What is garcinia cambogia and is there any benefit to this fruit? 

Garcinia cambogia is a subtropical tree that grows on the islands of Indonesia. It belongs to a species of trees that are native to Asia, India, Australia and southern Africa. Garcinias are also called mangosteens, saptrees and "monkey fruit." They thrive in the warm, moist climates of tropical forests.

Garcinia cambogia trees produce small, pumpkin-shaped fruit that are sometimes called assam fruit. Brindleberry, gambooge and tamarind are other common names. 

The fruit is usually yellow or green in color, but some trees produce orange or red fruit. In Malaysia knowns as asam keping or gelugor.  Garcinia cambogia fruit has a sour flavor which makes it difficult to eat whole like an orange or apple. However, the dried fruit rind produces a flavorful, spicy extract that is popular in traditional cooking. The extract is also used to cure and preserve foods.

Found across Southeast Asia, India and central Africa, people have long used the dried gambooge rinds for chutneys or curries, and sometimes as an aid for stomach problems. But in the late 1960s, scientists identified a substance in the rind of the fruit called hydroxycitric acid, or HCA, which has some potentially attractive qualities. 

Some studies say HCA works, and some say it doesn't. Animal studies of HCA showed that mice taking the substance ate less, lost weight and produced less fat from sugar. The main things that garcinia does is that it suppresses the appetite which means that you will be eating less without noticing it. So it’s an excellent protection against over eating.

Also it manages the seratonin levels. Seratonin is a hormone which tells us when and how much to eat. Every time when our seratonin levels are low we are tempted to eat. In most cases seratonin levels will get low if we are in a bad mood. The only way for us to feel better is to eat something. This is wrong.

Garcinia regulates our seratonin levels and it’s a great ally for emotional eaters. The extract is derived from the rind, which is dried and cured and contains hydroxycitric acid, or HCA, a substance advertised to “block fats and sugar, while suppressing appetite.”

In traditional medicine, healing practitioners use the extract as a stool softener or laxative to treat constipation. Some dietary supplements and energy drinks contain Garcinia cambogia extract.

How Does Garcinia Cambogia Work?

The hydroxycitric acid in Garcinia cambogia halts the production of citrate lyase, an enzyme that is linked to carbohydrate metabolism. Since the enzyme converts excess carbohydrates into fat, stopping the fat-making process is good news for dieters. HCA also stops the production of triglycerides and bad cholesterol, and it may even burn extra carbs.

Dr. Mehmet Oz and other nutrition experts recognize Garcinia cambogia as a “miracle weight loss food.” In some studies, dieters who took HCA supplements lost between two and three times more weight that those who used a placebo. Some experienced mood elevation and sleep improvements after taking Garcinia cambogia.

Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects

Garcinia cambogia supplements are growing in popularity in the diet industry, and they are generally safe for healthy adults. The natural weight loss remedy curbs hunger and stops food cravings, especially for carbohydrates and sweets. In healthy adults, side effects are minimal and rare. However, HCA supplements are not recommended for diabetics, pregnant women, children and Alzheimer’s patients.

Dieters typically take Garcinia cambogia supplements in capsule form. Quality is based on the percentage of hydroxycitric acid contained in each capsule. The experts recommend at least 45 percent HCA for best results. Most dieters take this “miracle supplement” three times a day, about an hour before each meal.

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