Thursday, August 8, 2013

Garcinia Cambogia/ HCA.. the new weight loss wonder pill?

Thanks to Dr Oz we have been inundated with questions regarding his latest weight loss miracle herb... Garcinia Cambogia.  So what is this herb, how does it work and most importantly... does it work??

What is Garcinia?

Garcinia Cambogia is a small, pumpkin-shaped fruit, sometimes called tamarind. Though native to Indonesia, it is also grown in India, Southeast Asia, and West and Central Africa. It has long been used in traditional South Asian dishes, including curries and chutneys. Many also use the fruit for curing fish and preservation.

Adding this ingredient to meals is considered to be effective in making meals more “filling.” In some villages in Malaysia, Garcinia is used to make a soup that is eaten before meals for weight loss because of Garcinia’s appetite-blocking abilities.

How does it work?

Garcinia contains a constituent called Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) this ingredient is what makes Garcinia effective for weightloss.  It works on a number of levels:
  • HCA blocks fat by inhibiting a key enzyme that your body needs to make fat from carbohydrates: Citrate lyase. Usually carbohydrates or sugars that are not used immediately or stored in other forms are converted into fats. When HCA inhibits citrate lyase, the fat-making process is halted and the production of LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides decrease.
  • HCA increases the breakdown of fats and may improve the synthesis of acetycholine, a neurotransmitter responsible for muscular contraction. Increases in acetycholine synthesis improve athletic performance by increasing endurance.  The result of this is being able to train harder for longer which would result in increased calorie burning!
  • Animal studies have confirmed HCA's ability to slow Glucose uptake from the blood, thus stabilizing blood sugar levels, reducing sugar cravings and delivering sustainable energy throughout the day.
  • HCA supplementation has been shown to increase serotonin production in the brain.  Serotonin is a "feel good" hormone which controls mood, anxiety and sleep.  Therefore HCA supplementation can be helpful emotional eaters... don't we all need that sometimes!!

So, Does it work??

Garcinia cambogia and isolated HCA extract have both been extensively researched but also importantly, have a long history of use in traditional medicine of many cultures.

When you look up HCA you may find conflicting test results however those which use therapeutic doses with a high percentage of HCA in the plant extract generally yield positive results on a number of parameters including reduced appetite, reduced visceral fat, improved cholesterol HDL:LDL ratios and increased energy.

Examples of studies include

1) In a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 40 obese patients were treated with a combination supplement containing G. cambogia 50 mg as well as a 1,200 calorie diet per day. Two tablets of the supplement were taken by mouth 3 times a day after meals. The treatment group attained a 3.5 kg weight loss versus 1.2 kg on placebo, and a more than 85% reduction in fat loss in body composition measurements. The majority of the active group participants did not follow the diet regimen. (Thom E. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a new weight-reducing agent of natural origin. J Int Med Res . 2000;28(5):229-233)

2) Visceral, subcutaneous, and total fat accumulation were reduced in 39 patients over 16 weeks in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. The dosage regimen included HCA 1,000 mg/day versus placebo. At the end of the treatment, both groups were administered placebo for 4 weeks and no rebound effect was documented. (Hayamizu K, Ishii Y, Kaneko I, et al. Effects of Garcinia cambogia (hydroxycitric acid) on visceral fat accumulation: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. CurrTher Res Clin Exp . 2003;64(8):551-567)

3) An 8-week, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study examined the efficacy of HCA-SX in 54 overweight patients. The treatment group was administered a combination supplement containing G. cambogia 500 mg 3 times a day while the control group received the placebo. All patients were asked to maintain a low-fat diet and drink 64 oz of water per day. The treatment group lost an average weight of 11.14 lb/person as compared with the control group, which lost an average of 4.2 lb/person. (Lau FC, Bagchi M, Sen C, Roy S, Bagchi D. Nutrigenomic analysis of diet-gene interactions on functional supplements for weight management. Curr Genomics . 2008;9(4):239-251.)

How to supplement with Garcinia Cambogia/ HCA


Keep in mind that on labels it may be called Garcinia, Brindleberry or HCA.

If using the whole herb (labled as Garcinia cambogia) your supplement must be at least 50% HCA.  Effectiveness of the extract is dose dependant but 500mg taken 3x daily is the minimum needed to be effective.  You need to take Garcinia about 15 min before food for it to be most effective and then try to eat less at that next meal... you should still become full and satisfied.


Here at Evelyn Faye Nutrition we have Garcinia Cambogia 1300mg with 60% HCA. Take 1 tablet before breakfast and 1 before lunch.

Another effective way to take Garcinia is with other ingredients which also help with sugar cravings.  These include Chromium, Gymnema & Cinnamomum.  Fusion health products make a great formula which is specific for those really struggling with cravings and appetite.  Customers often combine this with Fusion Green Tea which stimulates thermogenesis (heat/ calorie burning)

Hitting the gym and want more energy and calorie burning during a workout??  Try Nutrabolics Thermal XTC. A Pre-workout powder which includes HCA with other metabolism boosting ingredients PLUS caffeine to give you a big kick for your training session.


 Any more questions, Just pop in a talk to one of our helpful staff members! 

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