Saturday, December 3, 2011

Is Garcinia Cambogia Common?

Print this articleGarcinia cambogia, little known in the United States until recently, is becoming more common in health-food stores as a weight-loss supplement. Its main active ingredient in extract or supplement form is hydroxycitric acid. The banning of ephedra in diet supplements due to reported fatalities has made ephedra-free herbs such as Garcinia cambogia more attractive in the weight-loss market. Garcinia cambogia is not native to North America, and is not common in the wild on this continent.

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Also known as Malabar tamarind, the Garcina cambogia tree is native to India and southeast Asia with a fruit similar to a pumpkin in appearance. Garcina cambogia seeds contain approximately 50 percent oil. Over a dozen weight-loss supplements containing extract of Garcina cambogia are on the market as of July 2011. Its active ingredient, hydroxycitric acid, is also found in other tropical native plants.


Garcinia cambogia is primarily marked for weight reduction, which raises medical concerns in pregnant women regarding fetal size and development. For that reason, pregnant women or those trying to conceive should not take Garcinia cambogia. Because of the demand for weight-loss products, new supplements frequently appear on the market, many with anecdotal claims about efficacy. However, at the time of publication, there is no data confirming that Garcinia cambogia is effective for weight-loss purposes.


According to warnings on product labels, diabetic patients should not take Garcinia cambogia supplements. Pregnant or nursing women should also avoid it. Caregivers should not allow patients with dementia or Alzheimer's to consume Garcinia cambogia. Patients taking cardiac medication, including calcium-channel blockers, glycosides or any type of anti-arrhythmics should not ingest this supplement. According to the National Institutes of Health, there are no studies in available literature concerning these safety issues. As with any over-the-counter supplement, consumers should consult a physician before trying the product. People seeking to lose weight should also contact a health care provider about feasible choices in their individual situation.


At the time of publication, no clinical human studies substantiate the weight-loss claims made by Garcinia cambogia proponents. Several very limited trials did not include placebo groups or consisted of a small number of participants. In a three-month 1998 double-blind clinical trial with 42 patients and a placebo-controlled group, those taking 3,000 milligrams of Garcinia cambogia daily did not experience notable weight loss or loss of fat mass than those taking the placebo.

ReferencesNational Institutes of Health: Garcinia cambogia ExtractAustralian New Crops: Garcinia cambogiaNational Center for Biotechnology Information: The antiulcer activity of Garcinia cambogia extract against indomethacin-induced Gastric Ulcer in Rats.Web MD: Over-the-Counter and Herbal Remedies for Weight LossRead Next:

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