Garcinia cambogia (GC) is a smaller pumpkin-shaped fruit that grows in Southeast Asia and India. The main active ingredient found in Garcinia Cambogia is Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA), which some research suggests that it can help certain people lose weight.

Currently, there are about 14 separate HCA–containing products sold over-the-counter to consumers labeled as “Garcinia Cambogia.” Most people are frequently drawn to the idea of using GC because of the possible benefits that it can provide near-effortless, quick weight loss without the need to change someone’s overall diet or lifestyle very much.

GC itself is not a relatively new product; in fact, it’s been consumed in parts of Asia for many years, although not for the purpose of losing weight. Since GC (traditionally also known as the Malabar tamarind) began to gain popularity in the U.S. several years ago — after frequently appearing in the media and on popular health-related TV shows — sales have gone up dramatically. More and more people are purchasing this so-called “weight loss miracle drug” in hopes of losing stubborn body fat they’ve been struggling with for years.

But just like most other weight-loss supplements, pills and products, studies regarding GC’s effects and safety have been mixed. While there’s some evidence that HCA might be able to aid in weight loss even when someone does not often exercise or tweak their diet a lot, there is also some concerns regarding the side effects that can occur including liver damage or failure, anxiety, fatigue, dizziness and digestive problems. Although these side effects are sporadic, they can happen just like any other type of medication on the market.

Remember that just because GC is derived from a natural fruit doesn’t mean it’s always completely safe. So is Garcinia Cambogia ultimately worth trying? Let’s take a look at how HCA works, in what situations GC might be helpful, and what adverse reactions are possible when using any weight loss drug.

Finally, time and time again we see various products and diets being publicized to help boost weight loss.

Does Garcinia Cambogia Work?  What Some of The Studies Tell Us

Garcinia cambogia reviews show some research results and weight loss testimonials have been mixed, to say the least. By far the most well-publicized benefit of using Garcinia Cambogia is its ability to increase weight loss. Other claims that are commonly made about Garcinia Cambogia’s effects include:

  • slight loss of your appetite, or less of a desire for you to eat than usual
  • slightly reduced cravings for unhealthy foods, such as sugar addiction
  • a more positive mood this including feeling happier, more energetic and less tired
  • increase your energy and your concentration
  • stabilized your blood sugar levels
  • improved your bowel movements
  • reduced your joint pains
  • improved your cholesterol levels
  • a stronger desire for you to be physically active

Below are several benefits of Garcinia Cambogia that have some merit:

1. Weight Loss

Some studies have found that Garcinia Cambogia might, in fact, help you be able to help your with moderate amounts of fat loss, plus some of the other health concerns mentioned above, although its effects are rarely reliable or consistent. For example, research suggests that HCA works by blocking a particular enzyme called adenosine triphosphatase-citrate-lyase, which contributes to the formation of your fat cells. However, the evidence also found that some studies have shown digestive side effects like “gastrointestinal adverse events” were twice as common in HCA groups compared with a placebo effect! Results from various weight loss studies involving GC have been very mixed. The conclusion of the meta-analysis regarding Garcinia Cambogia? Researchers summed up their findings by saying that “the magnitude of the effects are small, and the clinical relevance is uncertain. Future research trials should be more rigorous and better reported.” The bottom line is that if you’re struggling to lose weight, GC most likely will be the answer.

2. Lowering Your Appetite

Studies have also shown that it is possible that HCA could be found in Garcinia Cambogia and can help reduce someone’s appetite by increasing the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is associated with calm, happy feelings and. Therefore, sometimes appetite suppression, fewer cravings and possibly reduce the desire for comfort foods. Keep in mind, however, that this isn’t the case with all people, and that there are other, potentially less-risky ways to manage your appetite better and boost your serotonin production. This, such as beating a balanced meal with protein foods and healthy carbs at regular times throughout the day.

3. Lower Your Cholesterol Intake

There is a considerable amount of support for Garcinia Cambogia being able to improve cholesterol levels and lower triglycerides. It might also be able to help raise HDL which is considered your good cholesterol. It’s not safe for anyone already taking medications that affect cholesterol, however, and its effects don’t seem to be very reliable or stable. Keep in mind that there are plenty of other natural ways to improve your cholesterol levels, by including exercising and eating more dietary fiber from high-fiber foods like veggies, nuts, seeds, and beans.

4. Stabilize Your Blood Sugar

Finally, what about CG’s effects on blood sugar levels? Some evidence exists showing that Garcinia Cambogia can help control your blood sugar levels by improving how cells take up glucose or sugar that is to be used for energy. One way in which it might improve weight loss is through inhibition of pancreatic alpha-amylase enzymes, changes in intestinal alpha-glucosidase and alterations in fatty acid synthesis. This might be able to change how carbohydrates are metabolized. GC might help your body respond to insulin better, although it could raise the possible risk for having some low blood sugar levels in people. If you have a previous history of blood sugar problems, you’re pre-diabetic, diabetic or taking medications that alter insulin’s effects, then GC might make your blood sugar drop dangerously low. While this doesn’t appear to happen in everyone who takes GC, it is something to consider.