Does Garcinia Cambogia work?
The category of supplements for weight loss is competitive, and Garcinia Cambogia is another one that promises to help in this task.
It is a fruit that you can find for sale in isolation, but it is also present in several thermogenic in combination with other ingredients.
Its active ingredient is HCA, and in theory, it inhibits an enzyme that leads to weight loss.
Now, will it work?
This is another story, and in fact, a story reminiscent of the famous CLAN.
Animal studies are promising.
In humans? Not really.
We analyzed three studies, and beyond, to assess the results of this supplement in weight loss.
References for each of them are found at the end of the article.
Does Garcinia Cambogia work? That's what we're going to see now.
86 people were selected for a 10-week study.
Participants were between 20 and 50 years old and were separated into three different groups, one of which used 2g of Garcinia Cambogia daily.
As for the other two groups, one of them used EGML and the other a placebo.
An interesting detail of this study is that none of the groups followed any specific diet or training.
That is, each person continued their previous routine, and the only change was the beginning of supplementation.
Completing the study at the end of the 10 weeks was straightforward.
Garcinia Cambogia did not promote weight loss or changes in fat body.
Maybe (very) little
In this study they decided to investigate the effects of this supplement on appetite, and find out if it had any influence or not.
Fortunately, they also evaluated the effects on weight loss.
89 overweight women participated and were divided into two groups.
42 ingested 2.4 g of Garcinia Cambogia daily, which corresponded to 1.2 g of HCA per day, while 47 were on a placebo.
The study lasted 12 weeks and both groups followed a low-calorie diet of 1200 kcal.
Both groups lost weight as expected, but the group that used the supplementation had better results.
However, they weren't exactly very significant.
The mean difference was approximately 1.3 kg between groups at the end of 12 weeks.
In other words, the group that used Garcinia Cambogia lost an average of 1.3 kg more in weight than the group that did not use it.
It is obviously a positive result, but not significant for a 12-week period.
As for appetite, no changes were detected between groups.
Or maybe not
A supplement that helps fight obesity is always interesting, so a study was done to assess the potential of Garcinia Cambogia in this area.
It relied on the results of 84 healthy but overweight people and two groups were created.
One of the groups received 3g of Garcinia Cambogia per day, and the other only a placebo. Both followed a similar diet of 1200 kcal daily.
At the end of the 12-week study, the authors' conclusion was not very encouraging.
Garcinia Cambogia did not produce superior results to placebo in terms of weight loss or in terms of fat loss.
In fact, although the difference was not statistically significant, the group that did not use Garcinia Cambogia tended to lose more weight than the group that used it, as you can see In this image.
A meta-analysis serves to bring together the results of several studies, and then draw a conclusion from that data.
It is a useful method and fortunately Garcinia Cambogia has several.
In late 2010 a meta-analysis was published that evaluated the effectiveness of this supplement in weight loss.
The conclusion was as follows:
“Evidence from research clinical studies suggests that Garcinia/HCA extracts lead to short-term fat loss.
However, the magnitude of this effect is small, it is no longer statistically significant when only rigorous clinical research studies are considered, and its clinical relevance seems questionable.”
In other words, the effect when it exists is small and of short duration, and if only rigorous studies are considered, the effect is not even statistically significant and clinically relevant.
Already in 2013, another meta-analysis was published that reached similar conclusions, stating that although the results in animals have been promising and real, in humans they are disappointing.
Garcinia cambogia extract does not appear to be a great help in weight loss, at least that's what human studies show.
Although the results have been very promising in animals, to date, it has not been shown to be very useful in using this supplement for weight loss in humans.
If you think that the possibility of losing an extra 1kg at the end of three months justifies the use of this supplement, well, then maybe it's worth it.
But actually, does it justify investing in something that, even when it works, the effects are so modest?
Finally, here are some articles that you may find useful about various weight loss supplements.
Kim JE, Jeon SM, Park KH, Lee WS, Jeong TS, McGregor RA, Choi MS. Does Glycinemax leaves or Garcinia Cambogia promote weight-loss or lower plasma cholesterolin overweight individuals: a randomized control trial. Nutr J. 2011 Sep 21; 10: 94.
Maybe (very) little
Mattes RD, Bormann L. Effects of (-) - hydroxycitric acid on appetitivevariables. Physiol Behav. 2000 Oct 1-15; 71 (1-2): 87-94.
Or maybe not
Heymsfield SB, Allison DB, Vasselli JR, Pietrobelli A, Greenfield D, Nunez C. Garcinia cambogia (hydroxycitric acid) as a potential antiobesity agent: arandomized controlled trial. JAMA. 1998 Nov 11; 280 (18): 1596-600.
Onakpoya, Igho et al. “The Use of Garcinia Extract (Hydroxycitric Acid) as a Weight Loss Supplement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials.” Journal of Obesity 2011 (2011): 509038.
Chuah, Li Oon et al. “Updates on Antiobesity Effect of Garcinia Origin (−)-HCA.” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: eCAM 2013 (2013): 751658.