Garcinia Cambogia

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What Is Garcinia Cambogia?

Garcinia is a tropical plant that presently grows naturally on the islands of Indonesia. 

Garcinia is also known by the local names Malabar Tamarind, Indian Strawberry, and Bitter Kola.

​Garcinia currently grows throughout Southeast Asia and parts of Africa. 

​The most used part of the plant is the fruit that looks like a small "zucchini" with a diameter of 5 cm. Depending on the type of fruit, colors may vary. 

The taste is usually acidic.

 ​Garcinia finds its place both in traditional cuisine and in traditional medicine. 

As a spice to food, Garcinia is widely used in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Burma, India, and Sri Lanka. In India Garcinia is used in curry.

​In Ayurvedic medicine, it is considered that the acid taste improves the digestion and usually, Garcinia is used in combinations for intestinal and stomach problems.
How Does Garcinia Act?

Although it is a popular spice in Eastern cuisine, there is little evidence of its medical properties. 

The use of Garcinia Cambogia is associated mainly with fat burning and due to this effect, it is advertised on the show of Dr. Oz, a showman who successfully promotes also other means of losing weight, such as raspberry ketones and acai berry.

​However, he is dealing with more marketing approaches than with a scientific basis. 

The useful properties of Garcinia are related with the main active ingredient in the fruit - hydroxycitric acid, known by its abbreviation HCA. 

​The main mechanism of action is the ability of HCA to block the enzyme citric acid lipase that is responsible for the formation of fatty acids - a process that is also called de novo lipogenesis.

In practice, this is an enzymatic process that converts carbohydrates into fats. 

HCA also blocks the enzymes alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase, which are also responsible for the processing of carbohydrates.

It has been found that HCA reduces the release of the hormones insulin and leptin because it mimics the leptin. HCA inhibits some adipokines like adipsin.

Up to 18% of orally taken HCA gets into the bloodstream, as it is considered that HCA has a relatively high bioactivity.

In practice, it is difficult to determine how strong actually the effectiveness of HCA to burn excess fat in the body is. 

Observations have concluded that Garcinia may be more effective on animals, or may exhibit a strong synergistic effect with certain supplements.

According to some experts, Garcinia is not a weight loss product, but its main purpose is to block the accumulation of carbohydrates as fats, making it pure carbohydrate blocker.

Garcinia Cambodia is also rich in the phenol xanthohumol and several of its isomers. 

The same phenol is contained in hops and beer and allegedly it has potential anticancer properties. 

​Other concentrated phenols are garcinol and cambogin.

Calcium and potassium are among the most abundant macronutrients.
Potential And Proven Benefits On People​

One of the main advertised properties of Garcinia is its ability to control the appetite. At this stage there no human studies proving this effect. The only study with a negative result is done on a group of women. Despite the weight loss, there has been no decrease in appetite observed;

Garcinia helps increase the red blood cells. This may be due to the high content of iron in the seeds;

Taking 500 mg of Garcinia with a portion of carbohydrates after exercise strengthens the re-synthesis of glycogen in the muscles;

A number of sources claim that Garcinia affects the hormones testosterone and estrogen. At this stage, research on the intake of 1000 mg HCA daily haven’t established any effect;

Garcinia has a slight diuretic effect and there are a number of benefits for the function of the bladder and kidneys. Garcinia protects the kidneys from strong oxidative stress during high consumption of sucrose, as it successfully regulates the levels of urea and creatinine;

While in animals HCA demonstrates its ability to reduce fat, human studies show the contradictory. Some studies do not indicate any effect, while others indicate a weak to a moderate effect. The efficiency may be associated to a large extent with the dose because in the positive studies were used doses of 2400 mg of Garcinia. It has been found that intake of Garcinia within the period of 12 weeks results in 50% more fats burned, compared to the placebo group. Despite the solid percentage the difference within a month is only 400-450 grams of fats in favor of the group with HCA;

A Japanese study has found that the long-term intake of HCA does not drastically reduce weight in both sexes, but significantly lowers the percentage of visceral fats around the abdomen. The percentage of the reduced fats depends largely on the original cause of the fat accumulation, as individuals, who have often overeaten, show a higher result;

Several studies have used Garcinia as part of a natural stack for burning fat.