Our culture is “fast paced”. We like improvement, and we like it ASAP. Because of this, diet pills promising quick results get lots of attention.
Recently, Garcinia Cambogia takes the spotlight, thanks to Dr. Oz. The pill is advertised as an appetite suppressor and fat blocker, great for weight loss. Sounds nice, but how does it work?
Garcinia Cambogia is a fruit, also called tamarind, commonly used in Asian dishes. The rind (skin) has Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA), the “active ingredient” thought to cause weight loss and improvement cholesterol levels.
But, how?! Research uses lots of big words and confusing theories, so let’s break it down. The thought is that HCA acts like hormones already found in the body. The first is leptin, which tells the body that we have stored enough fat and that we are full. If there are more things telling the body that we are full, we eat less!
The second hormone is serotonin. This is our “happy hormone”. It is found mostly in the gut and helps regulate digestion and mood. Again, this helps us feel more satisfied with our meal and, theoretically, eat less.
HCA may also change amounts of enzymes that control cholesterol levels. HMG-CoA reductase is the enzyme that tells the body to make more cholesterol. HCA may decrease this enzyme, decreasing new cholesterol in the blood. Along with this, HCA may also get rid of LDL (bad cholesterol) already floating in the blood. LDL receptor is a protein in the blood that, basically, eats LDL to lower cholesterol levels. HCA may increase LDL receptor activity, which would decrease bad cholesterol.
There are other mechanisms you can look into, if interested; but, these are the basic weight loss and cholesterol lowering ideas. Is it true? Like most nutrition research, findings are “inconclusive”, and “more research is needed”.
My thoughts: The theories make sense, and it is a natural product, which is exciting; but, we can’t make promises. In experiments, participants take about 3 g of the supplement 3 times per day (always with meals). BUT, all participants were instructed to follow low-fat, low-Calorie diets (1200 Calories per day), which promote weight loss with or without the supplement!
In some (but not all) studies, the group taking Carcinia Cambogia lost slightly more weight than the other, but both groups lost weight. So, will Carcinia Cambogia help us lose more weight faster? Maybe. But, is it the weight loss miracle we have been waiting for? Probably not. What is? Eat less and move more!
Interested in weight loss? Have questions about a diet pill or fad diet that you are considering? Contact me for an assessment and personal recommendations.