinia Cambogia is a popular weight loss supplement.
It is derived from a fruit Garcinia gummi-gutta (also known as Malabar tamarind).
The peel of the fruit contains high amounts of hydroxycitric acid (HCA) - the active ingredient, responsible for most of its weight loss benefits.
What Is Garcinia Cambogia?
Garcinia cambogia is a small, pumpkin-shaped fruit (usually has yellow or greenish color).
The fruit is so sour that it is generally not eaten fresh but rather used in cooking.
Garcinia cambogia supplements are made from extracts of the fruit's peel.
The peel of the fruit contains high amounts of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), an active substance that has been shown to have some weight loss.
The supplements generally contain from 20% to 60% HCA. Nevertheless, studies show that those with 50–60% HCA may provide the most benefit.
Garcinia cambogia supplements contain extracts of the peel of the Garcinia gummi-gutta fruit. They contain high amounts of HCA, which is linked to weight loss benefits.
Can Cause Modest Weight Loss
Studies have tested the weight loss effects of garcinia cambogia.
What's more, most of them indicate that the supplement can cause a small amount of weight loss. On average, garcinia cambogia has been showing a result of 2 lb loss in weight (more than a placebo) over a period of 2–12 weeks. On the other hand, several studies have not found any weight loss effect.
How Does It Aid Weight Loss?
There are two main ways that garcinia cambogia is thought to aid weight loss.
1. May Reduce Your Appetite
Studies in rats show that those given garcinia cambogia supplements tend to eat less.
Similarly, some human studies have found that garcinia cambogia suppresses appetite and makes you feel full.
Its mechanism isn't fully known, but rat studies suggest that the active ingredient in garcinia cambogia can increase serotonin in the brain.
Since serotonin is a known appetite suppressant, higher blood levels of serotonin could lower the appetite.
These effects may depend on each individual.
2. May Block Fat Production and Reduce Belly Fat
Most importantly, garcinia cambogia impacts blood fats and the production of new fatty acids.
Human and animal studies show that it may lower high levels of fat in your blood and reduce oxidative stress in your body.
One study also suggests it may be especially effective at reducing the accumulation of belly fatin people who are overweight (8Trusted Source).
In one study, moderately obese people took 2,800 mg of garcinia cambogia daily for eight weeks and drastically improved several risk factors for disease:
Total cholesterol levels: 6.3% lower
“Bad” LDL cholesterol levels: 12.3% lower
“Good” HDL cholesterol levels: 10.7% higher
Blood triglycerides: 8.6% lower
Fat metabolites: 125–258% more excreted in the urine
The main reason for these effects may be that garcinia cambogia inhibits an enzyme called citrate lyase, which plays an important role in the production of fat.
By inhibiting citrate lyase, garcinia cambogia is thought to slow or block fat production in your body. This may reduce the amount of blood fats as well as lower your risk of gaining weight — two major disease risk factors.
Garcinia cambogia may suppress appetite. It also blocks the production of new fats in your body and has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and blood triglycerides in overweight people.
Other Health Benefits
Animal and test-tube studies suggest that garcinia cambogia may also help with anti-diabetes:
Decreasing insulin levels
Decreasing leptin levels
Improving blood sugar control
Increasing insulin sensitivity
Additionally, garcinia cambogia could boost your digestive system. Animal studies suggest that it helps protect against stomach ulcers and reduce damage to the inner lining of your digestive tract.
Garcinia cambogia may have some anti-diabetes effects. It may also help protect against stomach ulcers and digestive tract damage.
Safety and Side Effects
Most studies conclude that garcinia cambogia is safe for healthy people in the recommended dosages, or up to 2,800 mg of HCA per day.
People have also reported some side effects of using garcinia cambogia: