What Is Garcinia Cambogia? Safety & Side Effects

Garcinia Cambogia is a small, squash-like fruit that grows naturally in southeastern Asia, India, and Western Africa. The fruit itself is a popular condiment in Thai and Indian cuisine. The rind of this rusty-colored fruit is rich in hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is thought to be the active ingredient. HCA has been thoroughly studied in recent years for its reported ability to promote weight loss.

Garcinia Cambogia has been utilized in traditional medicine throughout documented history. Ayurvedic medicine regards Garcinia Cambogia as a powerful treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and digestive problems. However, the most recent publicity for Garcinia Cambogia is it’s potential use as a weight loss aid. In addition to HCA, Garcinia Cambogia fruit contains compounds known as xanthones. Xanthones may have an anti-inflammatory effect by reducing the enzymes that contribute to inflammation. Garcinia Cambogia continues to be a popular treatment for rheumatoid arthritis in India and other parts of Asia. The rind of the Garcinia Cambogia fruit is reported to encourage the production of digestive juices and enzymes in the stomach, thereby reducing the production of gas and aiding digestion. Traditional medicine uses Garcinia Cambogia to help people feel more satiated (full) after meals, thereby limiting overall calorie intake.

Benefits of Garcinia Cambogia

Some preliminary research suggests that Garcinia Cambogia may help with weight loss. Overweight and obese people on a low calorie diet who took a 60% HCA or greater Garcinia Cambogia supplement before mealtime experienced a moderately greater weight reduction than those on a low-calorie diet alone. The more obese the participants, the greater amount of weight loss seen as compared to a placebo. Garcinia Cambogia is also being tested for its effect on exercise performance, as traditional use of the fruit includes increased amounts of energy. In clinical trials, HCA was effective at levels only at levels of 60% or higher potency. Garcinia Cambogia fruit contains only 30% HCA, so be sure to look for supplements containing at least 50-60% HCA.

How Much Garcinia Cambogia Do I Need?

There is not yet a recommended daily amount (RDA) for Garcinia Cambogia. However, a maximum dosage of 1.5g (1500mg) per day is considered safe.

What are the Side Effects of Garcinia Cambogia?

Side effects while taking Garcinia Cambogia are uncommon, but may include headache, nausea, or diarrhea. Research has not yet evaluated the safety and effectiveness of Garcinia Cambogia during pregnancy, so use while pregnant is not advised.

Are There Any Medications or Supplements I Shouldn’t Take With Garcinia Cambogia?

Research into potential interactions with Garcinia Cambogia is still developing. Please review below for known possible interactions:

Antidepressants or Other Serotonergic Drugs

There is a documented case of serotonin syndrome in an individual that had been taking 1000mg of 60% HCA Garcinia Cambogia in conjunction with the serotonergic medication escitalopram 20mg (Lexapro) for a year. The individual was switched to a different medication, sertraline 50mg (Zoloft), and again experienced serotonin syndrome.

Theoretically, combining Garcinia Cambogia with other serotonergic drugs might increase the risk of serotonergic side effects, including serotonin syndrome.

Serotonin syndrome occurs when the body produces too much serotonin. Symptoms range from mild (a headache and confusion) to life-threatening (seizures, irregular heartbeat).

Some antidepressant drugs include the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as:

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)

Other non-SSRI serotonergic drugs include tricyclic and atypical antidepressants include:

  • Amitriptyline (Elavil)
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Pentazocine (Talwin)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Tramadol (Ultram)

Should you be supplementing with Garcinia Cambogia?

If you are severely overweight, you may see positive results with Garcinia Cambogia supplementation.

Interested in learning whether garcinia cambogia supplementation is right for you? Take the Vitality DNA test today to find out exactly which nutrients your body needs.


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