The weight loss industry is well known for continuously coming out with new “breakthroughs”. Many of them are real duds and for the most part just a waste of time and money. But recently, Garcinia cambogia extract for weight loss caught my attention. I usually do not recommend “weight loss supplements”, especially anything that promotes fast weight loss. But this extract may indeed be a true breakthrough discovery that we have been waiting for.
Drs. Oz and Julie Chen (Dr. Oz Show) seem to think so. Rarely does Dr. Oz give such an enthusiastic endorsement to a new product for weight loss as he did to Garcinia cambogia on one of his TV shows. And, since the airing of the show the weight loss community has gone wild with excitement about this natural weight loss supplement and, potentially, a revolutionary fat blocker.
What Is Garcinia Cambogia
Garcinia Cambogia is a small pumpkin shaped fruit native to Indonesia. It also grows in several other locations in the world, such as Southeast Asia, India and some countries in the West and Central Africa. This fruit is sometimes called tamarind, particularly in the western world, although it bears no resemblance to the actual tamarind fruit.
The fruit itself is very bitter and typically it is not eaten in its raw form. In its indigenous countries the fruit is primarily used in curry dishes and chutneys. Some cultures also use Garcinia cambogia fruit to preserve food and to cure fish.
Interestingly, in Malaysia, this fruit is added to soups served before the main meal to give an illusion that the meal is more filling.
What Is Garcinia Cambogia Extract Supplement
What caught the attention of weight loss research scientists was the notion that the addition of this fruit to meals makes the meals more filling and suppresses appetite. After much research it was discovered that the effect was caused by hydroxycitric acid (HCA), a powerful active ingredient primarily in the rind of the fruit.
Upon completion of the research a natural Garcinia cambogia extract (which will also include the term HCA ) was produced in a supplement / pill form.
How Does Garcinia Cambogia Extract Work
There are several effects that the extract exerts on your body. Not only does it help you lose weight by blocking fat storage and suppressing appetite, it also acts on our brains in a similar fashion as some mood enhancing drugs / antidepressants do.
1. Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) blocks fat production by blocking the enzyme, citrate lyase. This enzyme is the key enzyme that our bodies use to convert excess carbohydrates into fat. The bonus is that during this process the bad cholesterol, LDL, is also reduced
2. During digestion carbohydrates are broken down to glucose which is used for energy. Normally, excess glucose is stored as glycogen or fat. HCA promotes storage of excess glucose as glycogen and not as fat. Glycogen is stored in the liver or in muscles. When glycogen is formed, the process signals our brain’s satiety center, letting it know that we are full. In this way HCA suppresses appetite.
3. HCA increases serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is known to improve your mood and release anxiety. Low serotonin level is often the reason behind depression and anxiety and frequently leads people into emotional overeating. HCA improves mood by increasing serotonin levels and this in turn suppresses the drive to overeat. When your body senses that you eat less, it releases fat from fat storage cells for energy.
HCA also improves sleep. This is also due to the increased levels of serotonin. As I mentioned above, serotonin improves mood and relieves anxiety. Depression and anxiety often lead to insomnia.
Is Garcinia Cambogia Extract Safe.
The fruit has been eaten safely by people for centuries. The HCA extract seems to be also safe for most people when taken in prescribed quantities and within a prescribed period of time.
There are instances when the extract should not be taken. People who should not take this supplement are:
- Women that are pregnant
- Women that are breastfeeding
- People on diabetic medications as this supplement may allow your blood sugar level fall lower than normal
- People suffering from Alzheimer disease or other dementia as the suplement can worsen dementia
- People that are taking cholesterol reducing drugs such as statin. This supplement can cause harmful side effects such as muscle degradation
Where To Buy Garcinia Cambogia Extract
As with any other popular weight loss supplements many pharmaceutical companies jumped on this bandwagon. But you need to bear in mind that not all brands are created equal. Some of the supplements may be filled with unnecessary fillers or products that are outright dangerous, such as ephedra. Some of the products may not even have enough HCA extract to be effective. Make sure to research the product before and ensure that it meets all of the following recommendations as mentioned by Dr Oz :
- Contains at leas 50% HCA
- Is completely natural
- Provides a minimum of 500mg per capsule
- Has been proven to be effective
- Has no additives, fillers and other low-quality ingredients
- Is backed by a money back guarantee
I recommend you research the following two sources of Garcinia Cambogia extract
- Garcinia Cambogia Select. This product satisfies all the criteria above and has gained a very good reputation. You can order the supplement directly from the company. As well, the company offers a free bottle of supplements for you to try.
- Pure Garcinia Extract by Dynamic. You can get this supplement on Amazon.com. What I like about Amazon is that you get 100’s of reviews from real people, so you can really find out what users are saying. This product also satisfies all the recommended criteria and has a very good reputation.
Whichever Garcinia cambogia extract for weight loss you’ll decide to get, make sure to follow directions carefully. Do not take more than a recommended dosage and do not take the supplements for a period that is longer than recommended. And, always consult your physician before you start taking any supplements!