Garcinia Cambogia Review: What You Need To Know

Thanks for reading my full review of Garcinia Cambogia, also known as Garcinia Cambogia Extract (GCE). If you’re reading this, then you can’t have failed to notice the HUGE buzz around Garcinia Cambogia that’s been happening over the last few years.

What’s all the fuss about? Well, this fruit rind extract has been touted as a revolutionary way to lose fat, tone up and suppress those cravings all in one natural supplement. With virtually no side effects, not like the awful buzz of too much caffeine or the nauseous feeling that many appetite suppressants can bring, this supplement was featured on the Dr Oz show, where his team of dedicated professionals explained just how this new pill could help the body to use its excess fat stores AND block the ability to build new fat reserves whilst reducing the stress level cortisone.

So if you’re like me, and hold your excess weight around your middle, this could be the perfect solution. But, the reviews out there have been mixed with some people seeing good results and others seeing very little indeed. Could it be that this secret ingredient is nothing more than a marketing ploy, or are we being cheated by unscrupulous companies while we chase our dreams of a tighter, more toned body? I thought I’d check out GCE from my favorite store and see whether this really is a miracle weight loss supplement.

What is Garcinia Cambogia?

Before we get to the supplement, dosage, side effects and so on, I thought I’d include a little information about the source of the supplement. Garcinia Cambogia Extract is taken from the rind of the malaban tamarind fruit, a fruit native to South East Asia and India. It has been used medicinally and in food preparation in its native home for centuries, because it has been said to boast the following properties:

  • Souring agent, used in traditional Indian or South East Asian hot and sour curries[1]
  • Used for bowel problems and rheumatism[2]
  • Contains HCA (Hydroxycitric Acid) which has been under the spotlight for weight loss
  • Food preservative, coloring agent and curing agent
  • Used as a carmative to prevent or expel excess gas formed in the GI tract[3]

How is Garcinia Cambogia linked to weight loss?

Garcinia Cambogia is said to boost weight loss in two different ways. Firstly, it blocks the enzyme in the liver that is responsible for the default function of converting sugar and carbs to fat. So instead of the fat cells getting plumper, GCE ‘plugs’ the fat cells and directs any sugar and carbs to the energy stores to be burnt off. The body is processing less fat and is under less stress, so less cortisol (the belly fat-creating hormone) is produced. The second way that it works is by sending signals to the brain that release more serotonin, our happy hormone, and this happiness stops us craving stress foods like sugar, carbs and salty foods and could have a positive impact on appetite suppression. For more information about how Garcinia Cambogia works, please visit my review of the Dr Oz show.

About Garcinia Cambogia and its clinical studies

Several clinical studies have been undertaken to assess the efficacy of Garcinia Cambogia. At the moment the research is a little patchy and generally the medical community recommends more testing. I’ve written a longer article focused on Garcinia Cambogia research and clinical trials, but have included a summary right here for you:

  • In a four week trial[4], 150 obese subjects saw a significant, dose-dependent decrease in weight, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and an improvement in good cholesterol
  • In an eight week trial[5], 40 subjects saw an increase in weight loss against the placebo group
  • In a 12 week trial[6] with a reduced calorie diet, the group lost nearly three times as much weight as the placebo group
  • In a 4 week trial[7] with a reduced calorie diet, 89 mildly overweight women saw an increase in weight loss against the placebo group, but noted no discernible change to appetite
  • In an eight week trial[8] with a low fat diet and at least 64oz water consumption  per day, 54 overweight subjects lost an average of 11.2lb per person
  • In an eight week trial[9] with a low fat diet and moderate (three times per week) exercise, 60 obese subjects saw a greater weight loss and reduction of appetite than the placebo group
  • In a 16 week trial[10] with a low fat diet and moderate exercise, all 39 subjects saw a reduction in belly fat and gained none of it when given a placebo for four weeks

Go to any medical site and they will be the first to say that the supplement and ingredients such as HCA need a ton more research. It’s the same with any new herbal supplement I guess. But the research that’s taken place to date is certainly encouraging.

Is It Trusted And Safe To Use?

Genuine Garcinia Cambogia has been noted to have been ‘well tolerated’ for up to 12 weeks in human trials. Whilst this is a little vague, it means that there are generally few adverse reactions. Be sure to read the ‘who should take Garcinia Cambogia’ section below, for a list of who should avoid the supplement.

Who Is Garcinia Cambogia For?

Being a natural supplement, there are few people that should avoid taking Garcinia Cambogia. However, until more research has been undertaken, it is recommended that the following people should avoid it, or use it under medical supervision:

  • Patients with diabetes (high blood sugar) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) should avoid the supplement
  • Patients taking any medication that affect blood sugar should use Garcinia Cambogia under medical supervision
  • Patients with a high risk or history of rhabdomyolysis (a potentially fatal disease involving the degeneration of skeletal muscle) should use Garcinia Cambogia under medical supervision
  • Patients taking statins, should exercise caution as the combined medicines may increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis
  • Those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia should avoid Garcinia Cambogia because of the theoretical possibility of forming acetylcholine in the brain
  • Those trying to conceive, pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid until further scientific evidence can be undertaken

For my full article on Garcinia Cambogia, including dosage and potential side effects, please click here.

My Favorite Garcinia Supplement?

Once you’ve decided that you want to try Garcinia Cambogia, the most important element is finding the right supplier. I’m not pushing any particular brand as it can be difficult to know whether a brand has been replicated and is not in fact genuine. I know of at least two well-known doctors/celebs that have had to put out alerts to their users saying that they are NOT endorsing a particular brand of Garcinia Cambogia, as there are a lot of unscrupulous companies out there selling fake or poor quality goods. I strongly recommend this brand at Amazon. After buying from them, I received great customer support and they were able to provide proof that their Garcinia Cambogia had been tested by a third party lab.

In general, I would say:

  • Use a trusted brand or store like Amazon
  • Read online reviews about your chosen brand carefully
  • Check the small print and reviews if you choose a ‘money back guarantee’ option, make sure that people that have returned the product for whatever reason have actually got refunds
  • Choose a supplement that has at least 50% HCA
  • Choose a supplement that contains minerals such as potassium and chromium, as these seem to have better reviews online
  • Choose a supplement that contains at least 600mg per day
  • Choose  a supplement free from fillers or binders


Taking Garcinia Cambogia

I chose a supplement to try from my local and trusted health food store, and took 500mg three times per day.

**ULTRA-IMPORTANT** It’s critical that you take the supplements on an empty stomach, around 30-60 minutes before a meal. Food will interact with the supplement and reduce its efficacy. Also, I’m not sure of the science behind this, but I recall one study saw fewer results because the subjects were on a high fiber diet. Somehow that interfered, so eat a balanced healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruit, lean meats and good fats.

I took a supplement that also contained potassium, because I trusted Dr Oz!! I didn’t take any additional extracts as I wanted to see what this supplement did on its own.

So I took the pills three times a day, on an empty stomach. Unlike some supplements I’ve taken, I had no nausea or restlessness, you know like those buzzy caffeine pills. After drinking each one with a big glass of water, it’s common sense that an hour later you’ll be less hungry than you were, but my appetite was definitely more satiated than if I’d just had water.

The results were pretty much from day one, I was less hungry and ate slightly smaller meals, but the biggest effect I saw was in the type of food I wanted and the impact on my snacking. I know that my excess weight is down to my continual grazing, I eat pretty healthy but I can’t sleep unless I’ve had a full carb-loaded meal. And – ladies – at THAT time of the month I have an insatiable appetite for candy, chocolate, crisps, crackers…you name it! But in the three months that I took Garcinia Cambogia, my cravings all but disappeared. I ate when I was hungry (such a novelty for me, usually eating without even being aware of it) and saw the weight come off almost instantly.

I’ll be honest, we’re not talking total body transformations or anything. But I had stubborn belly fat that all types of exercise and diet had failed to get rid of for good. I guess I was carrying an extra 10lb over my ideal weight, and the majority of that was round my stomach. Garcinia Cambogia seemed to target that fat exclusively, which was a win-win for me as I didn’t want to lose any from my bust or butt. So in three months I lost around 9lb, but it was all from where I wanted it to go, and with no discernible change to my diet or exercise regime. I’m pretty fit so kept up the jogging and yoga, and it all seemed to work in harmony! I’ve now got a tighter waistline and am eating ‘mindfully’ for the first time in a hundred years!!

The million dollar question: Does Garcinia Cambogia work?

For me, it definitely worked. I saw reduced cravings to snack, and when I did eat, I was fuller faster, and on better quality foods. During my time of the month, I had little to no cravings. In fact, one time I went to the cinema and usually gorge on popcorn, but I only dipped in and out of this time (my husband was cursing me as he ended up eating it all!).

That said, it will only work if it’s a genuine product with a minimum 50% HCA. There are a lot of stores or vendors out there selling inferior products, which is why, in my mind, some people aren’t seeing the results they hoped.

What’s great about Garcinia Cambogia?

  • Natural supplement based on fruit used commonly for centuries
  • Helps curb cravings for sugar/salt/carbohydrates
  • Can boost weight loss, best used in conjunction with a healthy diet and moderate activity
  • No horrible side effects like nausea or headaches
  • Endorsed by doctors, models and celebrities
  • Cheap, compared to many supplements

Anything not so great?

  • Some people have seen minimal results – I say you can’t eat everything and expect to lose weight!
  • Some people have seen no results – I keep saying it, but check you’re buying from a reputable source and that the supplement contains at least 50% HCA
  • Can’t be used by those with blood sugar issues (see my full Side Effects of Garcinia Cambogia report)

What others are saying about Garcinia Cambogia?

I’ve researched many sources of Garcinia Cambogia users to bring you a consolidation of the most frequent opinions. In summary, there have been a lot of people ripped off and for them, they’ve lost money and not seen any results. For those that have bought reputable brands, they’ve seen moderate results which have been optimized by a healthy diet and moderate activity. Here are the views:

  • “I dropped from 13.5% to 11% body fat in time for my beauty show.”
  • “I have been taking for 2 weeks and have lost 8lbs, I love it!”
  • “I have been taking Garcinia Cambogia for 2 months and have lost 10lbs.”
  • “I have been taking it for two weeks and don’t see an extraordinary change, just 3lbs in two weeks.”
  • “After 1 week, I was surprised by the dramatic results…my energy levels were up and I wasn’t even hungry…after the fifth week my results were shocking. I lost an unbelievable 23lbs.”
  • “I’ve been taking it for a week and gained 3lbs!”
  • “Never buy from a site that appeared 1 hour after the Dr Oz show.”
  • “Took for a month and no weight loss”
  • “I purchased mine at GNC after talking to the sales person. She said her husband lost 60 lbs but she has only lost 10, but she admitted he works out more.”

My opinion: A summary review of Garcinia Cambogia

It’s not often you can find something that helps you lose weight without changing your diet or exercise habits, but Garcinia Cambogia seems to do just that. I made no changes but saw a drop of 9lb over my trial period, I’m now down to my ideal weight and have lost it all from my belly. I bought from a store I trusted, and went for a supplement with over 50% HCA, and it really worked, particularly in curbing my grazing and snacking. As with any diet supplement, there will be rogue dealers out there so always check reviews before buying online, use recommended products or buy via your trusted store. Here’s to the body you’ve always wanted!

[1] http://www.aliyaleekong.com/kodampuli-or-malabar-tamarind/
[2] http://www.healthline.com/natstandardcontent/garcinia-hydroxycitric-acid
[3] http://www.drugs.com/npp/garcinia-hydroxycitric-acid.html
[4] Girola M, De Bernardi M, Contos S, et al. Dose effect in lipid-lowering activity of a new dietary integrator (chitosan), Garcinia combogia extract and chrome. Acta Toxicol Ther . 1996;17(1):25-40.
[5] Soni MG, Burdock GA, Preuss HG, Stohs SJ, Ohia SE, Bagchi D. Safety assessment of (-)-hydroxycitric acid and Super CitriMax, a novel calcium/potassium salt. Food Chem Toxicol . 2004;42(9):1513-1529.
[6] 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.
[7] Mattes RD, Bormann L. Effects of (-)-hydroxycitric acid on appetitive variables. Physiol Behav . 2000;71(1-2):87-94.
[8] 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
[9] 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
[10] 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.

Share The Love ;)
Michelle