The famous TV doctor, Dr. Oz, is at it again, with yet another “exciting” “miracle” fat-burner known as Garcinia Cambogia Extract. One of its most popular claims is that it will help you lose weight while doing nothing. He went so far as to call it the “holy grail” of weight loss. Let’s take a second and breathe before we lose our minds over a fruit extract.
This, of course, sounds like bunk to us — we firmly believe that diet and exercise are two pillars of body fat loss. We are not doubting the efficacy of a product without looking into it (which we will here shortly), but it serves as a good reminder: There are no miracles, and there are no shortcuts! That said, let’s take a look at Garcinia Cambogia, what it is and what it does.
First, Garcinia Cambogia is a fancy name for a type of tamarind — in this case, a small, pumpkin-shaped fruit usually native to Indonesia. As an herbal remedy, the extract of it has indeed been used as a weight-loss product, but there are two key caveats to this. One, its biggest attribute to that end is that it is an appetite suppressant, meaning that it itself doesn’t cause you to directly lose body fat — you just cease to be hungry when it’s consumed. This is not to be confused for satiety! It is one thing to feel full after a high-protein, high-fiber meal, because you have provided the body with nutrients it needs; the chemical reaction produced with appetite suppressants, naturally occurring or not, is entirely different and can cause health problems. In fact, the World Journal of Gastroenterology published a review of Garcinia Cambogia that linked it to hepatotoxicity — chemical-driven liver damage.
The second is that it is far from proven, and in some cases, disproved, as a weight-loss supplement. The active ingredient, supposedly, in tamarind is hydroxycitric acid; studies of it as an anti-obesity product were far from conclusive and, to a degree, found that it does nothing to fight fat: The Journal of the American Medical Association surmised that “Garcinia cambogia failed to produce significant weight loss and fat mass loss beyond that observed with placebo” after surveying 135 test subjects. Source
Remember: There are no miracles, and there are no shortcuts!