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A Garcinia cambogia monograph for the home

Latin Name: Garcinia cambogia

Common Names: garcinia cambogia, garcinia, Malabar tamarind, brindle berry

This Garcinia cambogia monograph provides basic information about garcinia cambogia—common names, usefulness and safety, and resources for more information.Source:

Garcinia Cambogia Basics

  • Garcinia cambogia (Malabar tamarind) is native to India and Southeast Asia. The rind of its fruit is used to flavor fish curries and preserve food.
  • The rind contains a chemical called hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which has been studied for its effect on appetite. Garcinia cambogia supplements with HCA are marketed for weight loss.
  • Garcinia cambogia has also been used as a dietary supplement for rheumatism, intestinal problems, and other conditions.
  • Garcinia cambogia is made into a tea, capsules, extracts, tablets, and lotion.

Garcinia Cambogia in Health Research

  • Garcinia cambogia has been studied for weight loss, but there aren’t a lot of recent, reliable studies on its effectiveness.

Garcinia Cambogia Research Summary

  • There’s no convincing evidence that garcinia cambogia will help you lose weight or control cholesterol.
  • In a very small study, women who were overweight were given garcinia cambogia extract or a placebo for 60 days. Triglyceride levels of the participants getting garcinia cambogia decreased by almost one-third. Triglycerides are a type of fat in blood and high levels may raise a person’s risk of developing heart disease. The participants’ HDL (the “good” cholesterol), LDL (the “bad” cholesterol), total cholesterol, and body weight didn’t change.
  • In another study, people who were overweight were given either garcinia cambogia extract, soy leaf extract, or a placebo. After 10 weeks, none of the supplements promoted weight loss or lowered total cholesterol.

Garcinia Cambogia Safety

  • Taking Garcinia cambogia for short periods (12 weeks or less) appears safe for most people.

Garcinia Cambogia References


PubMed Articles About Garcinia cambogia

Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)[Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US), National Center for Biotechnology Information; [1988] – [cited 2018 Apr 5]. Available from:

Golzarand, M., Omidian, M., Toolabi, K., (2021) Effect of Garcinia cambogia supplement on obesity indices: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis.

Several trials have examined the effect of Garcinia cambogia supplement on the weight and body composition, but their results are conflicting. This systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis was designed to determine the effect of Garcinia cambogia supplement on the obesity indices in human randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

Peng, ML., Han, J., Li, LL., Ma, HT., (2018) Metabolomics reveals the mechanism of (-)-hydroxycitric acid promotion of protein synthesis and inhibition of fatty acid synthesis in broiler chickens.

(-)-Hydroxycitric acid (HCA), a major component of Garcinia cambogia extracts, has been shown to suppress BW gain and fat accumulation in animals and humans. However, the mechanism remains unknown. In this study, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to analyse serum metabolites, and principal component analysis and partial least-squares-discriminant analysis models were generated to analyse serum metabolite changes in broiler chickens after the administration of (-)-HCA at 0, 1000, 2000 and 3000 mg/kg diets for 28 days. Metabolites showing significant changes were screened by 'variable importance in the projection' plots. The results showed that 20 metabolites in the 1000 mg/kg (-)-HCA treatment group and 16 metabolites in 3000 mg/kg (-)-HCA treatment group were significantly altered. Metabolites pathway enrichment analysis indicated that these metabolites were mainly associated with metabolism of amino acids, protein synthesis, citric acid cycle, and uric acid and fatty acid synthesis. The data indicated that (-)-HCA promoted protein synthesis by regulating the metabolic directions of amino acids. At the same time, (-)-HCA treatment inhibited fatty acid synthesis by promoting the citric acid cycle, resulting in reduced cytosolic acetyl-CoA content in broiler chickens. The present study identified global changes in metabolites and analysed the main canonical metabolic pathways in broiler chickens supplemented with (-)-HCA. These results will deepen our understanding of the mechanism of (-)-HCA's effects in animals.

Payab, M., Hasani-Ranjbar, S., Shahbal, N., Qorbani, M., Aletaha, A., Haghi-Aminjan, H., Soltani, A., Khatami, F., Nikfar, S., Hassani, S., Abdollahi, M., Larijani, B., (2020) Effect of the herbal medicines in obesity and metabolic syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials.

Obesity is a medical situation in which excess body fat has gathered because of imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. In spite of the fact that the variety of studies are available for obesity treatment and management, its "globesity" still remains a big challenge all over the world. The current systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and mechanisms of effective herbal medicines in the management and treatment of obesity and metabolic syndrome in human. We systematically searched all relevant clinical trials via Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, and the Cochrane database to assess the effects of raw or refined products derived from plants or parts of plants on obesity and metabolic syndrome in overweight and obesity adult subjects. All studies conducted by the end of May 2019 were considered in the systematic review. Data were extracted independently by two experts. The quality assessment was assessed using Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials checklist. The main outcomes were anthropometric indices and metabolic syndrome components. Pooled effect of herbal medicines on obesity and metabolic syndrome were presented as standardized mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence interval (CI). A total of 279 relevant clinical trials were included. Herbals containing green tea, Phaseolus vulgaris, Garcinia cambogia, Nigella sativa, puerh tea, Irvingia gabonensis, and Caralluma fimbriata and their active ingredients were found to be effective in the management of obesity and metabolic syndrome. In addition, C. fimbriata, flaxseed, spinach, and fenugreek were able to reduce appetite. Meta-analysis showed that intake of green tea resulted in a significant improvement in weight ([SMD]: -0.75 [-1.18, -0.319]), body mass index ([SMD]: -1.2 [-1.82, -0.57]), waist circumference ([SMD]: -1.71 [-2.66, -0.77]), hip circumference ([SMD]: -0.42 [-1.02, -0.19]), and total cholesterol, ([SMD]: -0.43 [-0.77, -0.09]). In addition, the intake of P. vulgaris and N. sativa resulted in a significant improvement in weight ([SMD]: -0.88, 95 % CI: [-1.13, -0.63]) and triglyceride ([SMD]: -1.67, 95 % CI: [-2.54, -0.79]), respectively. High quality trials are still needed to firmly establish the clinical efficacy of the plants in obesity and metabolic syndrome.