I’m always quite skeptical of health products and tend to take most health benefit claims with a pinch of salt! The vast array of dietary supplements available online and in health stores is mind-boggling, and it's not easy to decide what is worth taking and what’s best left on the shelf.
“Why use supplements at all?” you ask.
That’s an excellent question and one that has a very straightforward answer: We simply don’t get the nutrients we need from our food anymore!
Agricultural scientists explain that fruits, vegetables, and even grain crops grown today are much lower in vitamins and minerals than those produced decades ago. Add to that our obsession with processed, convenience food, and you would be surprised at how nutritionally deficient we are!
What is Garcinia Cambogia?
You’ve undoubtedly heard of Garcinia Cambogia (also called Garcinia gummi-gutta)!
This distinctive and unusual little tropical fruit is native to India and Southeast Asia and looks like a small pumpkin. Its sour taste makes it popular as a condiment and widely used in traditional recipes and curries in Asian cuisine.
Garcinia cambogia gained popularity as an aid to weight loss, many proclaiming it to be a wonder cure for obesity without exercise. These exaggerated claims probably caused more harm than good, and controversy remains about its health benefit claims. The lack of updated studies on taking Garcinia Cambogia supplements means we have to draw as much information as we can from the scientific community and present it as clearly as possible to let the reader decide.
Perhaps you’ve been thinking of trying a Garcinia cambogia supplement and want to know more about it.
Hopefully, by the end of this, you will have a better grasp of Garcinia Cambogia and understand why it’s one of the most sought-after and popular natural weight-loss supplements available. Its benefits extend far beyond just being a fat-burner! The method by which it assists your body to lose weight is its exceptional quality.
Before we can understand what makes Garcinia Cambogia so helpful, we need to explore a few of the ways your body chemistry affects your body weight, energy levels, and mood.
The “Feel Good” hormone
Serotonin, or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), is a crucial hormone responsible for stabilizing your mood, happiness, and sense of well-being. Sleep cycle regulation also relies on serotonin. It acts as a neurotransmitter, which means that it enables communication between your central nervous system and other cells in your body. It seems to influence various physical and emotional functions and plays a vital role in appetite and digestion (1).
You can’t get serotonin directly from food as it is made through an interesting biochemical process that converts tryptophan, an amino acid, into serotonin. The secret here is to ensure you include food sources of tryptophan in your diet wherever possible.
Some of the foods that contain tryptophan include:
- Salmon, also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids
- Poultry such as chicken and turkey
- Eggs and milk
- Leafy dark green veggies like spinach
- Green bananas
- Seeds and nuts
- Soy products including soy milk, soy sauce, and tofu
A few natural ways to increase serotonin levels are exposure to sunlight, getting some exercise, and having massages. These relaxing activities also have the added benefit of reducing lack of motivation and low mood.
Scientists don’t know exactly what causes depression, although it’s widely accepted that an imbalance of hormones and neurotransmitters is mainly responsible. Usually, once a neurotransmitter chemical has performed its specific duty of relaying neural impulses, it is absorbed back into the body. This is why antidepressant medications most often prescribed are SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). The action of these is precisely as their name suggests. They prevent the body from reabsorbing serotonin, leaving a higher concentration available to circulate in the bloodstream and making you feel happier.
Science has understood the link between serotonin in the brain, food intake, and body weight for over 30 years, so let’s start fitting some of these pieces of the puzzle together, as I know you can’t wait for me to get to the part where I show you how Garcinia Cambogia may be a helpful addition to your weight loss diet.
The link between serotonin and metabolism
Brain serotonin, food intake, and body weight have an inverse relationship that can be explained very simply without going into too much scientific jargon.
An increase in brain serotonin levels inhibits food intake by reducing appetite, and serotonin depletion increases hyperphagia and weight gain (1).
Hyperphagia is the medical term for an abnormally great desire for food and excessive eating.
Yup, those pesky food cravings can be related to your brain's serotonin levels!
Studies show that consuming carbohydrates increase serotonin release as well, which is why many people suffering from depression inadvertently overeat carbohydrates (particularly junk food like potato chips and pastries) to make themselves feel better. This self-medicating type of comfort eating is commonly associated with weight gain. This tendency to use carbohydrate-dense foods to feel better is also seen in women with premenstrual syndrome, those trying to quit smoking, and people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (1).
Are you seeing the puzzle coming together yet?
YES! Exciting, isn’t it?
NO? Don’t worry, you’ll soon see where I’m going with this!
What is the main bioactive compound in a Garcinia Cambogia supplement?
The primary active ingredient in Garcinia Cambogia is called hydroxycitric acid (HCA) and is similar to citric acid, which I’m sure you’ve heard of before. It’s found in the rind of the Garcinia Cambogia fruit, and aside from it being used in traditional medicines, we can now enjoy its health benefits as a dietary supplement.
HCA’s claim to fame is that it might improve athletic performance and aid in weight loss through the prevention of fat storage and as an appetite suppressant.
How It Works
HCA directly contributes to weight loss (particularly reducing abdominal or belly fat) through chemical interactions. It appears to block an enzyme called citrate lyase, which plays an important role in fat production (3).
A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial into the effects of Garcinia Cambogia and, specifically, HCA (Hydroxycitric acid) on visceral fat accumulation yielded some interesting results. Two groups, aged between 20 and 65 with an abdominal fat area >90 cm were randomly assigned to receive either Garcinia Cambogia containing 1000 mg of HCA per day or a placebo for 12 weeks. Each subject had to undergo a CT scan of the abdominal area at various stages of the experiment: 2 weeks before starting, the day the trial began, and then at 12 weeks and again at 16 weeks.
They found no significant differences in BMI or body weight at the 12-week scans but interestingly, at the 16-week scan, the group who had taken Garcinia Cambogia daily had significantly reduced visceral, subcutaneous, and total fat compared to the placebo group (3).
Studies have shown that hydroxycitric acid (HCA), the main organic acid component of the fruit rind, reduced food intake and body fat gain by regulating the serotonin levels related to satiety, increased fat oxidation, and decreased de novo lipogenesis (4).
The benefits of increased serotonin levels are improved mood and decreased food cravings.
Health benefits of taking a Garcinia Cambogia supplement
HCA has shown its ability to boost metabolism in various ways that might give you the extra support you need to reach your weight loss goals. Mood-boosting and increased endurance while exercising also contribute to its appeal. Supplementing with Garcinia cambogia has become extremely popular with athletes and bodybuilders for this ability to enhance workout endurance.
Increases fat oxidation
Increasing fat metabolism may be relevant in obtaining better results from exercise, even for those that don’t train like high-performance athletes. Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) increases oxidation, which many athletes call “burning fat.”
Human and animal studies to assess the effects of HCA on energy metabolism showed that fat oxidation was significantly increased by short-term administration of HCA, with increased endurance exercise performance via the attenuation of glycogen consumption caused by the promotion of lipid oxidation during running exercise (5).
Suppresses carb cravings and reduces appetite
Those cravings for junk food, pastries, and high-carbohydrate dishes can seriously derail your diet, and consuming empty calories often leave you feeling miserable.
Your body is an incredible, complex, and miraculous machine that needs top-quality fuel to power it. Garcinia cambogia increases serotonin, reducing unhealthy cravings, making you less likely to overeat at mealtimes, and elevating your mood (1).
Promotes serotonin production
Serotonin is a natural mood stabilizer and a key component in stabilizing your moods. GarciniaCambogia'ss ability to increase your body’s serotonin levels by upregulating serotonin receptors is good news if you are feeling down in the dumps. It helps increase feelings of happiness, relaxation, and motivation to keep going (1).
Supports healthy metabolism
A clinical trial was conducted on 214 overweight or obese subjects who were given 500 mg Garcinia Cambogia twice daily for 6 months. The results were concluded, and they determined that the treatment produced weight loss, reduced fat mass, and visceral fat, increased basal metabolic rate, and improved lipid and glucose profiles (6).
The many proven health benefits of Garcinia Cambogia make it a supplement worth trying if you need a weight loss boost with the added advantage of lifting your mood.
I’m sure you know that nothing will magically melt your fat overnight, and honestly, if you are serious about weight loss and improving your health, a dietary supplement can only do so much to promote weight loss.
Supplements can only support the lifestyle and dietary choices you make. The fact that you’re interested in Garcinia Cambogia and how it can help you means that you are on the right track.
Use that spark of interest and make positive changes toward your new, improved body.
Get out there and enjoy the sunshine, start that exercise routine you’ve been procrastinating about, eat more healthily, and remember that a quality Garcinia Cambogia supplement can assist you in your journey to wellness by:
- Reducing those cravings (so you can ditch that junk food)
- Increasing your serotonin (improve your mood and motivation)
- Reducing fat storage from carbohydrates
- Helping you eat smaller portions by reducing your appetite
How to choose a supplement worth taking
Trying to make sense of all the different health supplements and product labels on the market and see through all the hype can seem daunting. Look for a company that holds itself accountable and takes pride in the fact that the contents on the label match the contents of your supplement.
Nutririse Garcinia Cambogia is recognized as one of the best fat burners for men and women alike. Their Garcinia Cambogia Pure Extract is professionally formulated by experts and made in the USA. Every batch of Garcinia Cambogia Capsules are made in a cGMP-Certified facility where they undergo strict in-house testing and are then further tested by an independent third party so you can be assured of maximum potency and purity.
Side Effect Note
By itself, Garcinia Cambogia extract does not commonly affect the heart with side effects or negative interactions. However, depending on what medications you may be taking, there could be cardiac side effects. If you take any prescription medications, consult with your health primary care physician before adding Garcinia to your regimen.
Garcinia is pretty well tolerated by most people. However, side effects may occur in some people. The most common are related to stomach upset. These include nausea, diarrhea, and stomach irritation.
Note: This article is for informational purposes only and not intended for use as medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any dietary supplement.