Botanical: Garcinia cambogia
Family: Clusiaceae (mangosteens)
Other common names: Malabar Tamarind, Brindleberry, Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA), Gambooge,
Brindal Berry, Brindonia, Gorikapuli
Dieters take heart! In recent years, Garcinia has been greatly promoted as a natural way to lose weight. It is reputed to be a fine appetite suppressant, as well as decrease the rate of dietary carbohydrate conversion into fat and cholesterol, increase metabolism (which helps to burn fat), and elevate the body's production of heat (which may also increase caloric burning). In addition, Garcinia may promote sustained energy and use existing fat stores for energy during prolonged exercise.
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Garcinia is a fruit from one of a family of many handsome, tropical evergreen trees and shrubs called mangosteens that are native to India and southeastern Asia, Southern Africa and Polynesia. The tree bears deep green, glossy, elliptical leaves and produces small, reddish or yellowish, pumpkin-shaped fruits with a very sour taste, primarily because of their high hydroxycitric acid content (the rinds may contain thirty percent). The tree, which may thrive in poor soils, has been known in Asia for many reasons: It produces a brownish-yellow gum resin (xanthone) that is used commercially as a pigment, and it has also had some value in the timber industry. The fruit has also been used in Indian cuisines to flavor curries, preserve fish and as a condiment. It has also occupied a place in ancient Indian Ayurveda as a purgative and as an aid that activates digestion. Perhaps, most importantly, Indian tradition claimed that Garcinia made food seem more filling. The last property created interest in the herb, and in 1965, researchers identified a compound called hydroxycitric acid (HCA) that had a chemical structure similar to that of citric acid (the primary acid in citrus fruits), which may be of great value in weight loss programs and energy boosting regimens. Although most of the research into the herb has been conducted in laboratories, with no conclusive clinical trials to prove the herb's efficacy, continuing tests may hopefully reveal positive evidence. In Japan, Garcinia has been used to decrease body fat for years. Some of the constituents included in Garcinia are the all-important hydroxycitric acid (HCA), phenol, acetic acid, calcium, tartaric acid, succinic acid and carbohydrate.
Garcinia is growing in popularity as a natural and effective way to help in weight loss programs. In laboratory research, the herb is said to decrease the rate of dietary carbohydrate conversion into fat and cholesterol. It appears to interfere and slow the rate of action of a liver enzyme (ATP citrate lyase) that is needed to convert dietary carbohydrates into fat (and to store it), which may cause more fat to be eliminated from the body. Researchers claim that the herb causes a decrease in body fat, as well as fat buildup in the liver and adipose tissue.
By enhancing the body's production of glycogen, Garcinia is thought to promote sustained energy, as well as suppress the appetite. In addition, Garcinia may cause the body to use existing fat stores for energy during prolonged exercise.
Garcinia is further believed to suppress the appetite and thus reduce food consumption, because the hydroxycitric acid (HCA) content appears to raise the amount of serotonin in the body - the neurotransmitter that is also thought to affect the appetite.
Further supporting Garcinia's reputation as a weight loss supplement, the herb may stimulate the central nervous system and increase energy and metabolism (which helps to burn fat). It is also believed to elevate the body's production of heat by activating the process of thermogenesis, which may also potentially increase caloric burning.
New, unrelated studies have shown some promise with respect to Garcinia and its prevention and treatment of stomach ulcers in laboratory animals. Although the process was unclear, the HCA appeared to reduce the production of stomach acid, which is said to contribute to the development of stomach ulcers, and also to enhance the ability of the stomach lining to resist damage.
In Ayurvedic medicine, Garcinia has been used for many years as a cathartic and purgative to relieve bowel complaints. Moreover, it has also been used to activate digestion.
Pregnant and nursing women should not use Garcinia Herbal Supplement. Those who have been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus should consult their health care providers before using the herb, due to its glycemic action. Do not take more than directed, as hydroxycitric acid may be linked to hepatoxic effects.