This review is an extensive review of the effect of Garcinia Cambogia on the human body. If you just want to find out what Garcinia Cambogia product to buy, simply check our recommended products section.
Are you Interested in losing weight, but need a helping hand to make it easier?
Diet supplements claim to be able to help you shed pounds quickly, even without dieting or working out.
But are these diet supplements really helpful?
In this investigative review, we’re going to take a cold, hard look at a diet supplement that is currently one of the most popular in the world: Garcinia Cambogia and attempt to separate the myths from the facts.
Table of Contents
- What is Garcinia Cambogia?
- Why Is It so Popular?
- Pros & Cons
- The Science Behind It
- Does It Really Work?
- Choose the Right Supplement
- A Better Solution?
- What Do Others Say?
What is Garcinia Cambogia?
If you were to visit Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, and other Southeast Asian countries, you’d find chunks of a pumpkin-like fruit floating in your soups and stews. These chunks give the soups a slightly sour taste, but makes them very filling.
This pumpkin-looking fruit is called a gambooge, pot tamarind, assam fruit, Malabar tamarind, or – as we in the Western world have come to call it – Garcinia Cambogia. Southeast Asians have included this fruit in their cooking for hundreds of years, and it has been used in Ayurvedic healing to activate digestion.
If you want to know if Garcinia Cambogia really works, keep reading this review.
Why Garcinia Cambogia is SO Popular?
In 2012, an extract made from this fruit was featured on the Dr. Oz Show, where the good doctor called it a “breakthough”, “revolutionary”, “holy grail”, and “magic” weight loss aid.
The Dr. Oz show features cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, a doctor who originally appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show. His popularity on the show led him to start his syndicated TV talk show in 2009.
Dr. Oz is known for making recommendations on a wide range of natural supplements, of which Garcinia Cambogia is one. Any time Dr. Oz recommends a product, it almost always sells like crazy. This is due to the fact that many viewers treat his show as “Gospel truth”, without really questioning the science behind it.
Dr. Oz has publicly recommended a number of supplements, including:
- Green coffee bean extract
- Raspberry ketones
- Fish oil supplements
- Milk thistle
- Garcinia Cambogia
However, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the doctor’s recommendations. Doctors have examined the products promoted by Dr. Oz, and have found that while Dr. Oz is right in saying that these products work really well, they aren’t always the miracle cure he portrays them to be.
Some believe that many of his promotions are an effort to keep his TV show alive, moving, and interesting in a world where scientific progress is slow and breakthroughs are few and far apart.
Garcinia Cambogia is a product highly recommended by the good doctor, but how much do we know about it?
Pros And Cons Of Garcinia Cambogia
Pros of Garcinia Cambogia
It’s made from a natural fruit, so there’s little risk of artificial ingredients in the supplement.
It blocks fat from being stored in your body. If you’re trying to burn fat, stopping more from being stored can be incredibly helpful in your efforts.
It limits the amount of cholesterol – both LDL and triglycerides – that are absorbed into your body.
It suppresses your appetite by increasing the amount of serotonin in your body. Insufficient serotonin can lead to emotional eating, so increasing serotonin can help to reduce cravings and stress eating.
It’s easily available in many formulations, and from many online retailers – prescription not required.
Probable Cons of Garcinia Cambogia
The scientific claims, while accurate, are often sensationalized. You will lose weight steadily in a relatively short period of time, but it won’t happen overnight.
There have been rare allergic reactions experienced by people sensitive to citric acid, as the hydroxycitric acid in the fruit is very similar to the acid found in tropical and citrus fruits. While not severe, these should we watched out for.
The effects of using the supplement long-term (more than 12 weeks) have not been researched, so it can be dangerous to use it for too long.
Some of the side effects of Garcinia Cambogia include nausea, headaches, and discomfort in your digestive system.
One of the brands of Garcinia Cambogia caused hepatotoxicity – damage to the liver caused by chemicals. Not all brands are made equal, nor are they all safe.
There are negative interactions between the supplement and certain medications – such as statins (drugs to lower cholesterol) or insulin (for diabetes).
Garcinia Cambogia can affect the levels of serotonin in the brain, so it can have a negative effect on those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
The Science Behind the Supplement
It’s essential to understand how supplements work before taking them. Scientific research MUST provide clear evidence to explain the effects that natural supplements like Garcinia Cambogia have on the body.
So how does Garcinia Cambogia work to help you lose weight?
Garcinia Cambogia is rich in hydroxycitric acid – or HCA. This acid is similar to the citric acid found in fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes.
What Does HCA Do?
It Stops Your Body from Absorbing Fat
HCA stops your body from producing an enzyme named citrate lyase, which turns carbohydrates and sugars into fat – which your body can store. With no citrate lyase, your body is unable to turn carbs and sugars into fat.
It Decreases Cholesterol
When your body cannot turn carbs and sugar into fat, it cannot produce cholesterol either. No more cholesterol means no more clogged arteries, meaning a lower risk of heart problems.
It Controls Your Mood
Serotonin is the chemical that controls your mood, but low levels of serotonin can lead to emotional eating. HCA can boost the production of serotonin, stopping you from feeling the depression or moodiness that leads you to eat.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of credible research that will back up the claims made by the manufacturers and retailers of the Garcinia Cambogia products. Here’s a look at the scientific evidence that has been gathered:
CASE STUDY 1: The North American Medical Association
In 1998, the Journal of the American Medical Association published the results of a study into the effects of Garcinia Cambogia extract for weight loss.  135 overweight participants were given either a placebo or 1500 mg of Garcinia Cambogia extract per day, but there were no significant differences in body fat loss between the two groups.
The group treated with a placebo actually lost more weight than the group treated with Garcinia Cambogia.
Verdict: No significant weight loss/fat loss results produced by the supplement.
CASE STUDY 2: Science Direct
In 2003, Science Direct published the results of a Japanese study into the effects of HCA and Garcinia Cambogia.  Mice were fed Garcinia Cambogia extract for 4 weeks, and there were no visible changes in their body weight, fat pad weight, or blood sugar levels.
However, there were noticeable changes in their cholesterol levels, as well as in the production of leptin – a hormone that controls appetite.
Verdict: Garcinia Cambogia can help to reduce cholesterol and control appetite, but may not have effects on weight loss.
CASE STUDY 3: Science Direct (round 2)
Also in 2003, Science Direct published the results of another Japanese study into Garcinia Cambogia’s effect on weight loss.  The study was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled test, involving taking HCA or a placebo for 12 weeks.
No significant decreases in BMI resulted, but there were some slight decreases in body weight. There was also no rebound effect after cessation of the supplement.
Verdict: Taking Garcinia Cambogia extract will not provide drastic weight loss results, but will assist in weight loss efforts. Stopping dosage of the supplement will not have negative effects.
CASE STUDY 4: Science Direct (round 3)
In 2005, Science Direct published the findings of a study conducted in Japan on the effects of Garcinia Cambogia on body fat.  The researchers fed Garcinia Cambogia extract high in HCA to obese rats for nearly 100 days, and the changes monitored.
The supplement did help to stop epididymal fat (fat beneath your skin), but the rats that consumed high quantities of Garcinia Cambogia suffered from testicular atrophy and toxicity.
Verdict: Hydroxycitric acid in high doses can be effective for promoting weight loss, but can be toxic and potentially dangerous.
CASE STUDY 5: Journal Of Obesity Meta Analysis
In 2010, the government along with the journal of obesity put together a meta analysis study about Garcinia Cambogia. 
In this analysis, they gathered all viable results of research studies of Garcinia Cambogia, assessed the results veracity and republish the numbers to give a better overall view of the effectiveness of Garcinia Cambogia concerning weight and fat loss.
Most of the studies proved not to be conducted properly and the government as well as the journal of obesity had many reason to doubt the “scientific approach” of those and possible conflicts of interests skewing results. As a result, most of them were excluded to only keep those who shown enough transparency.
Verdict: Once the “dodgy” studies were removed, HCA was associated with “statistically insignificant” short term fat loss.
As you can see, there is only a small amount of evidence to back up the claims made by manufacturers into the effects of their supplements. However, these scientific studies do prove that some of the claims are true, specifically:
- Garcinia Cambogia can HELP in weight loss but only a little and mostly short term.
- Garcinia Cambogia can have a positive effect on blood cholesterol levels.
- Garcinia Cambogia can help you control your appetite.
- Other than these claims that have been scientifically proven to be true, the rest are all marketing gimmicks dreamed up by the companies selling and manufacturing the product.
BREAKING NEWS: A number of press releases were published in December 2013, claiming that “the latest news data” proved that the claims made by Garcinia Cambogia were actually true. Don’t be fooled!
The “latest news data” is the “results” from fictional studies led by two people – Research Analyst Cindy Walters and Lead Researcher/Weight Loss Expert Jenna Grifith.
However, do a quick Google Search for these two people, and you won’t find a trace of their existence. One website – the James Randi Educational Foundation  – points out that there are a number of products that have been “endorsed” by these “experts”.
However, there is no scientific data to back up their claims, and they seem to endorse every single product that they encounter. Seems a bit fishy, doesn’t it?
Don’t believe these claims, but let the scientific data above be your guide as you consider this product.
The internet is filled with fake weight loss expert “scientific proof” that Garcinia Cambogia is the miracle pill they’d like you to believe it is. DON’T BELIVE IT. These people don’t even exist and these fake claims are used to direct you to overpriced low quality products.
Does it Work to Promote Weight Loss?
So, now we get to the big question:
Can Garcinia Cambogia Extract help me to lose weight?
If you are to believe the manufacturers, it’s the newest “Holy Grain of Weight Loss” (great keyword there). However, a quick look at the science behind the product indicates that it’s nowhere near as effective as claimed.
On the flip side, even a little helping hand from a product like Garcinia Cambogia can make losing weight just that much easier. For those who are doing exercise and dieting on a daily basis, the supplement can be a helpful addition.
How Can Garcinia Cambogia Realistically Help Your Weight Loss?
It Can Help to Suppress Appetite
If you’ve ever dieted, you know how hard it can be to prevent hunger pangs from getting the best of you. Suppressing your appetite will make it just that much easier to control your calories.
It Can Stop Fat Absorption
For those with a high BMI, preventing more fat from being stored is a good way to get the fat burning started. If you’re having a hard time burning fat properly, it’s often due to a diet high in calories. By blocking the storage of fat, you’ll make burning existing fat much easier.
It Can Prevent Emotional Eating
Losing weight can be stressful, and emotional eating is very common among dieters having a hard time with their diet. By reducing the risk of emotional eating, you make it just a bit easier to stick with your diet no matter how tough it gets.
Why Is This?
Don’t be fooled into believing that the supplement will make weight loss possible all on its own, no matter how many online retailers claim.
No matter how many references are made to Dr. Oz’s comment on the supplement, there’s no way to get around the cold, hard scientific evidence: there is only a limited amount of weight loss actually brought about by the Garcinia Cambogia product. The rest is all the result of your exercise, diet, and healthy lifestyle.
The Harmful Drawbacks of All Supplements
Did you know that taking supplements for weight loss can actually be harmful? The effects are psychological, but they bleed over into the physical.
A 2011 study published in Live Science  found that taking dietary supplements and multivitamins can actually have a negative effect. Those taking dietary supplements were less likely to exercise, and they tended to eat poorly as well.
If you are going to take the Garcinia Cambogia extract, don’t use it as the “weight loss miracle” you may think it will be. Use it as just one more tool in your weight loss arsenal, and combine it with a healthy diet, good exercise, and a balanced lifestyle. It can HELP you to lose weight, but it won’t do the hard work for you.
You can lose the weight the healthy way!
The year on year growth of the food supplements sales in Millons of USD. Supplements are big business but some of them are not effective or even harmful for customers. 
Will It Keep the Pounds Away?
Probably not, Garcinia Cambogia will not help to keep off any weight that you lose.
While there is no negative side effects of ceasing your daily dosage of HCA, depending entirely on it for prolonged weight loss or weight maintenance will just cause you to put back on all the weight that you have lost.
Choosing the Right Garcinia Cambogia Supplement
Need that extra helping hand for your weight loss? If you decide to go ahead with the Garcinia Cambogia supplement to promote fat burning and weight loss, here is how to find the right supplement:
No Less Than 50% HCA
Remember that hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is the nutrient that will suppress your appetite, promote fat burning, and aid in weight loss. The higher concentration, the better (try to get pure extracts if possible).
1600 Milligrams per Day
That’s the best dosage, and taking two 800 mg capsules per day is the safest way to get your HCA.
Always check the ingredients before you buy any Garcinia Cambogia supplements. You want to avoid any artificial additives, as well as anything that could cause an allergic reaction.
Check the product to be sure that it is third-party tested to ensure that it is safe, and it must be certified by an industry-leader quality control company – such as QualityTrusted.
If you must try Garcinia Cambogia despite the information shared in this review and because a lot of marketers out there are utilizing the success of this product to sell low quality supplements, here are the higher quality products we could find containing Garcinia Cambogia extracts:
Is There a Better Solution?
If you’re looking for a weight loss supplement that will help you to lose weight with little or no effort, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.
There are no supplements that will make weight loss possible without your working to diet and exercise. Any supplement that claims to be able to do so is a scam, and even potentially dangerous.
If, however, you’re interested in losing weight the healthy way, there are methods more effective than Garcinia Cambogia out there. Here is the path we recommend you follow if you’re trying to lose weight the healthy way:
Recommended Alternatives to Garcinia Cambogia
Build quick momentum and engage in responsible lifestyle by taking the 10 steps to better health.
Have the right psychology for total weight loss as described in the Gabriel method (read our review).
Replace processed sugar and sodas with natural healthy sweeteners and cinnamon.
Slowly reduce your carbs and bread intake to avoid cravings.
Slowly start exercising and building muscle (while burning fat) while avoiding the major mistakes people make when trying to lose weight through exercising.
Don’t go on an unrealistic drastic diet, embark in a lifestyle change with our 10 steps to better health.
Garcinia Cambogia Reviews by Other Health Bloggers
Because we didn’t just want to leave you with our opinion for this Garcinia Cambogia review, we’ve collected answers and outreached to some of the most respected health bloggers out there about Garcinia Cambogia. As you will see, as for the scientific evidence, the people’s opinion is quite diversified as well.
Unfortunately, as a “fat-burner” or appetite suppressant, garcinia cambogia extract just doesn’t seem very effective in humans. Rats are a different story. If you raise show rats and need a little help slimming down the tubbier ones before competition, garcinia cambogia might help.
For everyone else, I’d skip the supplement unless you can try it for free. Cause hey, it might defy the evidence and work for you (just don’t pay for it). At least it’s safe. It may also slightly enhance glycogen synthesis in skeletal muscle after exercise. That’s something, I guess.
That said, I’d definitely eat the (native to Indonesia) fruit if you can get your hands on it. Trying new fruits is always worthwhile, and fruits tend to be pretty healthy, tasty foods with interesting nutritional benefits.
Mark Sisson – markdailyapple
At the end of the day, the only thing that is really proven to help you lose weight is changing your diet.
Exercise can help too, but what you eat is by far the most important. One day, science might discover a supplement or a drug that actually works for weight loss… and I hope we do, believe me.
But it is clear from the studies that Garcinia Cambogia isn’t it. Period.
Kris Gunnars – Authoritynutrition
Garcinia Cambogia is like a one stop shop for weight loss. I recommend it to my clients who want to lose weight to help with emotional eating, sleep and suppress and reduce appetite – all which help to aid weight loss.
I love that this plant increases serotonin levels, which help emotional eating and curbs cravings.
Wendy Myers – live to 110
To be honest, I am not one to recommend a great deal of supplements, especially with extravagant claims like this one. Our culture craves a quick fix but our bodies were designed to run on real, whole foods and often we have spent years accumulating processed foods, dairy, animal proteins, flour, bread, pasta, cookies– foods that offer little nutrients, are difficult to digest and breakdown and cause inflammation and weight gain.
Lauren Talbot – Diaryofanutritionist
Garcinia Cambogia is sold as a “natural” weight loss supplement, but it’s just not as good as retailers claim it is. There is limited scientific evidence to back up its claims, and almost no independent testing has been done. It has been proven to be slightly effective at aiding in weight loss, but it’s by no means the most effective supplement on the market.
We give it three stars because it is natural, and because of its affordability. Overall, though, it’s not the best choice.
Should I Take Garcinia Cambogia Pure or Mixed with Other Agents?
While this is not always the case, pure extracts tend to be of higher quality than mixed supplements, this is why we recommend only products with pure extracts in our recommended product section.
What Garcinia Cambogia Dosage Should I Take Daily?
While we’re all different and react differently to active agents, the recommended Garcinia Cambogia dosage is 1600mg per day (2x 800g per day).
Where to Buy Garcinia Cambogia?
If despite reading this review you still want to try Garcinia Cambogia, take a look at the recommended product section of this review where we list the recommended Garcinia Cambogia products along with their individual characteristics.
Can I Take Garcinia Cambogia If I’m Pregnant or Have Health Conditions?
While this shouldn’t be an issue, you should always consult with your doctor before starting a new health supplement, especially if you are pregnant or have a chronic condition. Please talk to your doctor before you start taking supplements.
Do You Recommend Garcinia Cambogia?
Not really. It can help with weight loss effort but the scientific studies have shown most of the marketing is bogus. Most of the communication around this supplement is pure marketing that makes celebrity doctors richer. Therefore be sure to think carefully before buying this supplement.