Garcinia Cambogia: the key to weight loss
It seems that every week, there is a hot new supplement that is taking consumers by storm. Although some of these fail to live up to the hype, others are true powerhouses that can improve your health.
One trendy natural supplement that you may not have heard of is called garcinia cambogia.
Garcinia cambogia is a small, pumpkin-shaped, yellow or greenish fruit that’s found in Southeast Asia, India, and Africa. It has been used since a long time ago as a flavoring agent in various dishes and to preserve food.
Garcinia cambogia supplements are made from extracts of the fruit's peel .The extract is available in powdered or pill form.
The peel of the fruit contains high amounts of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), an active substance that has fat burning and weight loss properties.
In fact, garcinia cambogia is one of the best known natural weight loss supplements.
What are the benefits of garcinia cambogia?
Garcinia cambogia and weight loss
Many high-quality human studies have tested the weight loss effects of garcinia cambogia.
On average, garcinia cambogia has been shown to cause weight loss of about 2 pounds more than a placebo, over a period of 2 to 12 weeks.
A review of 12 studies found that participants who supplemented with garcinia cambogia containing 1000-2800 mg of HCA per day for 2 to 12 weeks lost an average of 1.94 pounds more than those who consumed placebo pills.
Another study followed 30 healthy but overweight people ages 21 to 50 over an 8-week period. All of the subjects consumed a diet of 2000 calories per day and walked for half an hour 5 days per week.
One group was given HCA and the other group was given a placebo. At the end of the study, the placebo group had lost an average of 3 pounds, but the HCA group had lost an average of 12 pounds, a whopping 400 percent more weight.
Their average BMI fell by 6.3 percent; in the placebo group, it fell only 1.7 percent.
There are two main ways that garcinia cambogia is thought to aid weight loss:
Garcinia cambogia blocks fat reduction and reduces belly fat
The main reason for these effects is that HCA blocks an enzyme called citrate lyase which plays an important role in the production of fat.
This enzyme is responsible for turning starches and sugars into fat. By blocking the enzyme, you are able to prevent carbohydrates from being stored as fat. Instead, the carbohydrates are converted into energy.
Importantly, garcinia cambogia also impacts blood fats and the production of new fatty acids.
Human and animal studies show that it lowers high levels of fat in your blood and reduces oxidative stress in your body.
Other research shows it is especially effective at reducing the accumulation of belly fat in people who are overweight.
In one study, moderately obese people took 2800 mg of garcinia cambogia daily for eight weeks and drastically reduced belly fat and improved several risk factors for disease.
Garcinia cambogia and appetite reduction
Human studies have found that garcinia cambogia suppresses appetite. The HCA in garcinia cambogia helps to send satiety signals to the brain, tricking you into thinking you are full.
Its mechanism isn't fully known, but rat studies suggest that the active ingredient in garcinia cambogia can increase serotonin in the brain.
Since serotonin is a known appetite suppressant, higher blood levels of serotonin help to reduce your appetite.
One study of 28 people demonstrated that garcinia cambogia was more effective at reducing appetite, increasing fullness and decreasing hunger than a placebo.
In another study the HCA group experienced an almost double boost in serotonin levels compared to the placebo group. Higher serotonin levels are associated with fewer cravings.
The researchers concluded that the most remarkable result of taking garcinia cambogia supplements was in appetite control. The placebo group had no change, but the HCA group had a 16 percent reduction in the amount of food they ate per meal.
Garcinia cambogia and mood
In addition to its role in weight control and hunger, Garcinia cambogia improves functioning in other areas of your life.
The release of serotonin triggered by HCA intake helps garcinia cambogia to improve your mood.
A lack of serotonin availability has been associated with major depressive disorder, indicating a connection between this neurotransmitter and mood.
Garcinia cambogia and sports performance
Garcinia cambogia is also marketed as a supplement that enhances athletic ability.
Researchers found that using garcinia cambogia or HCA helps to increase endurance levels during exercise, and stops you feeling exhausted too quickly.
Dosage per day
It is recommended to take 500 mg, three times per day and choose a garcinia cambogia supplement that contains 50 to 60% HCA. Take the supplement on an empty stomach, 30 to 60 minutes before each meal.
Why on an empty stomach?
It takes advantage of the appetite-curbing effect of the supplement and garcinia cambogia needs some space to work its magic. In the presence of food, HCA can bind to some of the components in the meal and can be inactivated.
The bottom line
Garcinia cambogia has been used for centuries and the fruit is safe to eat.
Taking a garcinia cambogia supplement suppresses fat accumulation, reduces appetite, improves mood and boosts sports performance.
And the main positive impact of garcinia cambogia is that is a perfect fat burner that helps you to lose weight naturally.