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Introduction to Garcinia Cambogia
Presently there is a plethora of “miracle” supplements and drugs that claim to help you lose weight fast. The claims are the reason why such products end up in medicine cabinets all over the world. A product that has received praise from various experts and TV personalities such as Dr. OZ is garcinia cambogia. Getting information about it is the only way you can decide whether or not it will help you lose weight.
What is garcinia cambogia?
It is a citrus fruit that mostly grows in Southeast Asia. HCA (hydroxycitric acid) is an extract from the fruit’s rind. Garcinia cambogia has historically been used for cooking, and also weight loss. You can find it in majority of supplement and health stores both online and offline. Usually it is in the form of powder or pills.
Advocates say that organic acid HCA works by making the user feel full, affecting their metabolism and reducing their appetite. These effects have made many people to herald it as a natural weight loss miracle. Some say it may also enhance athletic performance or improve high cholesterol. There is a long list of garcinia cambogia benefits. Some of these benefits have been found to be true while the rest are either false or a stretch of the truth. Some of the claims are discussed below:
1. Makes you feel full
An extensive review of existing studies and research on garcinia cambogia has determined that there is a possibility of the supplement making the user feel full and experience a reduced appetite. Rodent studies showed positive results in this respect and some human studies replicated the results.
2. Reduces body weight
Existing evidence has shown that garcinia cambogia can facilitate weight loss. Weight loss supplements using the fruit’s HCA extract showed that there was a decrease in fat mass or some weight loss when users consumed the supplement over a period of 12 weeks. However, the users had to be on a diet and exercise program for the supplement to show significant results.
3. Speeds metabolism
There is evidence that suggests supplementing with garcinia cambogia can have an influence on fat metabolism. A number of studies have shown that both human and mice experience heightened fat metabolism when they supplement with HCA.
4. Athletic performance enhancement
According to one study, garcinia cambogia had the ability to increase the time people reach exhaustion during exercise. Another study using mice showed similar results. The conclusion was that HCA was able to enhance endurance during running.
Garcinia Cambogia Side effects
Apart from knowing how well a supplement works, you will need to know its potential side effects. There are mild side effects reported by people who have used garcinia cambogia. They include diarrhea, upset stomach, dry mouth and dizziness. With this in mind, there are some factors you should take into consideration when deciding whether to use a weight loss supplement such as garcinia cambogia.
HCA, as with all weight loss supplements, could interact with medications you take. Be sure you talk to your doctor before starting on any HCA supplement. Make sure you tell them about all medications you consume. These include all over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs and other supplements.
One of the things that attract people to garcinia cambogia is it comes from a fruit, which males it “natural”. All the same, this does not mean it is completely safe. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recommends using caution especially with any product that uses the term “natural”, promises fast weight loss and claims to be a quick fix. Natural should not be misunderstood to mean safe. For example, poison ivy is a natural plant, but there is nothing safe about it. Many plants are actually medications themselves or interfere with medication.
More importantly, garcinia cambogia and other dietary or weight loss supplements are not studied or approved by the FDA before they can be sold on the open market. Additionally, companies that make supplements are allowed to state their products support normal body functions if they have a disclaimer saying that the FDA did not evaluate the statements. In simple terms, supplements using garcinia cambogia have not undergone rigorous testing for safety, purity, quality or effectiveness.
Possible liver complications
A product containing garcinia cambogia was recalled by the FDA in 2009 because it was discovered it caused liver problems. Since then research has been conflicted with some finding a link between liver damage and garcinia cambogia and other research finding no link. It is therefore wise to discuss the risk with your primary physician.
Long term use
A review of research and studies on HCA has determined that there are very few studies that have looked at prolonged use of garcinia cambogia. This means there is lack of sufficient evidence that ensure it is effective and safe for long-term use.
The danger of scams
People believe that as long as it is free there is no harm, right? In fact, free trials of products claiming to help you lose weight quickly may present more harm than you thought possible. From extra charges to surprise shipping fees for products you did not know you ordered such trials may end up costing you money. Check out the federal trade commission on tips on how you can avoid scams.
What people say
People who have used garcinia cambogia supplements are the best to get information about it. Since people started using it in mass from around 2010, there have been a lot of reports of the supplement’s success. Some athletes have even stated it has made them perform better. However, there are some people who have reported side effects arising from its use. Keep in mind that any product manufactured and on sale will affect people differently. This is why it is always important to consult with your doctor before you use any supplement. All in all, garcinia cambogia has gained a lot of praise and positive feedback from majority of users. This may be the reason why it is popular in the United States, and is gaining popularity in other parts of the world.
According to the FDA, all products, whether man-made or natural, that has the strentgh of working like a drug is able to create side effects. The FDA therefore recommends a consultation with your doctor before you add a weight loss or dietary supplement to your weight loss plan. They will be the best people to inform you whether the product may be worth a try or harmful. The best weight loss approach is consuming less calories and fat. Choose to burn calories with activity and consume non-processed, whole foods.
Gina Bradwell is a bodybuilder, personal trainer, freelance writer, strength coach and author of “Overweight to competitive bodybuilder.” She has written thousands of articles on anabolic chemistry, dieting and health.