The latest weight loss fad promoted by Dr. Oz is Garcinia cambogia. An extract from the rind of this south Asian fruit contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which is claimed to increase weight loss. According to the Dr Oz website (and a few others selling Garcinia), studies have shown that HCA, along with a reduced calorie diet and moderate exercise, can double or triple weight loss. For example, in one 8 week controlled study dieters taking HCA lost an average of 14 lbs compared to 6 for the control group.
HCA aids in weight loss by blocking an enzyme – citrate lyase – necessary to convert carbohydrates into fats. Garcinia helps dieters in two additional ways: it suppresses appetite and it boosts serotonin (the feel-good neurotransmitter) which may reduce emotional eating. Seratonin also helps reduce the stress hormone cortisol which promotes fat storage. HCA extract appears to be safe in recommended amounts but is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women or anyone taking diabetic medications or a statin drug.
While websites selling Garcinia claim there are many good studies supporting the product, a neutral website – by Randy Shore of the Vancouver Sun – tells another story. He refers to a 12 week trial published in JAMA in 1998 which found no significant difference with the use of HCA on either total weight loss or fat mass loss. A 2010 meta-analysis published in the Journal of Obesity found 12 scientifically-sound trials on the supplement. These showed a small but significant weight loss increase with HCA but one of the studies reported twice as many “gastrointestinal adverse events” in the HCA group.
So try Garcinia if you wish – it could help you to lose weight. But if it doesn’t, it may not be the fault of HCA. As I have explained before in several articles, there is an overriding hormone that, in excess, prevents fat loss – insulin. If your insulin level is high (and even Type II Diabetics’ can be), nothing you can do will burn fat. Until you normalize insulin, no diet or diet aid – garcinia, raspberry ketones, green coffee bean, L-carnitine, CLA, etc – will work. Ask me how you can do this easily and safely.
For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.