The ideal dosage of Garcinia Cambogia (GC) for weight loss remains unknown. Most trials that have been conducted in humans used differing dosages of GC (from 1500-5600 mg/day), which contained various percentages of the active ingredient hydroxycitric acid (HCA) (anywhere from 60-95%), and most failed to find any significant different in weight loss between people supplemented with GC and those supplemented with placebo (an inactive pill).
Always remember that products labeled as “natural” or herbal are not unquestionably safe. Any herbal remedy classified as a dietary supplement in the United States is regulated as a food product. This means it has not been subjected to the same requirements for safety or efficacy as medicines.
In general, higher dosages of any supplement or medicine increase the risk of side effects, although liver toxicity has been reported with GC when taken at recommended dosages. Two severe cases have been documented. The first was a 52-year-old female who developed severe liver failure requiring a liver transplant after taking 1000mg of GC for 15 days, and the other was a 42-year-old female who developed abnormally high liver function tests and coagulopathy (an impaired ability of the blood to clot) after one week of taking GC. The second lady recovered without incident several days after GC was discontinued.
Other reported adverse effects of GC are generally mild when GC is taken at 1000 mg/day and include stomach upset, dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, and diarrhea. Herbal remedies should not be taken by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and anybody with a medical condition such as diabetes, dementia, or heart disease should consult their doctor before use.
Until evidence suggests that GC is beneficial for weight loss, we recommend people trying to lose weight increase their activity level; avoid alcohol and added sugar; and eat more vegetables, whole grains, and less red meat; rather than take GC supplements.
- Fassina P, Scherer Adami F, Terezinha Zani V, et al. The effect of garcinia cambogia as coadjuvant in the weight loss process. Nutr Hosp. 2015 Dec 1;32(6):2400-8. doi: 10.3305/nh.2015.32.6.9587.
- Garcinia Cambogia (hydroxycitric acid). 2009 Drugs.com https://www.drugs.com/npp/garcinia-hydroxycitric-acid.html
- Heymsfield SB, Allison DB, Vasselli JR, et al. Garcinia cambogia (hydroxycitric acid) as a potential antiobesity agent: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 1998 Nov 11;280(18):1596-600.
- Onakpoya I, Hung SK, Perry R, Wider B, Ernst E. The use of Garcinia extract (Hydroxycitric Acid) as a weight loss supplement: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Journal of Obesity. 2011;2011:9 pages.509038
- Chuah LO, Ho WY, Beh BK, Yeap SK. Updates on Antiobesity Effect of Garcinia Origin (−)-HCA. Evidence-based
- Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM. 2013;2013:751658. doi:10.1155/2013/751658.
With the amount of people asking questions about it, I did a little research. If you're taking capsules there should be directions. Did you know that it can elevate your blood pressure? This is the major reason I was looking. People think that these"natural" cures are harmless and that isn't so.
- Garcinia Cambogia Information for Consumers
- Garcinia Cambogia Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
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