Gar­ciana Cam­bo­gia - Weight loss Won­der or Blun­der?

Weight loss Won­der or Blun­der?

Australian Natural Bodz - - Contents -

We take a closer look at this hyped up weight loss in­gre­di­ent that has had some ma­jor me­dia cov­er­age in­clud­ing great raps on the Dr Oz tele­vi­sion show. Is it what it’s cracked up to be?

Iam pretty sure we would all agree that di­et­ing sucks. It leaves you with con­stant crav­ings… crazy hunger pains. This usu­ally causes people to give up on their diet and even­tu­ally gain all the weight back plus more! For this rea­son, most con­ven­tional weight loss meth­ods have a ter­ri­ble suc­cess rate. Very few people suc­ceed in the long run un­less they have a well struc­tured plan tai­lored by a pro­fes­sional that truly un­der­stands the fun­da­men­tals of long term weight loss suc­cess. Is there a magic bul­let? Not re­ally but that doesn’t stop people from con­tin­u­ally jump­ing on the lat­est Buzz weight loss in­gre­di­ent. One of the lat­est be­ing Garcinia Cam­bo­gia. Ac­cord­ing to many health ex­perts, it can re­duce ap­petite and help you lose weight, pretty much with­out ef­fort. Mmmm, weight loss with­out ef­fort… I see red flags al­ready. Even Dr. Oz has been tout­ing the ben­e­fits of it. He is an Amer­i­can TV doc­tor and one of the most fa­mous health “guru” in the world, if you re­late be­ing on TV to be­ing fa­mous! Last year, Dr. Oz fea­tured Garcinia Cam­bo­gia on his show. He seemed very ex­cited about it… he even used the word magic and said that it might be “the most ex­cit­ing break­through in nat­u­ral weight loss to date.” Now… I’m a big fan of sup­ple­ments and I am also fairly open minded and will­ing to ex­per­i­ment. I’ve per­son­ally ex­per­i­mented with thou­sands of dif­fer­ent sup­ple­ments through­out my life, al­though I am not sure why there is all the hype about Garcinia Cam­bo­gia. From my rec­ol­lec­tion it is not a new in­gre­di­ent it has just been re- kin­dled by Dr Oz. Given the rav­ing re­views about Garcinia Cam­bo­gia, I got ex­cited and de­cided to take a closer look at this sup­pos­edly mir­a­cle sup­ple­ment and the sci­ence be­hind it. Let’s start with the ba­sics.

What is Garcinia Cam­bo­gia?

Garcinia cam­bo­gia is a plant, also known as Garcinia gummi- gutta. The fruit of the plant looks like a small, green pumpkin and is used in many tra­di­tional Asian dishes for its sour fla­vor. In the skin of the fruit, there is a large amount of a nat­u­ral sub­stance called Hy­drox­yc­itric Acid ( HCA). This is the ac­tive in­gre­di­ent in Garcinia Cam­bo­gia ex­tract… that is, the sub­stance that ap­par­ently pro­duces the weight loss ef­fects.

Does Garcinia Cam­bo­gia Ac­tu­ally Work?

I man­aged to find sev­eral re­search stud­ies on Garcinia Cam­bo­gia, in both an­i­mals and hu­mans. Ac­cord­ing to some stud­ies in rats, it can in­hibit a fat pro­duc­ing en­zyme called Ci­trate Lyase, mak­ing it more dif­fi­cult for the body to pro­duce fat out of car­bo­hy­drates. Other rat stud­ies show in­creased lev­els of the neu­ro­trans­mit­ter sero­tonin. This could the­o­ret­i­cally lead to re­duced

ap­petite and crav­ings. There are ac­tu­ally a whole bunch of stud­ies in rats show­ing that Garcinia Cam­bo­gia con­sis­tently leads to sig­nif­i­cant weight loss ( 1). You can check some of these “Rat Stud­ies” on Pubmed or Google. How­ever, we are not rats ( well not all of us) and what works in rats doesn’t al­ways work in hu­mans. If we are bas­ing our sci­ence purely on the rat stud­ies, well …. the ac­tive in­gre­di­ent in Garcinia Cam­bo­gia can in­hibit a fat pro­duc­ing en­zyme called Ci­trate Lyase and in­crease sero­tonin lev­els, leading to sig­nif­i­cant weight loss. I re­peat – In rats!

Let's take a Look at Some Hu­man Stud­ies

For those of us that are not furry mam­mals I found sev­eral hu­man stud­ies on Garcinia Cam­bo­gia. All of these stud­ies are so- called ran­dom­ized con­trolled tri­als, which are the gold stan­dard of sci­en­tific ex­per­i­ments in hu­mans. The big­gest of the stud­ies in­cluded 135 over­weight in­di­vid­u­als, which were split into two groups ( 2): Treat­ment group: 3 grams of Garcinia Cam­bo­gia Ex­tract ( a to­tal of 1500mg Hy­drox­yc­itric acid) in three sep­a­rate doses, 30 min­utes be­fore meals. Placebo group: The other group took dummy pills ( placebo). Both groups also went on a high- fiber, low calo­rie diet. These were the re­sults of the 12 week study, which was pub­lished in The Jour­nal of The Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion ( a highly re­spected sci­en­tific

jour­nal): Heyms­field, et al. 1998 The re­sults showeds that both groups lost weight. But the group tak­ing Garcinia Cam­bo­gia ex­tract ac­tu­ally LOSLOST LESS WEIGHT ( 3.2 kg – 7 pounds) than the placebo group ( 4.1 kg – 9 pounds). Not a great out­come! The re­searchers also looked at body fat per­cent­age. The placebo group lost 2.16%, while the group tak­ing Garcinia Cam­bo­gia lost only 1.6%. Once again not the re­sult you would ex­pect from a won­der weight loss sup­ple­ment. How­ever, the dif­fer­ence was not sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant, mean­ing that the re­sults could have been due to chance. Yeah, a lit­tle like putting your money on black or red at the casino.

Let's look at a few more Stud­ies

In an­other study( hu­man) with 89 over­weight fe­males, Garcinia Cam­bo­gia did lead to 1.3 kg ( 2.8 pounds) more weight loss com­pared to placebo, over a pe­riod of 12 weeks. They found no dif­fer­ence in ap­petite be­tween groups ( 3). Ok, this is look­ing more promis­ing. An­other study also found that Garcinia Cam­bo­gia re­duced belly fat and re­duced blood triglyc­erides. How­ever, it did not cause ac­tual weight loss ( 4). Over­all, I looked at 4 more stud­ies. Two of them showed weight loss of a few pounds over a pe­riod of 8 weeks ( 5, 6), but the other two showed no ef­fect ( 7, 8). Ok, we are get­ting back to the red or black casino odds again. So… un­for­tu­nately, the weight loss ef­fects ap­pear to be both weak and in­con­sis­tent.

Let's keep dig­ging

A re­view pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Obe­sity in 2011 that looked at 12 clin­i­cal tri­als found that Garcinia Cam­bo­gia can in­crease weight loss by about 0.88 kg, or 2 pounds, on aver­age, over a pe­riod of sev­eral weeks ( 9). Their con­clu­sion sums it up quite nicely: “… Garcinia ex­tracts/ HCA can cause short- term weight loss. The mag­ni­tude of the ef­fect is small, and the clin­i­cal rel­e­vance is un­cer­tain.” The mag­ni­tude is small…. . It may cause a mild ef­fect in some people, but over­all the ef­fects are small and un­likely to make a ma­jor dif­fer­ence. Once again the sci­ence is not hold­ing up very well for this mag­i­cal fat buster. The facts: There have been many stud­ies con­ducted on Garcinia Cam­bo­gia in over­weight in­di­vid­u­als. Some of them show a small amount of weight loss, while other stud­ies show no ef­fect.

Is Garcinia Cam­bo­gia Safe?

It is im­por­tant to keep in mind that these stud­ies usu­ally only re­port av­er­ages. It is pos­si­ble that some in­di­vid­u­als can in fact lose weight with this sup­ple­ment, al­though it doesn’t seem to work very well for the aver­age per­son. One bonus, Garcinia Cam­bo­gia ap­pears to be safe. There are no se­ri­ous side ef­fects, only some re­ports of mild di­ges­tive is­sues ( 10).

Still not con­vinced?

If you want to try it out de­spite the poor re­sults in the stud­ies, then it is best to get a brand with at least 50% Hy­drox­yc­itric acid. The most com­mon dose is 500 mg, 3 times per day, half an hour be­fore meals. Buyer be­ware as the vul­tures come out af­ter a sup­ple­ment has hit Na­tional Tele­vi­sion…. They will try and sell you any­thing on­line. And in many in­stances the prod­uct you buy may not be of a high stan­dard.

If Garcinia Cam­bo­gia Doesn't Work, Then What Does?

I’ve been ac­tively in­volved in the fit­ness in­dus­try and re­search­ing sup­ple­ments for years, and have seen so many hyped prod­ucts hit the mar­kets. So many gu­rus and over- night know- it-alls try and pitch some dodgy prod­uct they have knocked up. The truth is good nu­tri­tion com­bined with a well struc­tured ex­er­cise pro­gram that in­cludes weight train­ing as a base and some car­dio is the best place to start.

If you are go­ing to add a few sup­ple­ments. I would sug­gest, Green Tea ex­tract, Forskolin, 7- Keto Dhea, Guarana and Yerba Mate. They are easy on the sys­tem but when com­bined seem to have a syn­er­gis­tic ef­fect. Just re­mem­ber they are ONLY use­ful once you have your diet and ex­er­cise in good or­der.

If I had to put an or­der of im­por­tance on a spe­cific aid to weight loss. Nu­tri­tion is num­ber 1, fol­lowed by ex­er­cise. I say this be­cause I have seen many folk work their butt off in the gym only to eat it all back on again once they get home.

Take Home Mes­sage

Stop look­ing for mir­a­cles that will re­place dis­ci­pline and a lit­tle hard yakka in the gym. Re­mem­ber your mouth will al­ways out run your legs!


1. Chronic (-)- hy­drox­yc­i­trate ad­min­is­tra­tion spares car­bo­hy­drate uti­liza­tion and pro­motes lipid ox­i­da­tion dur­ing ex­er­cise in mice. Ishi­hara K, Oyaizu S, Onuki K, Lim K, Fushiki T.

2. Garcinia cam­bo­gia ( Hy­drox­yc­itric Acid) as a Po­ten­tial ntiobe­sity Agent. A Ran­dom­ized Con­trolled Trial Steven B. Heyms­field, MD; David B. Al­li­son, PhD; Joseph R. Vas­selli, PhD; An­gelo Pi­etro­belli, MD; De­bra Green­field, MS, RD; Christo­pher Nunez, MEd

3. Ef­fects of (−)- hy­drox­yc­itric acid on ap­pet­i­tive vari­ables. Richard D Mat­tes-Cor­re­spond­ing au­thor con­tact in­for­ma­tion, Email the cor­re­spond­ing au­thor, Les­lie Bor­mann

4. Ef­fects of Long- term Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Garcinia cam­bo­gia ex­tract on Vis­ceral Fat Ac­cu­mu­la­tion in Hu­mans: A Place­bo­con­trolled Dou­ble Blind Trial.

5. Ef­fects of a nat­u­ral ex­tract of (–)- hy­drox­yc­itric acid ( HCA-SX) and a com­bi­na­tion of HCA-SX plus niacin- bound chromium and Gym­nema sylvestre ex­tract on weight loss. H. G. Preuss1,*, D. Bagchi2, M. Bagchi2, C. V. S. Rao3, D. K. Dey4, S. Satya­narayana5

6. Re­duc­tion of adi­pose tis­sue and body weight: ef­fect of wa­ter sol­u­ble cal­cium hy­drox­yc­i­trate in Garcinia atro­viridis on the short term treat­ment of obese women in Thai­land. Roong­pisuthipong C, Kantawan R, Roong­pisuthipong W.

7. Ef­fi­cacy of 12 weeks sup­ple­men­ta­tion of a botan­i­cal ex­tract-based weight loss for­mula on body weight, body com­po­si­tion and blood chem­istry in healthy, over­weight sub­jects--a ran­domised dou­ble- blind placebo- con­trolled clin­i­cal trial. Opala T, Rzym­ski P, Pis­chel I, Wil­czak M, Woz­niak J.

8. The ef­fects of 2-week in­ges­tion of (--)- hy­drox­yc­i­trate and (--)- hy­drox­yc­i­trate com­bined with medium- chain triglyc­erides on sati­ety, fat ox­i­da­tion, en­ergy ex­pen­di­ture and body weight. Ko­vacs EM, Westert­erp- Plantenga MS, Saris WH.

9. The Use of Garcinia Ex­tract ( Hy­drox­yc­itric Acid) as a Weight loss Sup­ple­ment: A Sys­tem­atic Re­view and Meta-Anal­y­sis of Ran­domised Clin­i­cal Tri­als Igho Onakpoya, Shao Kang Hung, Rachel Perry, Bar­bara Wider, and Edzard Ernst Penin­sula Med­i­cal School, Univer­sity of Ex­eter, Devon EX2 4NT, UK

10. n Vitro and In Vivo Tox­i­c­ity of Garcinia or Hy­drox­yc­itric Acid: A Re­view Li Oon Chuah, 1 Swee Keong Yeap, 2 Wan Yong Ho, 3 Boon Kee Beh, 4 and Noor­ja­han Banu Alitheen. School of In­dus­trial Tech­nol­ogy, Univer­sity Sci­ence Malaysia, 11800 Pe­nang, Malaysia

Fit­ness Model Ni­cole Spicer

Photo by Rob Bell

Fit­ness Model Adrian Lim Nat­u­ral Body­build­ing Cham­pion Graden Leong

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