This tropical fruit is native to India and has long been used as a condiment and in traditional medicine. Human clinical studies suggest that significant enhancement of weight loss is possible when Garcinia Cambogia extract is used in combination with a healthy diet and exercise as part of a weight loss regimen. The data suggests that it is most effective when taken 30-60 minutes before a meal. Mechanistic investigations in animals and humans suggest the benefit may be achieved through a combination of increased lipid oxidation/metabolism and reduced appetite.Another study with human muscle cells suggests it may support increased glycogen synthesis in muscle cells, storing excess energy in muscle rather than fat cells.
The most studied component of Garcinia Cambogia is hydroxycitric acid (HCA). The earliest recognized weight management benefit of HCA dates back to 1977 (Panksepp 1977). In experiments with rats, a short term (1 hour) aversion to food was demonstrated with ingestion of HCA. This short term satiety was demonstrated in numerous subsequent studies in both animals and humans (Astell 2013, Gatta 2009, and Leonhardt 2001). Another recognized benefit of HCA is its inhibition of lipogenesis. Lipogenesis is an important step in the conversion of simple sugars, such as glucose, to fatty acids.
HCA competitively inhibits the enzyme, ATP: citrate lyase by competing with citrate. This slows the conversion of sugars to fatty acids. Fewer fatty acids results in less excess energy being stored as fat in adipose tissue (Kovacs 2006, Lim 2005, Leonhardt 2004). Garcinia Cambogia and its component phytochemicals have also been investigated for both psychological and neurological benefits. Researchers have found that HCA enhances serotonin release and availability in the brain cortex (Shara2004), which may be of some cognitive benefit. In addition, neuronal protective action has been demonstrated for the extract component guttiferone A during in vitro cellular studies. Like most effective herbal supplements, Garcinia Cambogia has positive, healthful benefits on the structure and function of many components and systems of the body beyond its most recognized application.