Garcinia Cambogia Overview
The newest “holy grail” of the weight loss industry, the multi-functional Garcinia Cambogia extract is claimed to be a potent appetite suppressant, help stimulate metabolism, inhibit fat production, and improve lean body mass. Sounds pretty good, right? Of course it does, but at what cost?
What are Garcinia Cambogia side effects you should be aware of?
While the final verdict is still out, as it usually is with relatively newly discovered ingredients (although Garcinia Cambogia Extract has actually been studied for its weight loss properties for well over a decade, it’s just now reaching mainstream attention), the initial judgement is that it is proving to be an effective supplement with essentially no negative side effects.
As recommended with any nutritional or herbal supplement, one should consider the many lifestyle and health variables that play into their own lives before taking – and seeking the advice of their doctor with any major questions.
Background on Garcinia Cambogia Extract
Garcinia Cambogia is a rare, tropical fruit that has been used for centuries in Southern China and Northern India as a natural appetite suppressant and digestive aid with no known side effects. About the size of an orange, and either greenish-yellow or red, its a sour fruit that contains Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA), the active ingredient in the extract.
Who Should Take it?
It’s probably easier to use common sense and heed the advice of the the Herbal Safety Guidelines.
For the vast majority of people, there will likely be no side effects of taking a garcinia cambogia extract supplement…except maybe some lost weight, a decrease in appetite and cravings, and probably the ability to fit into your “skinny jeans” again! Check out our garcinia cambogia reviews for some recommendations.
Be Sure That…
You follow some basic protocol when ordering. Since the famous daytime TV host Dr. Oz mentioned garcinia cambogia extract on his hit show, attention and promotion of weight loss products containing the extract have skyrocketed. It’s important to remember that Dr. Oz does not endorse any particular brand of the product, but rather praising the extract itself. If you come across someone touting that products is “approved” by Dr. Oz, or somehow aligned with him through an endorsement – you probably should seek another provider as they are being shady at worst, deceptive at best.
Look for a product with at least 1000 mg per serving and clearly stating it contains 50% HCA (hydroxycitric acid), the key active ingredient derived from the garcinia fruit rind.
- This supplement should be avoided by people with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to Garcinia cambogia.
- Garcinia has been well tolerated for up to 12 weeks in available human trials. Hydroxycitric acid from the rind given by mouth is likely safe in recommended doses.
- Garcinia may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes (high blood sugar) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that also have an affect on blood sugar. Serum glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, and medication adjustments may be necessary.
- Rhabdomyolysis (serious and potentially fatal disease involving degeneration of skeletal muscle ) has been reported three hours after ingestion of a weight-loss herbal medicine containing a combination of ma huang (ephedrine), guarana (active alkaloid caffeine), chitosan, Gymnena sylvestre, Garcinia cambogia (50% HCA), and chromium. Since there were multiple substances, it cannot exclusively be attributed to Garcinia cambogia. Nevertheless, use cautiously in patients with a history of rhabdomyolysis or in patients taking HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (“statins”) as they may increase the risk for rhabdomyolysis.
- Avoid in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia syndromes due to the theoretical possibility of forming acetylcholine in the brain.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- Garcinia is not recommended for use in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence….plus you don’t want your baby’s appetite being suppressed!
Interactions with Drugs
- As mentioned above, Garcinia Extract may lower blood sugar levels so caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes, by mouth or insulin, should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
- Taking hydroxycitric acid with statin medications, such as atorvastatin calcium (Lipitor®), may increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis (disease involving the degeneration of skeletal muscle). An incidence of rhabdomyolysis was reported in a case report of a patient taking a weight-loss herbal medicine that contained 50% hydroxycitric acid
Interactions with Herbs & Dietary Supplements
- Garcinia cambogia extract may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
- The combination of HCA-SX (calcium/potassium-bound hydroxycitric acid complex) with niacin-bound chromium or Gymnema sylvestre may increase the effects on weight loss. Consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, before combing therapies.
Garcinia Cambogia Extract Side Effects – FDA Safety
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.