Whoever thought that a tiny, pumpkin-shaped fruit would take the supplement world by storm? This fruit called garcinia cambogia is native to Indonesia and also grows in West Africa, Southeast Asia and India. It has been used as an ingredient in Asian dishes like curries and chutneys. The liquid extract is used in soups, juices or teas. It is supposed to work as an appetite blocker and promote weight loss. The rind of the fruit is made into herbal supplements which have become the latest talking point in programs like ‘The Dr Oz Show’. The natural extract of garcinia cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid known for its ability to quicken weight loss.
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Garcinia Cambogia Extract for Weight Loss
Obesity is a health problem that comes with social stigma, serious health risks and higher mortality levels. This is a serious worldwide concern. According to the WHO, by the year 2015, there maybe 2.3 billion adults who are overweight around the world and of these 700 million will fall into the obese category. Many of the anti-obesity drugs available are expensive and out of range of the common man.
Many studies are underway to develop new anti-obesity drugs using herbs which may have fewer side effects, another problem of present day obesity drugs. Medicines using herbs and other natural products is not something new but has been used for centuries by the Chinese, in Ayurveda and other traditional medical systems.
Garcinia cambogia extract has been referred to as the ‘Holy Grail of Weight Loss’ by Dr Oz. This weight loss supplement has burst on the scene a little while ago and since then weight loss experts, nutritionists, dieticians and others have not been able to stop taking about this ‘Dual Action Fat Buster’.
There are 5 reasons why this is called all these names.
- It is a ‘fat blocker’ and does not allow fat cells to aggregate
- It controls cravings and acts as an appetite suppressant
- It decreases fat in the belly
- Increased serotonin levels balances moods in those who are emotional eaters
- It helps to keep Cortizol the stress hormone within manageable levels.
Garcinia Cambogia extract is said to work in two ways to help weight loss. It suppresses appetite and helps block fat formation. HCA is the hydroxycitric acid extract got from garcinia cambogia. This is said to inhibit production of citrate lysase. The citrate lysase enzyme is needed to manufacture fats using carbohydrates. The unused sugars and carbohydrates in the body are converted and stored as fat. When the production of citrate lysase is inhibited, this in turn reduces triglyceride levels, lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and halts the deposit of excess fat in the body.
Another benefit of garcinia cambogia extract for weight loss is that it increases levels of the neurotransmitter – serotonin. Serotonin is responsible for controlling moods. Low levels of this cause mood swings, depression, insomnia and stress. Emotional eating is a major cause of obesity. Many antidepressants target the serotonin levels in the brain. HCA in garcinia cambogia is able to increase serotonin levels naturally. Our mood improves and the urge to eat reduces. Eating less causes the body to release stored fat cells and leads to weight loss.
A Rapha diet® is a preparation that contains Garcinia Cambogia, silk worm pupa peptide, mango, raspberry, cocoa, green tea and white bean extracts. This anti-obesity diet was tested on mice to evaluate its efficacy. Male mice were fed a high fat diet which also contained 3% Rapha diet. At the end of the study period, it was found that there was an increase in weight, blood lipid levels and other parameters. However, Rapha diet® fed mice showed less weight gain and their blood lipid levels were reduced. This indicates that such a diet which also contains garcinia cambogia could reduce weight gain in obese mice.
Other reasons why garcinia cambogia extract can be given a try are that it is affordable. A bottle of 180 capsules can last for up to 60 days. While further extensive scientific research is needed, it could be given a try for weight loss since it is safe to use within limits. Being a natural extract, it contains no toxins and could be a natural way to lose weight.
While several of the studies about the efficacy of garcinia cambogia and HCA are proving that it could play an important role in weight loss, further extensive studies are required. All the studies have been very small and they have only demonstrated the short term benefits of this extract.
How much Garcinia Cambogia ?
Since this is a new product with very little scientific research, there is no specific dosage for any medical problem. Always ensure the garcinia cambogia extract you use contains 50% HCA. This should be displayed on the label. Make sure the product you buy has all the ingredients displayed prominently. It is recommended that 500-1000mg supplement be used before every main meal. It is generally adviced not exceed 3000mg.
Used within normal dosage levels, garcinia cambogia extract likely causes no side effects. The effects on pregnant and breastfeeding women are unknown, so they need to avoid it. Those taking medications for diabetes, cholesterol-lowering drugs like statin and anyone with progressive forms of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease are advised to avoid supplements with HCA.