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Why is Garcinia Cambogia Good For You and How Do You Take It?

Updated on January 28, 2019

What Is Garcinia Cambogia?

Garcinia cambogia is a pumpkin-shaped fruit found between West and Central Africa and across the Southern and Southeastern regions of Asia. It is a traditional ingredient in curries and chutneys and has a reputation for making meals more filling when added to a recipe. For example, in Malaysia the fruit is commonly used in soups to reduce one’s appetite before meals. Due to this evidence this fruit has undergone research for its beneficial weight loss properties.

Today, garcinia cambogia extract has become readily available as an affordable weight-loss supplement. The natural chemicals that make the consumer feel fuller encourage healthier eating habits compared to supplements that simply shed the fat but not the dietary behaviors. Taking this supplement in meals, along with proper exercise and dieting, has helped people lose weight, lose fat, and get into a better shape – a lifestyle that is sustainable given adherence to the regimen.

How Does It Work?

Garcinia cambogia contains a chemical known as hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which researchers claim speeds up the weight loss process by prohibiting fat production while reducing an individual's appetite.

Simply put, HCA blocks fat by preventing the liver from turning carbohydrates and sugars into fat, which helps when consuming carbs in a meal like bread, rice, etc. In addition to blocking and reducing fat, HCA suppresses appetite by increasing serotonin levels.

“Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in your brain that makes you feel good. It’s a target of many antidepressant medications. Having low levels of serotonin may make you feel depressed or anxious; it drives many people into emotional or reactive eating. By increasing serotonin levels, HCA improves mood and suppresses the drive to react to stressful situations with food. As you eat less, your body senses this and it releases stored fat in your fat cells.” -The Dr. Oz Show

As the body releases stored fat in an individual’s body the weight is then shed naturally. And with the added effect of preventing fat from being processed through the liver, HCA assists in maintaining a steady loss of weight over time.

How Is Garcinia Taken?

Garcinia cambogia extract is readily available as a supplement found in health food stores or online. What you want is “Garcinia cambogia” or “GCE”. It is recommended to take 500-1000 mg before each meal and no more than 3000 mg per day to avoid any side effects. Experts say to look for at least 50% HCA, but a more personal study claims that 60% is more effective:

One of the most significant HCA studies was conducted by Georgetown University and, after 8 weeks of observed HCA supplementation, discovered:

  • body weight and BMI decreased by 5.4%,
  • low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides levels were reduced by 12.9% and 6.9%, respectively
  • high-density lipoprotein levels increased by 8.9%
  • serum leptin levels decreased by 38%
  • serotonin levels increased by 44.5%
  • urinary excretion of fat metabolites increased by 32-109%

It’s important to note that results like these are only possible with Garcinia supplements that contain a minimum of 60% HCA.

When taking this supplement, remember this is strictly a weight loss aid. Just taking the garcinia cambogia extract alone will not lead to weight loss. In other words, this is a healthy, natural solution to prohibiting fat production and storage and controlling appetite that will work effectively given a proper diet and exercise routine.

What Brand Is Most Reputable and Where Should I Buy Garcinia Cambogia?

Again, to get real results from the supplement it is recommended to use a brand with at least 60% HCA. Among consumer favorites that contain the specified amount are available from these manufacturers, which are found at Amazon: NatureWise, Premium Nutra Source, Omega Soul TM, and SuppleSense, LLC.

Additional Recommended Sources

I also recommend ProSource for purchasing supplements. They are a well established retailer that I've found to have some of the best prices on the Internet for Garcinia as well as most other supplements.

What About the Side Effects?

The fruit itself has been used as an ingredient in dishes for years and has played its part as a natural filler to make meals more satisfying. Other than a few cases of nausea, digestive tract discomfort, and headaches, the supplement is found to be safe as long as HCA is taken as prescribed. If you are taking diabetic medication, consult with your doctor before using garcinia cambogia as it may lower your blood sugar levels. Individuals taking a statin should not use this either, as it can increase the effects ofrhabdomyolysis or muscle degradation.

Those with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia should not take HCA as it may make the dementia worse. And if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have health issues it is recommended that you consult a physician prior to taking this supplement. In general, as with most vitamins, minerals, or supplements, it is advisable to consult your doctor before consuming any product.


Garcinia cambogia extract is an option available to individuals in search of an effective weight loss supplement. Although not a primary source of burning fat the HCA chemical found in the extract can reduce body fat, is known to suppress one’s appetite, and encourages positive dietary habits. Coupled with proper exercise and a healthy diet GCE helps promote weight loss and fat reduction.

© 2014 TotalHealth


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    • prasetio30 profile image


      6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Good information. I learn much from you about this plant. Thanks for writing and sharing with us. Voted up!

    • TotalHealth profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Hermosa Beach, CA

      Thanks for commenting!

    • TotalHealth profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Hermosa Beach, CA

      Audry, thanks for commenting and sharing your success story! Achieving established goals can be difficult yet extremely rewarding once reached. Although I’m not a vegetarian a large bowl fresh fruit and organic blackbean soup sounds delicious right now. : )

    • The Stages Of ME profile image

      Kathy Henderson 

      6 years ago from Pa

      Good info and well informed hub ~ thanks for sharing

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hi TotalHealth - You have covered all the bases with this informative and very well-written hub on Garcinia Cambogia. My doctor recommended I try this product to lose 15 pounds and with proper diet and exercise I have succeeded. I'm a vegetarian and found that a big bowl of fresh veggies along with organic blackbean soup I fill up fast.

      I voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and will share. Thank you, my new friend. ~ Audrey

    • TotalHealth profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Hermosa Beach, CA

      ChristyWrites, thanks for the feedback. Agreed, choosing which health supplements to purchase can be confusing because there are so many to chose from. Have you ever worked with a personal fitness trainer or nutritionist?

    • TotalHealth profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Hermosa Beach, CA

      Sarawrr25, thanks for the comment and question. Personally, I enjoy the product and when used in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise the benefits were noticeable. As for Amazon user reviews, let’s just say I give little credence to this input because it is impossible to know for certain how these people used this supplement. Meaning, if they chose to eat unhealthy foods and exercised at most 1-2 per week this product alone won’t deliver results expected. Of course, genetics, age, and general lifestyle habits (i.e., smoking, drinking, etc.) should also be factored in. – Hope this feedback helps.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is all interesting to me as it's new to me - I hadn't hear of garcinia cambogia before reading this hub! Good to hear about it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have seen several negative reviews on Amazon when I went to go purchase this product. Many suggesting that it really doesn't work as it is just a placebo pill. I know not everything works for everyone the same...but I want to make sure I am not wasting my money. Obviously you praise it highly so what is your take on the negativity behind it?

    • TotalHealth profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Hermosa Beach, CA

      That's great, rebeccamealey! I hope you get a change to try the garcinia cambogia supplement and soon. I use it regularly to help regulate my diet and weight and it's done wonders for me. In the first two months I shed ten pounds and leaned out considerably. Now, it's just a matter of maintaining this routine I created for myself. - Best wishes!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I have been hearing about garcinia cambogia for a while now. Thanks for this complete and thorough explanation and review. Very helpful!

    • TotalHealth profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Hermosa Beach, CA

      FlourishAnyway, thanks for the comment and question. Personally, no I have not eaten the fruit so I do not know its flavor. Although I love fruit, because my life is crazy hectic all the time I tend to rely on supplements to ensure I get the proper amount of vitamins, minerals, protein, etc. needed for my customized diet regimen. I will say, however, I do like the NatureWise brand for garcinia cambogia. - TotalHealth

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Very interesting hub. I had never heard of this previously. I notice that some of the ads to the right (at least for me right now) are pitching what looks like the fruit itself. Do you find that to be just as effective? How does the fruit taste? Just curious.

    • TotalHealth profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Hermosa Beach, CA

      Thanks Jodah. Glad you found it interesting.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      7 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I had never heard of this before. Very interesting hub. Thanks for all the information and bringing it to my attention.


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