When trying to lose weight, it can be very tempting to consider using supplements that promise to help get results more quickly. These include a variety of ‘fat burning’ options that claim to raise the metabolism and thereby provide a shortcut to great abs.
But you know the old saying: if it sounds too good to be true… it probably isn’t.
There are some serious issues surrounding the use of Garcinia Cambogia, so let’s take a look at a few of them here.
Garcinia Cambogia is a fruit from Southeast Asia and India that is shaped a little like a pumpkin. Like so many modern ‘miracle cures’, the fruit has been consumed as part of traditional medicine for many years (though not as a weight loss aid, interestingly).
Garcinia Cambogia contains an active ingredient called hydroxycitric acid, which is what is believed to increase metabolism and help with fat burning. It is also thought to decrease the appetite, improve the mood, boost energy, encourage bowel movements and reduce inflammation. It has even been credited as creating a ‘strong desire for physical activity’. Wouldn’t that be nice!
It is thought that at least some of these benefits occur as a result of HCA blocking an enzyme called adenosine triphosphate-citrate-lyase, which is involved in the formation of fat cells.
What the Science Says about Garcinia Cambogia Extract
The risk here is to assume that just because something is ‘natural’ that it must be safe. A modern distrust for science and medicine leads many people to this harmful belief system, but of course there are plenty of natural ‘drugs’ that can be incredibly harmful in a number of ways. And you think that providers of natural supplements aren’t trying to make money off you as well?
In this case, the studies unfortunately just don’t back up the claims. Several studies comparing the effects of Garcinia to control groups found that it increased weight loss by only one to two pounds over a long period. One study looked at 12 different trials and found only very minimal effects.
That said, some will consider it a win that there was any effect found at all. And there is some evidence to suggest that GC could be effective in improving blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
The problem is that in this case, the marginal benefits do not outweigh the risks.
Overuse of GC is well known to lead to liver damage for instance. And simply following the instructions provided by supplement manufacturers will classify as ‘overuse’ in many cases.
On top of this, other common side effects include:
- Weakness and ‘fuzzyiness’
- Brain fog
- Dry mouth
- Digestive problems
- Weakened immune system
It also comes with a long list of drug interactions, so you should definitely check in with your physician before starting this supplement.
In short, most people would be well-advised to stay away from this particular remedy. There are plenty of other natural options that have been shown to have considerably more impressive results, without the many risks. Good options to start with include Curcumin, Inositol and Forskolin.