20+ Garcinia Cambogia pros & cons- You MUST know!
Garcinia Cambogia is one of the most popular weight loss supplement on the market, if not the #1 weight loss pill in the fitness world. Garcinia cambogia became wildly popular in 2012 when it was featured on Dr Oz show. Since then, the carcinia combogia sales sky rocketed and it became a must have weight loss supplement and whomever wanted to lose weight fast must take it.
The #1 reason why it became an instant hit is because it was not only promoted to make you lose weight on its own without any diet or exercise, but it was popularized by celebrities and health and fitness professionals.
Despite its popularity, till this day there is a mass confusion whether garcinia combogia actually works? Or is it one of the biggest scams out there?
To get a full picture of what does garcinia combogia really do and also, to clear up some of the confusion surrounding it, you have to look at the pros and cons of garcinia combogia and ultimately answer the very question that we are all asking which is: HAS CARCINIA COMBOGIA BEEN SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN TO WORK OR NOT?
To be able to answer that, you need to look at:
- The science behind garcinia gambigia.
- The benefits and drawbacks of taking garcinia cambogia.
- How much do you need to take to lose weight.
- What are the side effects of garcinia cambogia.
- Can you take garcinia cambogia on its own? Or Do you need to take it with other supplements to achieve its optimum effectiveness.
The bottom line is to give you a very clear idea on whether garcinia is safe and effective for weight loss and is it the right weight loss supplement for you?
Garcinia Cambogia is a tropical fruit
Being a native fruit of India, Southeast Asia, and West and Central Africa, Garcinia Cambogia has been a part of the diet of the people of these regions. Known as Malabar Tamarind, it has a bitter taste and it's a pumpkin shaped fruit. It gets ripen when it has red or yellow color.
Having the same family as mangosteen but being less popular, Garcinia is used in its dried form in the native countries. It’s dried under the sun and used to make chutneys, curries, and marmalade that help in dealing with the stomach aches. It is about the size of the grapefruit and is extremely beneficial when used in cooking and as a weight loss aid.
Garcinia Combogia PROS and CONS
The SCIENCE behind Garcinia Combogia?
There are numerous clinical trials that were carried out to prove the effectiveness of garcinia combogia's active ingredient (Hydroxycitric acid) on weight loss and appetite suppression.
A pilot study that was carried out in India concluded that garcinia combogia-derived hyrdoxycitric acid in combination with niacin-bound chromium and Gymnema sylvestre extract are effective and safe as a weight management supplement. They also added that Hydroxycitric acid is shown to suppress appetite and reduce fat synthesis in humans.
This study was carried at Georegtown University, Washington, USA, they went even further than the last study by concluding that garcinia combogia-derived hyrdoxycitric acid in combination with niacin-bound chromium and Gymnema sylvestre extract were able to suppress appetite, improve fat lipid profiles, increase liptin and serotonin level and decrease fat oxidation.
Mahidol University in Bankok, Thialand also concluded that garcinia cambogia was very effective for weight loss management.
Despite the fact that these trials were carried out on small group of volunteers but as you can see that the positive results were very consistent in all of the 3 studies. In the 3 studies, the volunteers lost considerable amount of weight using around the same dosage and 2 of these studies used a combination of garcinia and other supplements to achieve its maximum efficacy.
Both sides of the argument
There is no doubt that most people are very skeptical about garcinia and its weight loss effectiveness. And the argument originates from the fact that there are no large scale human trials to confirm or revoke the weight loss claims.
On the other hand, we cannot deny that there is some evidence that garcinia did work for the volunteers in the 3 studies that we mentioned above.
If you look closely at those studies you will learn that garcinia worked for those volunteers when certain conditions were followed, which I will talk about in more details next.
How to get the best out of Garcinia (for weight loss)
I just want to let you know that if you are serious about giving garcinia a try, then you need to follow certain conditions to get the best out of your weight loss management plan.
When should you take garcinia?
According to the trials that were carried out, the best time to take garcinia is 30-60 mins before each meal. Some suggest to take it 1 hour before each meal. I would definitely suggest that you take it 30 mins before meals for the first month and see how you feel. if you don't get the desired effectiveness, then try 1 hour before meals.
How much do you have to take ?
The dosage that was used in the human trials ranges between 2400mg-2800mg per day. I would highly recommend that you follow the recommended dosage to make sure that you are getting the optimum results.
Do you have to take it with other supplements or not ?
As you know that the individuals who got positive results used garcinia in combination with niacin-bound chromium and Gymnema sylvestre extract. To break it down, you will need 4mg of niacin-bound chromiun and 400mg of Gymnema sylvestre extract in combination with 2400-2800mg of garcinia per day.
How long do you have to take it for?
To be 100% certain that garcinia works or doesn't work, it's recommended that you use it for 2-4 months, then you will have a clear idea whether its worth it or not.
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How does Garcinia work inside our bodies?
The main mechanism of garcnia is that the active ingredient in garcinia (Hyroxycitiric acid) blocks the enzyme that's respponsible for making fat cells, which is citrate lyase.
Pros of Garcinia Cambogia:
When it comes to the benefits of garcinia cambogia, I decided to split them into:
- Benefits that were reported by clinical trials
- And benefits reported by real people who decided to try it themselves.
The reason for splitting the benefits into 2 different groups is to help you distinguish between what science and people had to say about garcinia.
Benefits of Garcinia Cambogia (clinical trials)
1. Appetite suppression:
The Garcinia Cambogia extract was reported to be very effective at suppressing your appetite and cravings. Hydroxycitric acid has been proven to increase the levels of seretonin which makes you feel full and and lessens your cravings.
2- Increasing serum leptin levels
Leptin is responsible for:
- Letting you know how much fat is in your body.
- Increased leptin levels leads to suppressed appetite and diminished cravings.
- Increased leptin levels also regulates your body fat breakdown.
- High leptin levels increase your body's metabolic rate, which can help in burning more calories.
I think it's pretty evident that increasing your leptin levels will not only help you lose weight but also, it will have a huge impact on your overall well-being.
3- Increasing Serotonin levels in the brain- Less stress more happiness
Serotonin is responsible for keeping your stress and anxiety in check. As emotional eating can lead to serious weight increase, so it is essential to reduce the level of stress in your body. As it has been mentioned before that hydroxycitric acid plays a vital role at increasing serotonin levels in the brain , which can lead to a more balanced mood, less stress and less cravings .
4- Increasing fat oxidation- Using fat for energy
Increasing fat oxidation can help us break down fat cells and increase our energy levels. The exact mechanism that garcinia uses to accomplish that is unclear, so we definitely need more trials to back these claims up.
5- Lowers cholesterol (Animal trials)
Some clinical trials on mice have shown that garcinia was able to lower triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (good cholesterol).
6- Lowers insulin levels (Animal trials)
Garcinia has shown to lower insulin and makes it easy for the body to utilize glucose, which garcnia can be a safe alternative to drugs to keep blood sugar at bay.
Benefits of Garcinia (Real people reviews)
When I was looking at people's reviews and what they have to say about the benefits of carginia, I got the sense that so many loved it and they can't recommend it enough and on the other hand, there are so many people who felt it was a scam.
Let's look first at the people who really liked and see why would they recommend it?
1- Increased energy levels
So many people have stated that their energy levels have dramatically increased since they started taking garcinia and that's probably due to an increase in serotonin and leptin levels, which will automatically help your body have more energy due to decreased stress levels and an increase in metabolic rate.
2- Suppressed appetite
The other thing that I came across quite often is how garcinia was very effective at curbing people's cravings and especially between meals, where we usually tend to snack on unhealthy snacks. Again, serotonin and leptin are proven to be very effective at suppressing your appetite and curbing your cravings.
3- Losing weight
If you start to have bundles of energy and you're less hungry, then sooner or later your body will start to respond positively and will eventually burn the excess fat.
4- Gets rid of your bloating
Some people reported that garcinia helped them control their bloating. If you are consistently getting bloated, then garcinia might help you with that too.
Now let's see what people didn't like about it?
Some people said that they started to get headaches when they took garcinia.
Rash is another side effect that you might get if you decide to give garcinia a try.
The probability for you to get headaches or rash from taking garcinia is very rare but it's a possibility and just keep this thought in the back of your head just in case you get one of these side effects while you are taking it.
The biggest issue with garcinia cambogia
The biggest issue with garcinia is the quality and the purity of the actual supplement itself. Since the day garcinia exploded into the scene and became the most popular weight loss supplement, its sales sky rocketed and most companies started to make a cheap quality garcinia that contained a very small amount of the active ingredient (Hydroxycitric acid).
There's no doubt that there are so many scammers that wanted to get a piece of the pie and get rich fast selling fake and a very low quality garcinia supplement. That's why it's important that you thoroughly research before you buy any garcinia supplement and make sure that you get the highest qaulity and the highest percentage of hydroxycitric acid.
As I said earlier on, making sure that you are getting the right garcnia supplement is the most important step. Following the instructions that were implemented by the human trials will give you the best chance to get the best out of your weight management plan.
There are so many supplements on the market that don't take all those conditions into consideration like:
- Garcinia must be taken with chromium and Gymnema sylvestre extract.
- Taking the right dosage for each one of these supplements or at least close to the recommended dosage can make a big difference.
Should you change your diet and exercise while taking garcinia or not?
I'm the biggest diet and exercise advocate. Diet and exercise are the foundation of good health and well-being. But I also believe that there are certain things that you can incorporate into your lifestyle that can help you get the best out of your weight loss regime and garcinia might be the solution or part of the solution to reach your weight loss goal faster.
Cons of Garcinia Cambogia:
I do solemnly believe that every supplement and drug on the market has some type of a drawback and side effects. There's no doubt that we all respond differently to foods and drugs in general. Therefore, It's really important for each and every one of us to do their thorough research before we try any supplement, natural or not.
1. Don't take it if you have kidney or liver disease
It's recommended to not take garcinia if you are suffering from any kidney/liver diseases.
2. Don't use it during pregnancy and breastfeeding
It is not advised it be used during pregnancy as it increases the motility of the GIT. It is not safe for the fetus as well so it is better not to be used during pregnancy.
3- It can interact with diabetic medications
Since it has been shown to lower blood sugar, it's strongly advised against taking garcinia, if you are diabetic. You can either stay on your diabetic medications or replace them with garcinia for a week or 2 and monitor your diabetes and see if your blood sugar levels improve or not.
4- Might interact with iron supplement
It can interact with iron supplements/drugs. This is absolutely normal for supplement and drugs to interact with iron and the best thing to do is to not take them at the same time and take them at different times.
5- Might interact with cholesterol medications
There's no conclusive evidence that it interacts with cholesterol medications but to be safe, it's advised to consult your doctor prior to taking garcinia.
6- Might interact with pain medications
Consult you doctor as it can interact with pain medications.
7- Might interact with blood thinning drugs
Consult you doctor as it can interact with blood thinning medications.
8. Alzheimer’s disease:
Garcinia Cambogia is also recommended to be not used by people who have Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The causes are unknown but the dopamine-serotonin synergistic issues are being studied to check their effect.
9. Becoming fuzzy or weak
Loss of fat from the body along with lower sugar levels can make any person weak. But a person who is using Garcinia Cambogia to lose weight can become frail and weak easily.
10. Loss of immunity
Skin rashes and increase in catching colds/lower immune function are also common with Garcinia Cambogia.
11. Dry mouth and bad breath
They are among the common side effects of Garcinia Cambogia. Some people who don't eat for several hours during the day tend to develop bad breath and dry mouth.
I guess the biggest question that we are all asking ourselves is not whether garcinia is fake or whether it helps with weight loss, but we are probably wondering if garcinia will work out for me?
Unfortunately, the only way to find out is to try it yourself following the precise instructions and then and only then, you will have a clear idea if garcinia is right for you or not.