What is Garcinia Cambogia ?
Have you ever heard of this Asian/Indian/African plant? Its other names that might ring a bell to you are gambooge/gamboge, Garcinia gummi-gutta, brindle/brindall berry, gorikapuli, assam fruit, Malabar tamarind, uppagi, and mangosteen. If you have come across this fruit, then you must be searching for a solution for losing your weight.
It’s a good thing that nature offers its goodness to everyone, especially to the “overblessed”. With the existence of this fruit, overweight and obese people are given hope. The main question is, is it effective? In this article, we will explore the essentials of Garcinia cambogia.
Picture 1 : Garcinia Cambogia fruits seeds and leaves
Garcinia Cambogia Brand Names
- According to research, G. cambogia provides an additional protection from gastric ulcer by lowering gastric acid content and thickening of mucosal gastric wall that covers the stomach.  These actions are performed by the fruit’s component called garcinol. 
- It is used as a purgative. It is believed that G. cambogia has an antibacterial property.
- There is a little evidence that G. cambogia treats diarrhea and dysentery. 
- G. cambogia is found to be used for gastric/bowel complaints and diseases affecting the bile. 
- Research suggests that G. cambogia protects the liver cells. 
- It is known as an antioxidant, so it may be a factor which prevents cancer. G. cambogia extract can also be used as an astringent because of its antioxidant property. 
- It can be used to relieve edema and rheumatism. 
- G. cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA). There are studies concluding that this acidic content of the fruit mainly helps the rats (research subjects) to lose weight. 
Other Uses of Garcinia Cambogia
- G. cambogia has a sour taste. In ayurveda, this can be used to aid in the smooth peristalsis or movement of the digestive tract. 
- In Southeast Asia, it is used in fish curing.
- In India, curries are loved. G. cambogia is used as an ingredient in making curry.
Benefits + Mechanisms of Action Explained
- Fat Burner
Almost all, if not all, of the foods that we take in contain carbohydrates and fats. Carbohydrates are normally converted into fats if they are not immediately used by our body. Excess fat obviously makes you fat.
Garcinia cambogia intervenes with this process by stalling the production of an enzyme or catalyst, which speeds up chemical reactions in our body, called citrate lyase. Blockage of this enzyme makes the carbohydrates be utilized by our body in a faster pace, thereby not allowing the excess carbs to be converted into fats.  Furthermore, more fat deposits will be converted to energy . As this continually happens, fats will be burnt, then weight loss eventually follows.
- Appetite Suppressant
One way of G. cambogia to cause weight loss is to burn fats. Another way is to suppress the person’s appetite. But how can a plant suppress one’s appetite? Garcinia cambogia intensifies the serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is one of the hormones which manage the person’s appetite, mood, and stress . If serotonin levels are up, the appetite goes down. Less appetite means less food intake. Less food intake will lead to weight loss.
- Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels
Obesity is one of the major reasons why a person has an abnormally high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Since G. cambogia blocks off fats, blood pressure and cholesterol levels will also decrease.
- Healthy Gastrointestinal Tract
The fruit contains garcinol which gives a more protective covering to the stomach.  It does so by thickening the mucosal protective layer enough to prevent the stomach from ulcer due to its acidic nature. Additionally, production of gastric acid is also lessened.
- Better Physical and Mental Health
Since serotonin levels are high, the mood and overall mental performance is also improved. Boost in physical energy is observed because as explained earlier, more fats are converted into usable energy. Moreover, G. cambogia improves blood circulation. This will make the entire body receive more nutrients and oxygen, which are necessary for optimal health. G. cambogia is also believed to have antioxidant property which helps to renew our cells and prevent cancerous cells to develop. 
Also see – Dr Oz Garcinia Cambogia Video Review – click here
500-1,500 mg of Garcinia cambogia supplements must be taken thrice a day 30 minutes to 2 hours before meals. The dosage is based on the age, weight, and reason for taking it. 500 mg is taken if you only want to suppress your appetite. 1,500 mg is taken for all the other benefits to take effect. 
Individuals who use G. cambogia supplements must be patient enough to wait for salient effects of weight loss. He/She should not take more than 3,000 mg of it per day . Always remember that too much of anything can be bad and you may suffer some serious consequences.
Side Effects of Garcinia Cambogia
Though G. cambogia is a natural supplement, it also has side effects like all the other medicines. Very few observed side effects are as follows: 
- Gastrointestinal upset or discomfort
Precautions and Contraindications
- G. cambogia should only be used for 12 weeks or 3 months.
- This should not be used by women who are pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Why would you want to lose weight during these times? Think of the baby first. You’ll be depriving them of proper nutrition if you take weight loss supplements.
- Acetylcholine in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are purposely lowered by medications. These patients should not take G. cambogia because of this may increase the acetylcholine level in the patient’s brain, which antagonizes the “real” medications.
- G. cambogia decreases blood sugar levels so adjustments in the medications of patients with diabetes and hypoglycemia should be discussed with the physician.
- Patients with rhabdomyolysis (degeneration of skeletal muscles) should take weight loss supplements cautiously. 
- Jena, B. S.; Jayaprakasha, G. K.; Singh, R. P.; Sakariah, K. K. (2002). “Chemistry and Biochemistry of (−)-Hydroxycitric Acid fromGarcinia”. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 50 (1): 10–22.doi:10.1021/jf010753k. PMID 11754536.
- “The acid rinds of the ripe fruit are eaten, and in Ceylon are dried, and eaten as a condiment in curries.” Drury, Heber (1873). Garcinia gambogia (Desrous). The Useful Plants of India, second edition. (London: William H. Allen & Co., 1873) 220.