What are the Side Effects of Garcina Cambogia Extract?

Garcinia Cambogia supplements are all over the internet and everyone talks about their effects. Producers invested a lot of money in marketing campaigns using various celebrities as a proof of the effectiveness of their products.

The effectiveness of the supplements

As it is a natural behaviour of people to dislike dieting or training hard, these type of plant or fruit extracts which are promoted as having miraculous results have had immense success among users. However, the story behind Garcinia Cambogia extract is different and it raises a lot of question marks.

To begin with, it is a plant having a fruit which looks almost like a small green pumpkin being used in many traditional foods like chutneys and curries because of its sweet-sour taste. It is also known as Malabar tamarid growing across South-West India, Myanmar, and Indonesia. According to researches made by Purdue University, the fruit is recognized to be rich in iron and calcium, but also in phosphorus, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.

Analyzing a bit its history, Garcinia Cambogia has become known in the traditional medicine community being used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine. It has been used by spiritual healers in cases like indigestion and create various medicines with benefits for health and wellness. In other cases, the extract was also used as laxative or cleanser.

Even though it has been used since long time, its effects were relatively unknown until 2012 when its trajectory was completely changed by Dr. Oz who claimed in his TV shows that the pills containing Garcinia Cambogia extract were a miracle, helping lose weight with almost no exercise or diet required. To be even more convincing, Dr. Oz even brought in his shows women who claimed that they lost several pounds only with these pills.

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Since that moment, rumors have started to be formed around these diet pills and scientists started to examine its actual effectiveness making people split into two sides. For those who declared themselves supporters of Garcinia Cambogia, the extract is a miracle and they claim that the positive effects are numerous. In addition to the benefits found by Purdue University, there are also other benefits for health included: weight loss, appetite suppression, a decrease in risks related to heart disease, diabetes, and ulcers, an improvement of cardiovascular health, a reduction in abdominal fat, better metabolism, and a healthier digestion.

What Are The Cons?

Dizziness

Dizziness is a feeling of unsteadiness you may experience from ingesting Garcinia Cambogia. There are four medical forms of dizziness, and you could in effect feel any one of these.

Lightheaded

This is the feeling you experience when it feels like you are about to faint. You may have had this before when you’ve stood up from sitting down too quickly.

Anxiety

Many people don’t think of anxiety when they think of dizziness but it is a form just any of the others. This could mean you feel scared, depressed or worried. These emotions could definitely affect you negatively.

Vertigo

If you’ve ever spun yourself around multiple times in one sitting and then stopped almost suddenly you most probably have experienced vertigo. It’s the feeling of motion when there isn’t any. You may feel as though you are spinning or may feel as though your surroundings are spinning.

Disequilibrium

This form of dizziness entails you having a problem with walking. You may feel like you are constantly going to fall or may feel very unsteady on your feet. It could be either.

Headache

When you experience a headache you experience pain in your head. The pain you experience could be in different forms, such as a dull ache, a sharp pain or a throbbing sensation. There are also many different ways a headache may occur. It could be on one side of your head or on both sides simultaneously. It may even radiate across your head from one region to another or be isolated to a specific location.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea is that feeling you get when your stomach feels uneasy. It normally occurs before vomiting, but not always. Vomiting on the other hand, is the forcible emptying of your stomach through your mouth. This can either be voluntary or involuntary.

Dry Mouth

Xerostomia, more commonly known as dry mouth is the what happens when your mouth does not produce enough saliva.

Liver Problems

This side effect has not been fully backed up by scientific proof. The Food and Drug Administration warned everyone, back in the year 2009, that they should stop using a weight loss product that contained Garcinia Cambogia because they had linked it to causing some severe liver problems in some of the people that had been ingesting it.

Despite this, Garcinia Cambogia is still being used in weight loss products today.

This is most likely due to the fact there were numerous other ingredients in the weight loss product and therefore Garcinia Cambogia could not be completely blamed for the cause of the liver problems.

It is effectively down to you to decide whether you take a weight loss product that contains this fruit in it, as there has been no definitive research to determine whether it is actually harmful or not.

Diarrhoea

This is a pretty bad downside, more so because it can be painful as well as embarrassing. Diarrhoea occurs when your stools (bowel movements) are loose and watery.

Interacts Negatively With Medications

If you are on any of the following medicines you should really and seriously consider whether you should be ingesting Garcinia Cambogia. It may interact badly with all of these.

Diabetes Medication

This includes any and all forms of medicine relating to diabetes. Whether it be insulin of pills and capsules.

Pain Medicine

If you are taking a form of medication that helps to reduce the pain you are experiencing it may be wise to steer clear of weight loss drugs containing Garcinia Cambogia. This includes strong and weak pain killers alike. Which means paracetamol are a no go too.

Warfarin

This blood thinner is a vital medication so if you are taking this it would be very wise not to ingest this type of weight loss product. The last thing you want is for it to start interacting badly with you blood thinning tablets.

Psychiatric Medications

This means any and all types of psychiatric medicines, whether they be anti-depressants or anything else.

Iron Medicine

For those of you with anaemia you should think twice before deciding to ingest any weight loss pills that may contain Garcinia Cambogia.

Statins

It may not be wise to mix medicines that assist in the lowering of cholesterol with weight loss product that have Garcinia Cambogia in them.

Pregnant or Breastfeeding

There haven’t any studies to determine whether it is safe for pregnant women or women that are breastfeeding are safe to take weight loss supplements that contain Garcinia Cambogia. It is for that reason that you should really consider whether it’s a good idea.

Asthma and Allergy Medicines

Any medications you take that help you take control of your asthma and reduce it, as well as any other medicines you take for any other allergies.

Backed and verified by experts!

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However, an extremely detailed study has never been performed specifically on this extract and this is the reason why the opinions are still mixed, with pro and con arguments. On the other side of the road there are some scientists who made new investigations in the late 1960s and they found out that the fruit contains an acid that is similar to the citric acid found in lemons and oranges that is called hydroxycitric acid. It is the active ingredient in Garcinia Cambogia, producing the amazing effect of weight loss.

Researches continued to analyze the fruitand in 1998 a 12 week, randomized, double-blind study on overweight men and women discovered that Garcinia Cambogia extract produces actually a placebo effect, and does not have a significant contribution to weight and fat loss for the subjects. The study was developed on 135 overweight persons divided into groups:

 

  • The group who took 3 gr. the extract or the equivalent of 1.500 mg. of hydroxicytric acid (HCA). It was administrated in 3 separated doses, 30 minutes before lunch time;
  • The placebo group represented by the people who took placebo pills

Both groups had a high-fiber, low-energy diet. During the 12 weeks of treatment, specialists evaluated their body weight in every week but the fat mass was measured only at the beginning and when the period finished. When the conclusions were drafted, the results were incredible. Both groups succeeded in losing weight. However, the group who took Garcinia Cambogia extract lost less (3,2 kg) than the placebo group who managed to lose one more kilogram in addition (4,1 kg). Researchers also analyzed the fat loss percentage and their conclusions were that the placebo group lost 2,16% while the other group lost only 1,6%

In 2003, Japanese researchers made another study and they published it in Fitoterapia. Their 4-weeks study analyzed what were the effects that Garcinia Cambogia had on mice. Their conclusion was that they did not note any effect on body and fat weight or serum glucose level. However, they could evaluate some other results at the physiological level. The mice which were treated with Garcinia Cambogia extract manifested lower levels of leptin and serum insulin. This finding made the researchers to come up with the conclusion that the extract improved the glucose metabolism in an efficient way and also displayed leptin-like activity.

Medical Studies

Moreover, in a review mentioned Complementary Theories of Medicine journal,it was mentioning that researchers used the plant extract in their treatment for obesity. Their conclusion was that the results were not convincing enough. However, when they combined it with another plant called Gymnema Sylvestre, they noticed a small effect on the weight loss results. Still, they considered that they need to make a more detailed research in order to get to a conclusion and issue a clear report on how effective Garcinia Cambogia is on weight loss.

Another significant study was made in 2005 being published in Food and Chemical Toxicology journal. This time, the researchers studied the effects on obese male rats. Even though the studies were not made on humans, the results were amazing. On one hand,the rats managed to lose weight which was a positive thing considering that this was the main purpose of the research. hero-pic

The Garcinia Cambogia extract included in the rats’ diet resulted in significant reduction in food intake and body weight together with epididymal fat and serum triglyceride and also a decrease in the feed efficiency ratio. However,the side effects over passed the good ones and made the rumors become stronger in doubting about the positive effects of this product. It was noticed that administrated in extremely high doses, the extract produced testicular atrophy and toxicity.

 

A real case story from 2013 shows a 35-year old woman from Oregon who took Garcinia Cambogia supplements for two or three months together with an antidepressant. She got to the hospital as she started stuttering and sweating heavily, and the doctors’ conclusion after evaluating her heart rate and blood pressure was that her symptoms were similar to serotonin toxicity. Even though doctors did not blame the diet pills for this event, previous studies showed that Garcinia cambogia extract may indeed increase serotonin level. Also, in combination with antidepressants, it could lead to serotonin toxicity.doctors

 

On top of that, in terms of authority and laws, since Garcinia Cambogia diet pills are part of the supplements category, which are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Also, they are not reviewing in any way how effective they are or if they are safe to use unless their use becomes linked to cases of hospitalizations. In an interview with expert Sue Decotiis, M.D, she explains that most brands selling pills containing extracts from Garcinia Cambogia have failed quality and quantity testing. For example, Flora Research Laboratories analyzed the supplements and discovered substantial quality issues with Garcinia products and he even found some products which did not even contain HCA.

Diet Pills and Fruit

However, consuming the fruit, not the diet pills, is safe. It has to be taken into consideration that the fruit is eaten by people from Asia, used in their foods which we sometimes consume as tourists in their countries. Therefore, there is no risk in eating just the fruit and not the pills that are all around the internet. On top of that, analyzing the results of the studies made, the pills are safe to take by mouth for maximum 12 weeks as it was the length of the studies. Considering the study made in 1998, after 12 weeks of administrating the pills, the subjects did not manifest any dangerous side effects, just that the results were not as good as the scientists expected in terms of losing weight.

As mentioned above, so far there have not been clear side effects discovered for Garcinia Cambogia but specialists recommend that pregnant and women who are breastfeeding should avoid this supplement as a precautionary measure. Moreover, although HCA is considered to be a supplement which stops the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, persons who suffer from hypoglycemia or those who have low levels of blood glucose, are advised not to take these diet pills. Also, children should not take these type of pills even if they are facing obesity and it is advisable to consult a doctor before taking any action.

In the case of administration of supplements with high HCA content, individuals may face lower than normal blood sugar level. In addition, persons suffering from Alzheimer should avoid this supplement as it can get worse dementia than the already existing one. Other persons using Garcinia Cambogia extract diet pills have also mentioned that they fought with cramps, nausea accompanied with headaches, diarrhea, allergies, and sometimes constipation. 

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However, there is no clear evidence that has been found to prove that these symptoms can be exclusively attributed to the extract as the persons mentioning these side effect may have changed their eating habits and these could be a response to the body adjustment to the supplement.

Concluding all the studies and cases mentioned above, we can say that hydroxycitric acid is directly connected to weight loss. In addition, the fruit contains some other ingredients such as iron, thiamine, calcium, and phosphorus, but the effects of these ingredients have not been proven to have immense weight loss effects and they cannot compete with HCA.

Verified Medical Research and HCA effectiveness

Secondly, HCA is not so effective if it is administrated on its own as it is naturally connected to the calcium that Garcinia Cambogia contains. Therefore, it was shown that bioavailability was reduced by at least 50% and this seems to be also why a lot of the tests made on HCA administration failed to prove efficient results on weight and fat loss. In addition, it has been proved in studies that HCA is extremely effective bound with salt, being clinically shown that it can produce weight loss, help the metabolism and reduce appetite.

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Last but not least, a detailed research should be made on Garcinia Cambogia extracts to determine whether the side effects overpass the positive ones. So far, the results on side effects are not many and researchers themselves mentioned that they cannot conclude that a specific side effect found can be entirely attributed to Garcinia Cambogia extract.

 

What is really dangerous about Garcinia Cambogia supplements is that with its intense marketing, a lot of shady companies started selling online different products, arguing that they contain the extract. The reality is that many of these products are not regulated and the authorities did not issue their approval for them. As online commerce is so spread around the world, people have bought many of these supplements that contain only a trace of Garcinia Cambogia fruit or, even worse, sometimes they do not contain it at all and have noticed that after regular use it did not have any effect.Because falling into these scams is extremely easy, consumers should first of all pay attention to the label. A trustful product would be one that contains minimum half of hydroxycitric acid, if not more. In addition, when the website they want to make the purchase from is over-exaggerating with the claims, buyers should think twice before making the payment. It would be advisable to consult first the reviews or blogs before taking a decision.

On top of that, if the purchase has been already made, individuals should consult first and foremost a doctor in order to evaluate their health status and examine the product they bought. In addition, even though commercials and TV stars claim that losing weight is guaranteed by just taking these pills, people should be realistic and take into account that such results are impossible. Supplements can be effective only if they are proved to be natural, but at the same time they have to be combined with intense workout and healthy diet regimen.