Garcinia Cambogia: Is It Really Safe?

    January 17, 2014
    Tina Volpe
    Comments are off for this post.

The newest craze in weight loss supplements, Garcinia cambogia and GC Select is flying off the shelves in an all out effort to support weight loss for those seeking to drop those extra pounds.

The gambooge fruit, also known as the Malabar tamarind, ripens to a red or yellowish fruit about the size of an orange, but with more of a pumpkin shape.

Even the supplements containing this fruit are seeing record setting sales. But is this just another weight loss gimmick, or has it been proven effective and safe?

After being featured on the Dr. Oz show, this little miracle weight loss product promises success for dieters, which what made this little fruit so extremely popular.

This product, as described on the show, when combined with Hydroxycitric acid (HCA), is hailed as a “revolutionary fat buster. That just might be the most exciting breakthrough in natural weight loss to date.”

The Dr. Oz Show claims: Many studies have shown promise. One randomized placebo-controlled study followed 60 obese persons for 8 weeks. With a calorie-restricted diet (1200 kcal/day) and an HCA dose of 1320 mg/day, the experimental group lost an average of 14 pounds (compared to 6.1 pounds in the placebo group). The participants also noted reduced appetite.

Sounds intriguing if it is true, but what have others studies shown?

“Some studies have shown that HCA stops an enzyme that turns sugar into fat,” said Catherine Ulbricht, senior pharmacist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and co-founder of Natural Standard Research Collaboration, which reviews evidence on herbs and supplements.

If a drug company wanted to sell HCA it wouldn’t fly unless there was stronger evidence that first, the substance worked, and second, it underwent more rigorous clinical trials. As it is now, the HCA wouldn’t pass Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. However, the FDA is a bit more lax when chemicals are sold as nutritional supplements, as they don’t fall under the same burden of proof as pharmaceuticals. Further, supplement manufacturers only have to make products safe to eat and label them responsibly.

The FDA issued a safety warning in 2009 after receiving more than 20 reports of severe reactions, including liver damage from people taking Hydroxycut. At the time, Hydroxycut contained a Garcinia cambogia extract. The product also contained chromium polynicotinate and Gymnema sylvestre extract, so the liver damage cannot be specifically blamed on Garcinia cambogia extract.

Still, caution is suggested, as Garcinia cambogia does have other side effects – it may lower a person’s blood sugar, so it can interact with diabetes treatments. And the product hasn’t been adequately studied in pregnant women or women who breastfeed. Garcinia cambogia could also be a problem in Alzheimer’s or dementia patients, Ulbricht said.

Ulbricht’s suggestion those wishing to take this extract and supplements containing HCA should consult their physicians first.

Image via GHI

  • Bullbuster

    BullS#@t. Bulls@#t article by fake reporter. 1200kcals a day diet with it? I can eat 1200 kcals of ice cream and lose weight every day! Here is one for you … “Tests show with a 1200kcal/day intake, and when participants ate their own farts, they lost weight.”

    • gundagai

      You’re missing the point. The study wasn’t about whether or not you can lose weight on 1200kcal. The 1200kcal diet was the standard for two groups, one with HCA and one with a placebo. Whenever you do a study, you try to keep everything constant except for one thing (HCA vs placebo).

  • Jaime

    I like bananas and fruit juice. When I go to the store I buy many things. I once wore my shoes to the dance, but forgot my socks. In the morning when I drink coffee, I also ate a breakfast burrito. I don’t know who is looking at me from across the street while I write this but he make me nervous so I think I will stop now. take much care.

    • kiley


    • kiley


  • savkar arpha saheen khasim

    i wanna order this to lugansk state in ukraine county…i donno how can u plz send me the details

  • margie bbradley

    i have order two bottles and nothing happen i am so disappointed in it. i even order the detoxify.

    • Dpitre

      Margie, I tried this product about 6months to a year ago and it did nothing for me but I was on a anti depressant which is why I gained my weight. I got off of anti depressant about 5mo. ago and decided to try it again. It is working great, the number one side effect I have which has been great has been my blood pressure is great. I have gotten off my 3 blood pressure pills because my pressure is staying low (123/68)-(135/72) Great!