Every few years, a new supplement emerges on the market that is hailed as a weight loss miracle. Some of these herbs continue to remain popular because they do provide distinctive benefits for those trying to lose weight, while others quickly fade into obscurity when they turn out to be nothing but hype. Garcinia cambogia is the latest weight loss supplement to cause a stir, and thousands of people are trying it.
For best results:
What Is Garcinia Cambogia?Garcinia cambogia or Malabar tamarind is a fruit that grows in Southeast Asia. People who swear by it claim that it makes it easier to lose weight more quickly, while critics of the supplement feel that there just isn't any evidence that it works. One thing that is agreed upon by both camps is what nutrient in the herb is the potential weight lost booster. That substance is hydroxycitric acid or HCA.
What Does the Science Say?Here's a rundown on what the experts have established about HCA and what science has been able to establish and possibly disprove thus far:
- During the 1990s, a number of studies linked HCA with weight loss in animals. The researchers that conducted these tests concluded that HCA was responsible for the results.
- HCA seems to interfere with the actions of the enzyme citrate lyase, which the body uses to turn carbs into fat. By interfering with this conversion, HCA could potentially cause the body to use up carbs and sugars as an energy source rather than storing them as fat. As a result, exercising and dieting would result in more burning of stored fat, thereby causing faster weight loss.
- There is also evidence that HCA increases levels of the brain chemical 5-HTP, which is used to produce the mood-boosting chemical serotonin. Many experts believe this can help suppress appetite.
- A 1998 study that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that garcinia cambogia did not have the same benefits for humans that it did for laboratory animals.
- During the last decade, scientist Harry Preuss at Georgetown University in the U.S. has revisited the benefits of garcinia cambogia. He has approached the study of the herb in a new way by combining the herb with calcium, magnesium and potassium salts to improve the effectiveness of HCA. With the addition of these salts, human participants in Preuss' studies have seen weight loss results. In one study, those who used a garcinia cambogia supplement lost 400 per cent more weight than those who didn't.
The TakeawayBased on the most recent clinical evidence, garcinia cambogia does seem to offer real benefits for weight loss; however, only formulas that have the right additional nutrients and the right levels of HCA are likely to be effective.
For best results:
- Look for products with at least 50 per cent HCA.
- Select supplements that have potassium and magnesium in their formulas, not just calcium.
- Use the recommended dose. Preuss suggests 1.5 grams taken three times per day with a 50 per cent HCA product.
- Only take your supplement on an empty stomach.
- Time your dose about 30 to 60 minutes before each of your daily meals.
Written by Alex Mark