Garcinia Cambogia: Side Effects, Health Claims and Benefits

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What Is Garcinia Cambogia?

Ever heard of Malabar Tamarind, Brindal Berry, Garcinia Gummi-gutta, Kankusta, Virkshamla or Tamarind Fruit? If yes, all are simply different names of Garcinia Cambogia. It is a light greenish yellow tropical fruit that resembles pumpkin in shape. It belongs to the plant family called Guttiferae and was first grown in Indonesia. Now it is not only grown in Indonesia but West Africa, South East Asia and Malaysia.

The rind of this fruit is where the Garcinia Cambogia extract comes from. It has been a part of Southeast Asian culture and cuisine since centuries. It has been added to cuisines to give them a sour flavor. It was used not only as flavoring agent in fish, meat, curries and cutneys but had also been utilized to treat many health problems. Some recent studies have shown that this extract consist of health benefiting element like calcium, hydroxycitric acid, and potassium which are bound to improve health in different ways. It is particularly the skin that is full of the biologically active ingredient Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA).

Recently Garcina cambogia has gained popularity as it is known to help in weight loss. It has been known to be search by about 1 million people on google every month. This compound has the ability to prevent fat production particularly the fat that results from excess dietary calories like that of carbohydrates. Furthermore, it can also reduce your appetite.

Health Claims of Garcinia Cambogia:

1- Weight loss

Weight loss is a struggle for millions of people around the world and they look for miracles and easy gimmicks to aid them to achieve their target weight. The super fruit Garcinia Cambogia has received much attention because of it weight loss attributes.

  • The consumption of the fruit results in depleted cravings and suppresses hunger when the chemical compound contained in the fruit called Hydroxycitric acid simply helps in becoming and obstacle in the production fat accumulating enzyme called citratelyase.
  • It aids in raising the level of hormones called serotonin which makes one feel full and less hungry.

However there’s no significant result as stated by the scientist to prove the above mentioned facts. There has been more hype than actual results on the table. A study conducted revealed that people who took the super fruit lost 2 more pounds than those who didn’t but it remain ambiguous whether the extra shed pounds were because of work-out or diet control.

Another study which was published in JAMA claims a similar result. There wasn’t any prominent consequence reported. One group was given the high-fiber and low fat diet along with the supplement of the Garcinia Cambogia while the other group was only given the high-fiber and low fat diet. The results were not as astounding as expected and the study showed there wasn’t any gigantic weight-loss as claimed.

2- Lowers Cholesterol Level

It is also said that the Garcinia Cambogia fruit helps in lowering the bad cholesterol one suffers from after consuming an unhealthy diet or simply one may have it as it runs in the family. Taking one supplement a day may help in curtailing the level or LDL and triglycerides and raise the level of HDL(good cholesterol) in return.

3- Diabetes

Diabetic patients also rely somewhat on this miracle fruit as it’s also known for helping the body to absorb glucose which is necessary for gaining energy. However one who takes medication should be more cautious and vigilant as it may lower the insulin level far too much.

A study was conducted on two sets of mice. One set received Garcinia Cambogia and the one set didn’t. The ones that got the Garcinia Cambogia revealed lower level of insulin.

4- Enhances Metabolism

Metabolism is a process that takes place in our body when we consume food and drink. It is further broken down to release energy which is incumbent for the body to function properly. Metabolic process is basically a chain of chemical reaction that makes the body remain in a constant state of imbalance. The HCA in Garcinia Cambogia extract aids in balancing the reactions and making the entire metabolism process efficient. Slow and fast metabolism is often related to gaining and losing weight so it’s necessary for the body to maintain a good metabolism rate. The consumption of Garcinia Cambogia fruit can help in attaining a good metabolism.

5- Aids Immunity

Garcinia Cambogia contains Vitamin C which is also called an immunity booster. It helps in fighting against the diseases like common cold, flu and infections. Taking the supplement had been fruitful for many.

6- Super Fruit for the Super Athletes

The super fruit assists the athletes to become super by making them less tired. Consumption may help by increasing the time of getting fatigued.  It’s basically the hydroxycitric acid which is the key ingredient of the fruit that provides athlete the strength and endurance they need. A study conducted on mice proved the same result.

Can Garcinia Cambogia Help with Depression?

The active ingredient, the HCA, which is present in the skin of Garcinia Cambogia has been known to elevate the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is also termed as a happiness hormone as it is known to enhance the mood. Therefore, HCA helps to naturally regulate the mood.

According to studies, when the level of serotonin reduces, it triggers sleep disorders, anxiety and depression. This is the prime reason that many antidepressant medicines consist of serotonin boosters that makes the patients get a sense of mental and emotional stability making them more focused, less anxious and more energetic. If you want to treat depression or anxiety, it will just require one capsule of Garcinia Cambogia 2 times a day taken half an hour before meal. However, it is always better to consult a doctor before you start taking it.

What Are the Side Effects of Garcinia Cambogia?

Anything taken in excess makes you pay a cost. Moderation is a pathway to health and bliss. Similarly, the maximum intake per day of Garcinia Cambogia is 3000mg. Taking it more than 3000 mg will result in adverse effects which otherwise is known to not have any kind of side effect. Over dosing may result in:

  • Head ache
  • Nausea
  • Digestive tract problem
  • Dry mouth

There isn’t much known about the long term usage of Garcinia Cambogia. The studies that are there have only consumed Garnicia Cambogia extract for 12 weeks. So it is highly advisable that you quit using it after 12 weeks of regular usage or take an advise from a doctor. Nursing woman or pregnant ladies should definitely not use it because of lack of information on it. It is better not to take any risks during such sensitive stages. You should also avoid it if you have kidney or liver problems.

Garcinia Cambogia is known for antidepressant property, cholesterol lowering quality, and being antiglycemic. You should take an advice of a doctor if you are taking medicines for high cholesterol levels, Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, or Diabetes in order keep yourself from any harmful interactions with the medicine you are taking for such health issues.

Garcinia cambogia has been known to interact in a harmful manner with:

  • Diabetes medicines even the insulin and pills
  • Iron taken for Anemia
  • A blood thinner by the name of Warfarin
  • Pain medicines
  • Drugs that lower cholesterol like statins
  • Medicines used for psychiatric conditions
  • Allergy and asthma medicines like Singulair and Accolate

Is Garcinia Cambogia safe?

Although Garcinia Cambogia is generally safe but it poses risk under certain conditions. Depending on the diet and lifestyle you are leading, Garcinia Cambogia lowers the amount of new fat that your body keeps making. It particularly keeps a check on fat that comes from fructose and sucrose. If you plan on using it for longer time period, do consult your doctor.

If you are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, or you are nursing or pregnant woman, Garcinia Cambogia extract is not meant for you. It even reduces the effectiveness of chemotherapy in people who are inflicted with cancer. It is known to interact adversely with certain medicines.

Final Word!

General conception is that since it is a natural occurring fruit no matter how much you take there isn’t going to be any side effects but that’s not the case. It has been testified via experiments conducted that it does exhibit quite some side effects. A study also mentions it if you are taking the supplement, then make sure not to take it beyond 12 weeks to avoid adverse effects.

Moreover, apart from its benefits, it’s an over hyped product for weight-loss purposes as there aren’t much scientific data available to verify the claims. If it’s a gimmick or not, it’s for sure in your hands to decide but whatever you do make sure that you are aware of the side-effects and drop using it if you experience any. It’s necessary to conquer all kind health quackery as the very ancient saying “Prevention is better than cure”, sets to be truest of all.

Resources:

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-818-garcinia.aspx?activeingredientid=818&activeingredientname=garcinia
http://www.drugs.com/npp/garcinia-hydroxycitric-acid.html
http://www.livescience.com/39243-garcinia-cambogia-supplement-facts.html
http://supplementpolice.com/garcinia-cambogia/

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Salwa Ahmed
Salwa Ahmed is a professional writer who writes for several blogs and magazines. She writes about various topics from Health and Beauty to Fashion and Technology. You can learn more about her, follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

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