Garcinia – Its Proposed Benefits and Side Effects
Garcinia Cambogia, which is ambiguously called “monkey fruit,” belongs to the plant genus of sap trees, mangosteens, or garcinias. This plant or small tree is a native to Asia, Australia, and other tropical regions of southern Africa. Garcinia is a small pumpkin-shaped fruit.
The fruit came into limelight when it was highlighted that the key ingredient in its rind is hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which is argued to help certain people lose weight.
The main reason people are drawn toward the idea of consuming Garcinia is that it is marketed as a near-effortless, quick weight loss capsule, which can be bought over the counter from any pharmaceutical. Moreover, the marketers of Garcinia suggest no change in one’s diet plan and lifestyle whatsoever.
Garcinia is not a new product; it has been consumed in many parts of Asia and other regions for many years, although, not with the purpose of weight-loss.
Some claims about Garcinia Cambogia suggest that consuming the fruit can result in loss of appetite or a desire to eat less than usual, reduce cravings for unhealthy foods, inhibit a more positive mood, increase energy and concentration, improve bowel movements, control diabetes, reduce joint pains, and improve cholesterol levels. Let us know more about these claims one by one.
- Weight loss
Some studies have pointed to the fact that Garcinia can promote fat loss. But, at the same time, they suggest that its effectiveness is rarely strong or consistent. Studies have proven their hypothesis by suggesting that HCA present in Garcinia works by blocking an enzyme in the called adenosine-triphosphate-citrate-lyase, which contributes to the formation of fat cells. Other studies suggest that it can only increase weight loss by a mere one or two pounds on an average.
- Lowering appetite
A research suggests that HCA found in Garcinia can help lower appetite by increasing the production of a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which associated with appetite suppression, fewer cravings, and a reduced desire for comfort foods. However, you need to understand that there are better ways to manage your appetite and boost serotonin production. Eating balanced meals with good amounts of protein and healthy carbs at regular times will keep your appetite under check.
- Cholesterol reduction
Some reports suggest that consuming Garcinia lowers high triglycerides and improve cholesterol levels. It is not safe to take such over-the-counter medications to control cholesterol levels; moreover, the results suggested that its effects don’t seem to be very strong or reliable. There are other natural ways to improve cholesterol levels. This includes exercising and eating more dietary fiber-rich foods like veggies, nuts, seeds, and beans.
- Controlling diabetes
Some evidence exists that points to the fact that Garcinia can help in controlling blood sugar. They do it by improving how cells take up glucose to be used for energy. They might also help your body respond to insulin better, although it can raise the risk of reducing the blood sugar below allowable limits.
There can be a number of potential side effects related to Garcinia Cambogia. Many people who consume Garcinia do not complain of any side effects, while some people have had different experiences. There are disturbing accounts related to the side effects of consuming Garcinia capsules. One such account is people complaining liver problems that eventually lead to liver transplants.
Manufacturers across the country recommend taking high doses (of course for their profit) not keeping in mind that overconsumption can lead to serious side effects. Aside from liver damage mentioned above, Garcinia side effects that can occur include becoming fuzzy or weak, fatigue and brain fog, or skin rashes. Some people have reported that consuming Garcinia lowered their immune system. Other patients complained about headaches, digestive issues like nausea, and even diarrhea.
Some people avoid taking Garcinia capsules to avoid its potential interaction with other medicines and drugs. It is better to avoid Garcinia due to how it can affect other medications, pregnancy level, nutrient level, blood sugar, and more. Garcinia can interact badly with pregnancy and breastfeeding, medications for existing cases of liver or kidney damage, medicines that are taken to control asthma, and allergies. It can hinder and cause side effects with diabetic and insulin medications, iron supplements, and medicines meant especially for anemic people. Garcinia capsules are also known to interfere with pain medications and medications taken to control mental disorders like anxiety and depression. It advisable to avoid taking Garcinia if you are on blood thinning drugs.
To summarize, it is advisable to avoid consuming Garcinia “formulas” or “supplements.” Even if you do make sure you consult a doctor or a physician or dietician for that matter. This is because not all manufacturers mention the accurate level of HCA present in the capsule. If you do purchase Garcinia supplements, make sure that it clearly mentions “pure Garcinia Cambogia,” and the percentage of hydroxycitric acid. However, the best way to consume Garcinia is to consume it in its natural form like it is eaten by people in the region where it is usually found.