garcinia cambogia side effects, garcinia cambogia benefits
garcinia cambogia extract, weight loss, dosage and review  July 2013
Garcinia gummi-gutta, Garcinia Cambogia, gambooge, brindleberry, brindall berry, Malabar tamarind, assam fruit,
vadakkan puli (northern tamarind) and kudam puli (pot tamarind)


Garcinia Cambogia is a subtropical species of Garcinia, found in Southeast Asia. It looks like a small pumpkin, but it is
green to pale yellow in color. Garcinia has been used in the preparation of curries. The dried fruit rind of Garcinia
cambogia, also known as Malabar tamarind, is a unique source of (-)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which exhibits a distinct
sour taste and has been safely used for centuries in Southeastern Asia to make meals more filling. [3] Garcinia extract
has been used as anti-obesity agent. In cell studies, Garcinia extract has been shown to inhibit the cytoplasmic lipid
accumulation and adipogenic differentiation of preadipocytes. [2] Consequently, Guarcinia extract is promoted as health
supplement for weight loss, though clinical studies are needed.

Potential Health Benefits

Alcohol-induced Liver Conditions
Long term alcohol consumption is one of the important causes for liver failure and death. Shivashankara AR and
colleagues at  Father Muller Medical College, india, report that Garcinia cambogia (Malabar tamarind) may benefit
people at risk of such conditions by its antioxidant, free radical scavenging, anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects.

Ironically, there is a growing number of case reports of hepatoxicity from the widely marketed weight-loss supplement
Hydroxycut, which contains the botanical ingredient Garcinia cambogia.[12]

Antioxidative Activities
Garcinol and guttiferone K extracted from Garcinia cambogia have some protective effects against lipid and protein
oxidation, based on an in vitro study. [Platelets. 2009 Nov;20(7):487-92.]

Cholesterol and Weight Management [1]
Ten weeks of Garcinia cambogia extract supplementation did not promote weight-loss or lower total cholesterol in
overweight individuals consuming their habitual diet. [8] Another study showed that a dietary supplement with L-carnitine
(600 mg/day) and Garcinia cambogia extract (500 mg/day as hydroxycitric acid)  significantly improved the level of lipid
peroxides (-12.8%), otherwise, Garcinia cambogia extract did not show dietary efficacy in the study. [9] However,
another clinical study of 60 subjects shows that calcium-potassium salt of hydroxycitric acid derived from Garcinia
cambogia (
Super CitriMax) may benefit people at risk of high cholesterol. Subjects were given a 2,000 kcal diet/day,
participated in a 30 min walking exercise program 5 days/week and given an oral dose of placebo or 4666.7 mg Super
CitriMax (providing 2,800 mg hydroxycitric acid) in three equally divided doses 30-60 min before meals, At the end of 8
weeks, body weight and BMI decreased by 5.4% and 5.2%, respectively. Food intake, total cholesterol, LDL,
triglycerides and serum leptin levels were significantly reduced. No significant side effects were reported. [10]

Note, the third study has a diet restriction (2000 kcal diet/day) while the diet in the first study is habitual. The preparation
and doses of the Garcinia cambogia extracts are all different. Thus, the method of preparation, dose and diet involved
have a significant impact on the "health benefits (clinical efficacy)" of Garcinia cambogia extract.

Hydroxycitric acid is a competitive inhibitor of the enzyme ATP citrate lyase, which catalyzes the conversion of citrate and
coenzyme A to oxaloacetate and acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl CoA) in the cytosol. Acetyl CoA is used in the synthesis of
fatty acids, cholesterol and triglycerides, and in the synthesis of acetylcholine in the central nervous system. [4]

Recently, researchers found low-dose oral
Super Citrimax altered the body weight and abdominal fat gene expression
profile of Sprague-Dawley rats. [3] Super Citrimax may be able to promote fat oxidation, enhance serotonin release and
availability in the brain cortex, normalize lipid profiles, and lowes serum leptin levels in obese subjects. or in hematology,
clinical chemistry, and histopathology. [4] But, more studies are needed to have a clear picture on this
calcium-potassium salt of hydroxcitric acid.

Garcinia administration to colitic rats significantly improved the macroscopic damage and caused substantial reductions
in increases in MPO activity, COX-2 and iNOS expression. In addition, garcinia extract treatment was able to reduce
PGE(2) and IL-1beta colonic levels. Thus, Garcinia cambogia may benefit people at risk of colitis. [Phytother Res. 2009

Rats treated with ethanol extract of Garcinia cambogia and aqueous extract of Garcinia cambogia in a dose of 100 and
200 mg/kg showed increased urine output when compared to controls. [7]  Getting rid of excess salt and fluid helps
lower blood pressure and can make it easier for the heart to pump. Thus, Garcinia Cambogia may benefit people at risk
of high blood pressure.

Caution: Most studies were conducted in animals, it is unclear if the results can be applied to human subjects.


Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects

Garcinia Cambogia did not show serious side effects in certain animal studies. A study of rats show the treatment of
HCA, an extract from Garcinia cambogia, over a period of 90 days results in a reduction in body weight, but did not
cause any side effects on hepatic and testicular lipid peroxidation, DNA fragmentation, or histopathological changes. [1]
In another study of rats, the administration of HCA-SX  (dosages up to 2500 mg/kg/day) for a period of 90 days caused
a significant decrease in body weight and reduction in feed consumption without any serious side effects. [5]

However, in a study of male Zucker obese rats, high
dosages of Garcinia cambogia extracts caused potent testicular
atrophy and toxicity. And so, there is a growing number of case reports of hepatoxicity from the widely marketed
weight-loss supplement Hydroxycut, which contains the botanical ingredient Garcinia cambogia. [as reported in the
section of alcohol-induced liver conditions] Thus, users must discuss with their medical officers on the potential benefits
and side effects of Garcinia Cambogia before use.


Rapha diet® preparation

Rapha diet® preparation contains silkworm pupa peptide, Garcinia cambogia, white bean extract, mango extract,
raspberry extract, cocoa extract, and green tea extract. In a study, Male mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) containing
3% Rapha diet® preparation for 8 weeks.  The HFD markedly enhanced body weight gain, while, Rapha diet reduced
the increased body weight gain induced by the intake of the HFD. [Kim J. et al, Lab Anim Res. 2012 Dec;28(4):265-71] It
is unclear how Rapha diet benefits human on excessive weight gain.

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[1] Shara M et al, Dose- and time-dependent effects of a novel (-)-hydroxycitric acid extract on body weight, hepatic and
testicular lipid peroxidation, DNA fragmentation and histopathological data over a period of 90 days. Mol Cell Biochem.
2003 Dec;254(1-2):339-46. [2] Kim MS et al, Anti-adipogenic effects of Garcinia extract on the lipid droplet accumulation
and the expression of transcription factor. Biofactors. 2004;22(1-4):193-6. [3] Roy S et al, Body weight and abdominal
fat gene expression profile in response to a novel hydroxycitric acid-based dietary supplement. Gene Expr.
2004;11(5-6):251-62. [4] Shara M et al, Physico-chemical properties of a novel (-)-hydroxycitric acid extract and its
effect on body weight, selected organ weights, hepatic lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation, hematology and
clinical chemistry, and histopathological changes over a period of 90 days. Mol Cell Biochem. 2004
May;260(1-2):171-86. [5] Soni MG et al, Safety assessment of (-)-hydroxycitric acid and Super CitriMax, a novel
calcium/potassium salt. Food Chem Toxicol. 2004 Sep;42(9):1513-29. [6] Saito M, High dose of Garcinia cambogia is
effective in suppressing fat accumulation in developing male Zucker obese rats, but highly toxic to the testis. Food Chem
Toxicol. 2005 Mar;43(3):411-9. [7] Mathew GE, et al, Indian J Pharm Sci. 2011 Mar;73(2):228-30 [8] Kim JE, et al, Nutr J.
2011 Sep 21;10:94 [9] Yonei Y et al, J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2008 Mar;42(2):89-103. [10] Preuss HG et al, J Med.
2004;35(1-6):33-48. [11] Food Funct. 2012 Feb;3(2):101-9. [12] Lobb A. World J Gastroenterol. 2009 Apr