Garcinia cambogia is a tropical fruit, and is best known for its weight losing property. It blocks your body’s ability to produce fat and considerably reduces your appetite. Loss of fat helps you to maintain the normal cholesterol level and blood sugar level in a pretty good shape. Garcinia cambogia has been widely used in diet products for its well-known properties.
What is Garcinia Cambogia?
Garcinia cambogia is a tropical Garcia species from the plant family Clusiaceae. Some of the common names of Garcinia cambogia (Botanical name) are, brindleberry, Malabar tamarind, and Kudampuli (pot tamarind). The appearance of the fruit is similar to a small-sized pumpkin with a color variety from green to pale yellow.
The rind of the fruit is sour and is the useful medicinal portion of Garcinia cambogia. It is widely cultivated for its fruit in the parts of southeast Asia, coastal Karnataka, Kerala in India, and in some portions of west and central Africa. Indonesia holds the native land for Garcinia Cambogia. This tree grows prominently in moist forests.
- Tamil Name : Kodakkapuli, Murgal
- English Name : Cambodge / Malabar Tamarind / Kokam
- Malayalam Name : Kadumpuli, Kodapuli
- Kannada Name : Upagi mara, simai hunase
- Telugu Name: Simachinta
- Marathi Name: Amsol / Katambi / Kokam / Ratamba
- Hindi Name: Kokam / Goraka
- Bengali Name: Kokam
- Gujarati Name: Kokan
- Punjabi Name: Kokam
DOES GARCINIA CAMBOGIA WORK?
It is true that the Hydroxycitic acid(HCA) in Garcinia Cambogia helps an individual to increase the potential of our body to burn fat quicker. It is an effective way to lose weight naturally without putting any considerate amount of effort.
But several scientific results show that it can help people lose weight without exercise. Some studies used HCA and showed amazing weight loss results, while some other experiments exclaimed that the supplement had little or no side effects.
Another claim is that the use of Garcinia or HCA can help the body feel full throughout the day. Studies found that testing Garcinia in animals gives a positive result, but Garcinia has no human studies. Hence, no study is made on humans; it does not mean that Garcinia did not work properly. Peoples in the southern part of India used Garcinia for various purposes. Some people who used this as a supplement said that it helped them feel full throughout the day and supports their weight loss.
Ayurvedic Properties of Garcinia
Taste (Rasa): sweet (Madhura), sour (Amla), pungent (Katu)
Properties (Guna): Light (Laghu), Dry (Ruksha)
Potency (Veerya): Hot (Ushna)
After digestion (Vipaka): Sour (Amla)
Chemicals Extracted from Garcinia Cambogia
Various research has been done to know the composition of the fruit and the whole plant and found that it is rich in phytochemicals. The phytochemical content includes hydroxycitric acid, which is extracted and developed as a dietary supplement. Other compounds like polyphenols, luteolin, and kaempferol are also a part of this plant.
Chemical Composition of Garcinia
1. Fruit of Garcinia contains moisture, protein (1%), tannin (1.7%), pectin (0.9%), Total sugars (4.1%), and fat (1.4%).
2. Garcinia leaves have Moisture – 75% , Protein – 2.3 g, Fat – 0.5 g , Fiber – 1.24 g, Carbohydrates – 17.2 g , Iron – 15.14 mg, Calcium – 250 mg, Ascorbic acid – 10 mg and Oxalic acid – 18.10 mg.
3. Seeds are enriched with stearic, oleic, and stearic triglycerides.
4. The Garcinia plant also contains hydroxycitric acid, lactone, and citric.
USES OF GARCINIA CAMOGIA (AYURVEDA)
1. Garcinia Cambogia calms Kapha and Vata doshas, which in turn reduces health-related issues caused by this doshas. It also balances seven dhatus.
2. It has a thermogenic (heat) property, which increases the absorption process and sharpens taste buds.
3. It helps to clear away ama (undigested food) and toxins in the oral cavity.
4. Makes your body feel lighter due to the presence of three rasas (sweet, sour, pungent).
5. Improves coordination between Samana Vata (stomach, small and large intestines, liver, pancreas, and digestive organs), Pachak Pitta (digestion of food), and Kledak Kapha (Located in the stomach). This coordination supports digestion, movement of air and space in the body, and maintains lubrication level.
6. Balances medhya dhatu (fat) and improves overall health condition.
PROVEN HEALTH BENEFITS OF GARCINIA CAMBOGIA
1. Prevent Fat Production & Decrease Belly Fat
Garcinia cambogia plays a vital role in reducing fats in the blood and prevents the development of new fatty acids. Studies found that, testing Garcinia on the Human and animals has minimized the high levels of blood fats. It also reduces oxidative stress – an imbalance between formation and accumulation of Reactive Oxygen Species in the body cells. Another study also says that it will minimize the accumulation of belly fat in overweight people.
Garcinia has a compound called hydroxycitric acid, which stops fats’ production by inhibiting the power of an enzyme citrate lyase. Citrate lyase plays a significant role in the formation of fat.
Therefore, by blocking the citrate lyase enzyme, Garcinia may slow down or prevent fat production in the body. This lowers the risk of overweight.
2. Helps in Controlling Blood Sugar
Garcinia shows a powerful effect in treating Type-2 diabetes Mellitus. It works by minimizing the insulin resistance ability and also enhances peripheral insulin sensitivity. This will improve the passage of glucose to cells, tissues, and muscles, thereby reducing glucose concentration in the blood. Also it will minimize hyperglycemia, a disease caused by high plasma glucose levels in the blood.
One research says that garcinia also has an indirect effect on glucose levels in the blood. Treating the cells with 3.3% of Garcinia extract will enhance glucose metabolism and also increase the absorption of glucose by cells. Further, this process maximized the utilization of glucose in the blood as a source of energy for the body. This, in turn, reduces blood glucose levels.
The active compounds Hydroxycitric acid present in dried garcinia fruit consists of calcium and potassium salt. The extract prepared from this will minimize the oxidative stress level – an imbalance between production and accumulation of Reactive Oxygen Species found in the pancreas. Thus it is useful in reducing elevated plasma glucose levels.
The vast amount of visceral fat has a prominent role in the development of insulin resistance and elevated blood glucose levels, which may be the reason for type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Visceral fat is nothing but the fat that is present around the abdominal region and organs. Studies show that Garcinia Cambogia extract reduces visceral fat and subcutaneous fat level. This fat reduction minimizes the insulin resistance level and thus makes insulin more sensitive.
3. Anti Inflammatory Properties
Garcinia has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, that is useful for people who are diagnosed with inflammatory bowel diseases. In IBD, gastrointestinal tract inflammation gets increased. It also aids in treating other inflammations to cure various diseases.
Extract prepared from Garcinia cambogia reduces all types of inflammation. Studies say that treating IBD with garcinia extract minimizes gastrointestinal damage and also improves the antioxidants level to cure and prevent inflammation.
The inflammation gets increased by the intake of high-fat foods, which then elevates the amount of fat and cholesterol level in the body. This further leads to increased inflammation. Then, Adipocytes – fat-storing cells increase the cytokines (signaling protein) development, which increases the inflammation level.
The compounds present in Garcinia Cambogia, such as flavonoids, xanthones, and benzophenones, have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Apart from that, hydroxycitric acid(HCA) found in garcinia also treats inflammation issues.
4. Gastric Ulcer and Digestive health
Garcinia is efficient in treating gastric ulcers with its anti-ulcer properties. Apart from that, it is also useful in treating gastrointestinal disorders, thus maintaining a healthy digestive system. It smoothens the inner wall of the gastrointestinal tract by reducing the damage caused by inflammation.
Studies have shown that consuming Garcinia Cambogia fruit extract continuously for a few days will cure the stomach’s inner wall from the damage caused by the drug indomethacin. It also lowers the acidity and gastric acid (digestive fluid-like HCL) in the stomach, reducing inflammation and improving defense in the gastric area. Mostly concentrated gastric acid irritates the inflammation.
People with gastric ulcers have increased oxidative stress levels, free radicals, and inflammation, which worsens the situation. So, it is essential to reduce these factors. The research found that Garcinia Cambogia extract decreases the oxidative stress levels in the tissues or cells of the gastrointestinal tract. Further, it stops the growth of gastric ulcers and improves the blood flow in the gastrointestinal tract. Improved blood circulation gives more nutrients and oxygen supplements to the gastric region and thus nourishes it.
Apart from that, it also improves mucus production to protect the inner lining of the gastrointestinal tract from acid attack and harmful microbes. It improves the healing process of the ulcer by decreasing the concentration of gastric juice so that it will not irritate the inner wall.
5. Anthelmintic & Anti Bacterial Properties
Garcinia Cambogia possesses beneficial anthelmintic and anti Bacterial Properties, which is excellent for killing the intestinal worm. Garcinia leaves and fruits have a powerful effect on parasitic worms, gram-negative and gram-positive bacterias, and are helpful in the treatment of bacterial infections.
Studies found that Garcinia Cambogia extract eliminates parasites from the human body. Garcinia blocks the movement of bacteria and parasites, which decreases their ability to work against the body. You have to intake a bit higher doses to eliminate or kill parasitic worms from the gastrointestinal tract effectively.
Bacterias are the main reason for inflammation. Further, studies showed the antibacterial activity of garcinia fruit has killed the cells affected by the bacteria like E. Coli, S. Aureus, and P. Aeruginosa. Fruit extract prevents the growth of microbes and protects the digestive system from various illnesses.
How to use: Drink a cup of the Garcinia Cambogia juice to get relief from the intestinal worm.
6. Weight Loss
We have already seen that garcinia prevents the production of fat by inhibiting the citric acid lyase enzyme. This was proven with the research done on the rats, yet it sometimes fails to produce the same efficient result in humans.
Garcinia Cambogia plays a vital role in losing weight, and it is used as an anti-obesity supplement for many years. The anti-obesity property of Garcinia Cambogia comes from the active component hydroxycitric acid.
Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) blocks the process of lipogenesis in which carbohydrate in the body gets converted into fats. Due to this, the human body oxidizes carbohydrates and enhances the storage of glycogen. Apart from that, HCA triggers serotonin’s secretion in the brain, which further decreases the appetite feeling. So eating a small quantity of food will fulfill your stomach and that decreases your body weight. Serotonin is a natural appetite suppressant enzyme that reduces your hunger and aids in weight loss.
A study has mentioned that people treated with Garcinia Cambogia (1grams of HCA) for 12 weeks have decreased visceral fat in the abdominal cavity, subcutaneous fat under the skin surface. Beneath that, a little drop in the body mass index (BMI) was founded at the end of the testing duration.
7. Lower Cholesterol & Triglyceride Level
Garcia herbs’ HCA compound reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and increases HDL (good) cholesterol levels, thus maintaining the body healthy. Further, it will reduce the risk of heart attack, atherosclerosis, and strokes. It also reduces blood pressure levels and provides more energy for your daily duties.
Two Flavonoids, namely tannic acid and morin found in garcinia, reduces the enzyme activity that increases cholesterol; and decreases triglyceride and cholesterol.
In the secretion of bile acid, cholesterol is the most needed one. Consuming Garcinia extract will improve the elimination of bile acid; and cholesterol needed for sufficient bile juice secretion.
The active compound HCA from Garcinia Cambogia also blocks ATP citrate lyase. This enzyme is essential for the development of fatty acids, cholesterol, and triglycerides. By inhibiting ATP citrate lyase, the formation of fats, cholesterol, and triglycerides decreases automatically, which in turn lowers the body fat.
The research paper published in 2004 says that HCA found in garcinia has shown a safe role in weight loss. In this research, people are provided with HCA calcium-potassium salt from Garcinia Cambogia (2.800 g) in 3 doses, 30 minutes to 1 hour before having food.
It is claimed that the person treated with garcinia extract has reduced total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The HDL cholesterol level, which is a healthy cholesterol and serotonin secretion, gets increased. Further, fat metabolites that remain after breakdown have been excreted through the urine.
8. May Reduce Your Appetite
Intaking Garcinia will reduce appetite and make you feel full for an extended period. Some research also found that Garcinia is the best for suppressing appetite. The active compound found in Garcinia Cambogia increases the secretion of serotonin in the brain, which has the property to decrease appetite feeling.
Higher amounts of serotonin in the blood will lower your appetite. Therefore, regular addition of Garcinia will make you feel less hungry, so a small quantity of food is enough to fulfill your stomach.
9. Boosts Energy
People figured out that consuming Garcinia has increased the energy level in the human body. It will make you feel energetic throughout the day by burning lots of calories. Burning more calories will lead to weight loss and make you more active in daily life activity. Therefore adding Garcinia to the daily diet will reduce the calorie in the body.
10. In Athletic performance
Already we have seen that one of the main benefits of Garcinia is boosting energy; HCA-related supplements will improve athletic ability. Research had been done on animals and humans to prove this ability. Regular intake of Garcinia, i.e, hydroxycitric acid may improve endurance levels during playing or exercising and makes them brisk always.
11. Helps in Depression
Serotonin secreted by your brain is essential for appetite, sleeping patterns, and mood. When you have a good peaceful sleep and a happy mood, your body will automatically reduce your stress level. Here, Garcinia Cambogia aids in increasing the secretion of serotonin in the brain.
Lower serotonin levels cause depression and anxiety-related disorders. A human study was also done with this and claimed that HCA in Garcinia increases serotonin levels in the brain.
12. Prevents Kidney Stones
Research proved that the hydroxycitric acid (HCA) present in Garcinia limits the formation of calcium oxalate crystals (kidney stones). It can either prevent or dissolve kidney stones.
13. Work against Oxidative Stress
Garcinia Cambogia has citric fruits enriched with vitamin C and Xanthones, which are potent antioxidants that fight against free radicals. Fall in free radicals reduces oxidative stress- an imbalance between formation and accumulation of reactive oxygen species(ROS) in cells.
14. Diuretic Property
Due to various health issues, water gets accumulated in the body and results in swelling. In taking Garcinia will excrete this toxic water present in the body through urine. They eliminate the excess of water and electrolytes from your body.
Garcinia Cambogia leaf extract has flavonoids and glucosides, which increases the elimination of sodium, chloride and potassium electrolytes in the blood.
OTHER USES OF GARCINIA CAMBOGIA
1. Culinary Uses of Garcinia Cambogia
Garcinia is an essential culinary product that is added to the curries or gravies by the people of India who live in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Goa.
During summer days, fully ripened fruit of Garcinia are drunk as sharbat (cool drink), which is blended with sugar and cardamom.
Garcinia is preferred to use in coconut-based curries to improve its taste.
It is also used to remove the unpleasant odor from fishes.
Garcinia is also used in the preparation of vegetable dishes, chutneys, and pickles.
2. Industrial Use of Garcinia Cambogia
Fruits of Garcinia are commercially used in the manufacture of concentrated syrups. This syrup is used in the preparation of cool drinks by diluting them, especially in off-season times.
In some specific parts of India, these fruits are used in the preparation of Garcinia wine.
They are also dried, powdered, and marketed for various purposes. It gives an acidic flavor to traditional curries.
3. Traditional Medicinal Uses of Garcinia Cambogia
--> The leaves and fruits of Garcinia are sour, astringent, and helps in reducing heat, constipation and digestive issues.
--> In traditional medicine, The Garcinia fruits are used in the treatment of inflammatory ailments for rheumatic pains and bowel issues.
--> Fruits are said to be anthelmintic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and cardiotonic.
--> The juice prepared from the fruits of Garcinia Cambogia is very useful in the treatment of piles, hemorrhoids, ulcers, inflammations, sores, ear infections, dermatitis, diarrhea, dysentery, and digestion.
--> It acts as an antacid while mixing Garcinia with yogurt and salt to give relief from gastric ulcers, irritation, and burning sensations.
--> Garcinia butter aids in dysentery, diarrhea, Tuberculosis, and scurvy disease.
The recommended dose for the Hydroxycitric Acid from Garcinia Cambogia is 900 mg – 1500 mg. This is proposed as the HCA in Garcinia Cambogia and it varies with the nutrients present in the soil the tree grows.
Possible Side Effects of Garcinia Cambogia
However, the benefits of Garcinia are high; it has some side effects when consuming Garcinia Cambogia heavily. It might lead to:
--> Liver damage
--> Drying of Mouth
--> Intense head pain
--> Skin problems
A few years back, the Food and Drug Administration warned all those who used weight loss products made from Garcinia Cambogia to stop using the product as some people taking it got serious liver problems.
The use of Garcinia cambogia along with medicine might lead to some kind of side effects mentioned above. Individuals who take:
--> Pills and medicine for diabetics with insulin
--> Medicines for pain
--> Prescriptions for psychiatric conditions
Are not advised to take the product from Garcinia Cambogia without consulting with a physician or doctor.
Ladies who are pregnant or lactating mothers are not advised to use these weight loss products. Those who suffer from liver problems should also maintain a safe distance from the product made.
It is possible that manic symptoms like a reduced need for sleep or the increased energy level than the normal may emerge as a side effect.
Garcinia can raise the levels of the hormone neurotransmitter serotonin, a feel-good messenger in your body. This helps you improve your mood and reduce eating due to increased stress.
Garcinia Cambogia is an effective herbal medicine for losing body weight and fat. It also reduces the level of blood sugar, cholesterol level and eliminates toxins from the blood. Most of the health benefits of garcinia are due to the active compound hydroxycitric acid.