Over the last several years, Garcinia Cambogia has received mixed reviews as a weight loss aid and appetite suppressant. Proponents of the supplement rave about its effectiveness. Yet detractors state that this fruit doesn’t offer the benefits that supporters claim.
These mixed messages can be quite confusing for even well-informed consumers and leave a health-conscious public shaking their heads in frustration.
However, examining this product’s history, the chemical properties that support its efficacy, and the recommendations for beneficial use will clear up the confusion and help those desiring to benefit from it make informed choices.
What is Garcinia Cambogia?
Garcinia Cambogia, also known as Malabar tamarind, is a small pumpkin-shaped, that can be green, yellow, or orange depending on how ripe it is.
This fruit can only be found in a few places around the world. In places like India, they commonly use Garcinia Cambogia in food dishes.
In the 1960s, scientists discovered that the rind of this small fruit contains an acid that is similar to the citric acid found in fruits that are native to the U.S.
This acid, called Hydroxycitric acid, or HCA, is the active ingredient that suppresses appetite and thus helps people lose weight.
How Does Hydroxycitric Acid Work?
Garcinia Cambogia has two beneficial functions that help people shed excess pounds. The primary way that HCA works is by blocking part of the enzyme citrate lyase. This enzyme helps the body convert sugars and starches into fats.
This process occurs when more sugar is consumed than is needed at any given time to metabolize cells. The extra sugar ‘energy’ is converted to fat as an automatic function and is stored for later use.
When a person routinely consumes more sugar than they need, then it is routinely rerouted to the storage facility (the fat cell), where it adds additional weight.
HCA diverts some of the sugar that would ordinarily be stored as fat and instead allows it to be burned off as food for the cells.
Suppressing Your Appetite
The second benefit of Garcinia Cambogia and HCA is an appetite suppressant. Dieters from old are probably quite familiar with stimulant appetite suppressants, like ephedrine, that work by increasing the body’s production of adrenaline.
Increased adrenaline initiates a person’s flight or fight response, a naturally occurring state that blocks hunger signals, as well as any other bodily function that isn’t needed for survival at that moment. While the flight or fight response does occur naturally, it is not intended to be sustained over time as it causes several changes in the body that are not advantageous for normal functioning.
For example, it can increase blood pressure, increase the heart rate, constrict blood vessels and dilate bronchial tubes; effects that can have serious implications for some people.
HCA does not work like a stimulant medication and does not have the same adverse effects. Although the appetite suppressant qualities aren’t yet fully understood, it is known that HCA contributes to increases in a person’s level of satiety (feeling full).
Which is the feeling of satisfaction that accompanies eating and feeling full. In other words, when taking HCA the feeling of being full and satisfied is present even when smaller than normal amounts of food has been consumed.
One nutritionist theorized that HCA may block hunger signals via a hormone that makes up the neurotransmitter, serotonin. Serotonin is present in the synapses of the brain and promotes feelings of happiness and contentment.
Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a common treatment for depression and anxiety that work by allowing more serotonin to remain in the synapses. Which are the spaces between neurons, where it works its magic.
Anyone taking SSRIs should talk with their physician before deciding to use Garcinia Cambogia as a weight loss aid.
Final Considerations: Should You Buy It?
Garcinia Cambogia is not a quick fix supplement; however, using it as it is intended, along with eating a healthier diet and exercising may boost weight loss efforts and help people stay motivated. Keep in mind that in order for an HCA supplement to work effectively that it must contain at least 60 percent HCA and contain potassium and magnesium to maximize results.
Research has shown that three doses of approximately 1.5 grams, taken 30 to 60 minutes before a meal optimizes the effects. There are few risks associated with using HCA as a weight loss aid, but it is always a good idea to talk with a physician when adding supplements to a health regimen.
If you are taking medications then you should definitely speak with your doctor first before taking. Informed physicians should be able to answer discuss up-to-date information so that any questions or concerns can be put to rest.