13 August 2008

Other Common Names : Brindle berry, brindall berry, garcinia, malabar tamarind, hydroxycitric acid (HCA), citrin, gambooge, gorikapuli, uppagi, garcinia kola, mangosteen oil tree.

Plant Parts Used : Fruit rind.
  • Habitat : India and South East Asia.
  • Garcinia cambogia is a flowering evergreen tree, with drooping branches.
  • The fruit is yellow, oval in shape and resembles small pumpkins.
  • Garcinia is part of the same family as mangosteens; the fruit is harvested, dried and ground into a powder.
Health Benefits of Garcinia cambogia
  • Garcinia cambogia, with its distinctly sour sweet taste, has been used for centuries in South East Asia to make meals more filling.
  • The mechanism for garcinia’s weight loss ability is still being understood; but is believed to be through inhibiting the body’s ability to convert carbohydrates to fats. This leads to an increase in glycogen in the liver, which sends a message to the brain indicating satiety, and in turn reduces appetite.
  • Garcinia has also been historically used to treat gastric ulcers. A 2002 study indicates this herb works primarily through the action of one of these plant’s constituents, garcinol.
  • The rind of Garcinia cambogia is also astringent, which is why it was also historically used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentry as well as having the added benefit in the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers.
  • The ability for Garcinia’s component, HCA, to reduce blood lipid levels and lower blood cholesterol is another feature of this amazing natural medicine.
  • More recently, it has been proposed that Garcinia cambogia has a hepato protective ability against external toxins, such as alcohol. A recent study showed that Garcinia prevented liver cells from becoming fibrotic and stopped cell damage caused by high blood lipid levels.
Composition-Active Ingredients
  • The active constituent in this herb is called Hydroxycitric acid or HCA and is gaining a reputation for assisting weight loss through appetite suppression and by reducing the body’s ability to form adipose(fatty) tissue during times of overeating and promotes fat burning
  • The theory behind Garcinia cambogia is that HCA inhibits an enzyme called citrate lyase that helps turns excess carbohydrates into fat. By inhibiting this enzyme, it is believed the body instead boosts carbohydrate oxidation, or simply put, burns the extra carbs.
  • Garcinol is known to lower acidity in the stomach and protects the gastric mucosa.

Dosage Information
  • Garcinia cambogia is usually sold in capsule form, standardized to include a percentage of HCA, the active ingredient
  • Only brands standardized to 50% or greater HCA are generally recommended. For maximum effect, the daily dose is divided in three parts, taking one or more capsules 30-60 minutes before breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • The usual dosage for garcinia is 300 to 500mg tablets three times daily taken half an hour before meals with water.

Warning and Potential Side Effect :
  • Garcinia cambogia reportedly does not have any known adverse effects in healthy adults, but there are some people who are advised not to take it.
  • According to experts, this includes children, pregnant and lactating women, those diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, and people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia disease.
  • In the case of Alzheimer’s patients, it is thought HCA might form acetylcholine in the brain, while diabetics could be affected by HCA tendency to lower blood sugar. Conversely, in healthy adults this latter effect can purportedly curb cravings for sweets and carbohydrates.
  • Garcinia cambogia does have contraindications with certain medications, and it is important to discuss this with your health care professional.

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