Garcinia Cambogia for Weight Loss?July 4, 2013 Written by JP [Font too small?]
A few nights ago, I was on Twitter answering some questions, when I was besieged by an onslaught of tweets promoting Garcinia cambogia, a southeastern Asian fruit extract, as a potent weight loss agent. Rather than blow off these messages as commonplace “spam”, I decided to investigate. To be clear, I already knew all about Garcinia C. After all, it’s been on the US market as a dietary supplement for over 15 years. As far as I was concerned, it had come and gone with little fanfare like most other supplements of its kind. But, I wondered if perhaps there was some new, exciting evidence that was spurring this current buzz.
It didn’t take long to uncover the genesis of this particular trend. In November 2012, Dr. Mehmet Oz featured a segment, entitled “The Newest, Fastest Fat-Buster”, which included testimonials by several physicians and researchers. According to Dr. Oz and his guests, Garcinia cambogia is pretty close to a perfect weight loss aid. It’s inexpensive, safe and validated in clinical trials. The problem I have with these claims is that they’re backed by inconsistent and questionable research. What’s more, there doesn’t appear to be any recent data to support these assertions at all.
My review of the scientific literature only turned up one study in the last five years examining the efficacy of Garcinia cambogia as a weight loss agent. The results of a 10 week trial, published in the September 2011 issue of Nutrition Journal, determined that Garcinia C. “supplementation failed to promote weight-loss or any clinically significant change in % body fat”. The second most recent study was published five years ago. In that experiment, weight loss wasn’t even evaluated. Rather, the 2008 trial investigated whether or not Garcinia C. altered sex hormones in overweight subjects. The results revealed that it didn’t. Interesting to know, but not relevant with regard to weight management. Finally, I took a look to see whether there were any ongoing or upcoming studies on Garcinia C. Not one!
In fairness, a previous 8 week study did report statistically significant weight loss (5.4%) in users of Garcinia cambogia. Additionally, several trials using herbal formulas featuring Garcinia C. have found varying degrees of potential with regard to raising metabolic rate and promoting weight loss. However, it’s not possible to specifically attribute these benefits to Garcinia cambogia because of the other ingredients used in the supplements such as caffeine, chromium and gluccomannan – a highly viscous fiber source. Therefore, my conclusion is that the preponderance of the evidence suggests that Garcinia C. is likely ineffective and doesn’t appear to address the primary, underlying contributors of obesity. That’s why I suggest you pass on this “old is new” diet craze.
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 1 – Does Glycine Max leaves or Garcinia Cambogia Promote Weight-Loss … (link)
Study 2 – Effects of Garcinia cambogia Extract on Serum Sex Hormones in … (link)
Study 3 – An Overview of the Safety & Efficacy of a Novel, Natural … (link)
Study 4 – Effects of (-)-Hydroxycitric Acid on Appetitive Variables … (link)
Study 5 – Garcinia Cambogia (Hydroxycitric Acid) As a Potential Antiobesity Agent … (link)
Study 6 – Evaluation of the Pharmacotherapeutic Efficacy of Garcinia … (link)
Study 7 – Acute Effects of Ingesting Java Fit Energy Extreme Functional Coffee … (link)
Study 8 – Effects on the Human Body of a Dietary Supplement Containing … (link)
Study 9 – Efficacy of Slim 339 in Reducing Body Weight of Overweight and Obese … (link)
Study 10 – Efficacy of 12 Weeks Supplementation of a Botanical Extract-Based … (link)
Garcinia Cambogia Doesn’t Promote Weight Loss
Source: JAMA. 1998;280(18):1596-1600. (link)
Tags: Appetite, Estrogen, Testosterone
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diet and Weight Loss, Nutritional Supplements