Garcinia Cambogia. Supple-stay the hell away.
Garcinia Cambogia is marketed as a weight loss supplement and has been around for a while now. The supplement is derived from a pumpkin shaped fruit under the same name. It was made popular by the supplement Hydroxycut, which is a play on the active ingredient hydroxycitric acid and cut which means to reduce body fat. It is said to be an appetite suppressant as well as help your body “bust that fat.” It’s a supplement that Dr. Oz himself claimed was a miracle fat buster.
Sounds absolutely wonderful, right? You can lose weight without having to adjust your diet and exercise. You can burn a tremendous amount of body fat while eating a bag of Lays and marathoning your favorite Netflix show. Who needs to spend hours in the gym lifting heavy weights and jogging miles upon miles to get that six-pack, when you can just stay home, drink a six-pack of beer, watch Game of Thrones and take your Garcinia Cambogia?!
To get a bit more technical, the active ingredient within Garcinia cambogia called Hydroxycitric acid, is supposed to inhibit an enzyme (Enzymes are catalysts that basically speed up certain chemical reactions) called Citric acid Lysase. This enzyme is necessary for the creation of fats, a process called de novo lipogenesis. According to the website www.drozanswers.com (Dr. OZ), they firmly believe this to be true and that it is a much-needed breakthrough in weight loss!
Great, you say!
So it does work?! If I take this I will be skinny? Now I can go eat my beer and drink my cake and I’ll lose weight!
Yeah, maybe, if you were a rat.
Unfortunately, the claims that are made about Garcinia Cambogia are unfounded and have little to no clinical backing to support that it does what it is claimed to do. The evidence brought forth on garcinia cambogia is largely anecdotal. According to this meta-analysis, HCA (Garcinia Cambogia) was slightly better than placebo, in helping to reduce body fat. Three of the clinical trials, of which had extremely small sample sizes, were what influenced the outcome to be slightly better than zero. The largest and most rigorous of these studies reported no difference between HCA and placebo in weight loss. If those three studies are excluded, there would have been no difference between HCA and placebo.
What’s also interesting, is that it appears that the page where Dr. Oz made his claim on garcinia was taken down, maybe due to the claims that he has made not only on Garcinia Cambogia, but multiple other weight loss supplements. This article as well as in this article, talk about the trouble he got himself into with the false assertions that he made, with such claims as: “No exercise, no diet, no effort.” This article goes into detail about the class action lawsuit that was filed against him for these misleading comments.
It’s a shame, but the fat burning benefits of hydroxycitric acid do not translate from rats to humans. This is primarily because de novo lipogenesis is much more necessary in rats than it is in humans. It’s an extremely inefficient process for human bodies to use, so it is not one that human bodies rely on most of the time. And since humans rarely use this method of making fats, the fact that it is suppressed by hydroxycitric acid doesn’t help humans much.
So, unless you are a very fat and lazy rat, this method of fat loss will not work for you.
Bottom line: Suppledon’t and stay far far away.