Garcinia cambogia is a popular weight loss supplement. It is derived from a fruit of the same name, also called Garcinia gummi-gutta or Malabar tamarind. The peel of the fruit contains high amounts of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is the active ingredient believed to be responsible for most of its weight loss benefits.
This article reveals whether garcinia cambogia can help you lose weight and belly fat.
What Is Garcinia Cambogia?
Garcinia cambogia is a small, pumpkin-shaped, yellow or greenish fruit. The fruit is so sour that it is generally not eaten fresh but rather used in cooking.
Garcinia cambogia supplements are made from extracts of the fruit’s peel.
How Does It Aid Weight Loss?
There are two main ways that garcinia cambogia is thought to aid weight loss.
1. May Reduce Your Appetite
Studies in rats show that those given garcinia cambogia supplements tend to eat less. Similarly, some human studies have found that garcinia cambogia suppresses appetite and makes you feel full. These effects may depend on each individual.
2. May Block Fat Production and Reduce Belly Fat
Most importantly, garcinia cambogia impacts blood fats and the production of new fatty acids. Human and animal studies show that it may lower high levels of fat in your blood and reduce oxidative stress in your body.
In one study, moderately obese people took 2,800 mg of garcinia cambogia daily for eight weeks and drastically improved several risk factors for disease:
- Total cholesterol levels: 6.3% lower
- “Bad” LDL cholesterol levels: 12.3% lower
- “Good” HDL cholesterol levels: 10.7% higher
- Blood triglycerides: 8.6% lower
- Fat metabolites: 125–258% more excreted in the urine
The main reason for these effects may be that garcinia cambogia inhibits an enzyme called citrate lyase, which plays an important role in the production of fat.
The Bottom Line
Garcinia cambogia is a fruit-derived supplement taken to boost weight loss. Some research shows that it may cause slightly more weight loss than not taking any supplement.
The positive impacts of garcinia cambogia on blood fats may be its best benefit.