Hydroxycitric Acid for Weight Control

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Why Use

Garcinia cambogia

Why Do Dieters Use It?*

Some dieters say that hydroxycitric acid, a compound found in Garcinia cambogia, helps promote fat loss.

What Do the Advocates Say?*

The promise of (-)-Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is based on animal studies that suggest it inhibits fat synthesis and perhaps suppresses appetite. Human studies have not been consistent, however, with one reporting no benefits while another reported improved results when combined with a weight-loss diet.

*Dieters and weight-management advocates may claim benefits for this supplement based on their personal or professional experience. These are individual opinions and testimonials that may or may not be supported by controlled clinical studies or published scientific articles.

Dosage & Side Effects

Garcinia cambogia

How Much Is Usually Taken by Dieters?

HCA, extracted from the rind of the Garcinia cambogia fruit grown in Southeast Asia, has a chemical composition similar to that of citric acid (the primary acid in oranges and other citrus fruits). Preliminary studies in animals suggest that HCA may be a useful weight-loss aid.1 , 2 HCA has been demonstrated in the laboratory (but not yet in clinical trials with people) to reduce the conversion of carbohydrates into stored fat by inhibiting certain enzyme processes.3 , 4 Animal research indicates that HCA suppresses appetite and induces weight loss.5 , 6 , 7 , 8 However, a double-blind trial found that people who took 1,500 mg per day of HCA while eating a low-calorie diet for 12 weeks lost no more weight than those taking a placebo.9 A double-blind trial of Garcinia cambogia (2.4 grams of dry extract, containing 50% hydroxycitric acid) found that the extract did not increase energy expenditure; it was therefore concluded that this extract showed little potential for the treatment of obesity at this amount.10 Nonetheless, another double-blind trial found that using the same amount of Garcinia cambogia extract significantly improved the results of a weight-loss diet, even though the amount of food intake was not affected.11

Side Effects

At the time of writing, there were no well-known side effects caused by this supplement.

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

Interactions with Medicines

As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

More Resources

Garcinia cambogia

Where to Find It

HCA is found in only a few plants, with one rich source being the rind of a little pumpkin-shaped fruit called Garcinia cambogia, which is native to Southeast Asia. This fruit (also called Malabar tamarind) is used as a condiment in dishes such as curry.


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