Garcinia Cambogia (HCA): Is This Right for You?

Want to burn fat quicker and more efficiently? One available option is a natural extract from a plant that’s native to Indonesia: garcinia cambogia.

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Many studies have shown promise. One randomized placebo-controlled study followed 60 obese persons for 8 weeks. With a calorie-restricted diet (1200 kcal/day) and an HCA dose of 1320 mg/day, the experimental group lost an average of 14 pounds (compared to 6.1 pounds in the placebo group). The participants also noted reduced appetite.

Is It Safe?
The plant and its fruit have been eaten safely for years. The HCA extract is also likely safe in normal amounts.

However, don’t take this supplement if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you are taking a diabetic medication (like insulin or glyburide), talk to a doctor before taking this to make sure this is right for you, otherwise this supplement may allow your blood sugar to fall even lower than normal.

Those taking a statin (a cholesterol-lowering drug) should use this supplement with caution because it can increase the risk of harmful side effects, like rhabdomyolysis or muscle degradation. Those with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia shouldn’t take HCA because of the risk of worsening dementia.

How Much Should I Take?
You can buy garcinia cambogia extract in health food stores or online. When looking for a supplement, look for “garcinia cambogia” or “GCE” with at least 50% HCA (active ingredient potassium). Some experts believe that the newly available HCA potassium salts are more effective than the other HCA formulations.

Take 500-1000 mg before each meal, and make sure to take no more than 3000 mg total per day.

When looking for supplements, make sure you can see and review the list of ingredients. Do not purchase if you can’t see any ingredients. Furthermore, there should be no fillers or artificial ingredients.

With no other changes, you may lose 2-4 pounds within one month. However, it is highly recommended that the person taking HCA also find time for moderate exercise a few times a week and eat properly portioned meals. Let the power of the HCA supplement work along with making healthier choices.

Most importantly, The Doctor Oz Show will not and does not promote any particular brand. If you see any ads or receive any e-mails that claim Dr. Oz is promoting or recommending a specific brand, ignore it and let The Dr. Oz Show know about it.

Also, understand that no pill is more effective than maintaining a regular exercise regimen and a healthy diet.

Click here for more information on safely purchasing supplements.