You want to lose weight.
But is there any risk to taking garcinia cambogia?
This is not a question to be taken lightly.
Certainly, you want to lose many pounds but you want to do it safely as well.
In the past, several weight loss supplements were taken off the market because of concerns over liver toxicity and stroke risks.
Other weight loss supplements were adulterated with prescription weight loss chemicals.
The most reliable way to find if this popular supplement is safe is to look at research studies.
Here we will review several animal studies and human trials. Let's see what experts have found out...
Let's look at animal studies first.
Research studies using animals are easy and cost-effective to carry out. That's why researchers use them in their studies.
In the first article, a group of researchers showed that garcinia cambogia caused liver inflammation and fibrosis.
However, more recent studies did not show the same risk.
In a paper published in 2013 by Clouatre and Preuss, they showed that hydroxycitric acid (HCA), the active ingredient found in garcinia cambogia, protected the liver against harm caused by drinking alcohol.
Indeed, HCA seem to actually reduce inflammation in the intestines, kidney, brain and blood serum.
Here's the reference to this study.
But liver toxicity is not the only thing researchers have found in the past.
Back in 2005 a group of researchers lead by Saito found that giving too much extracts of garcinia cambogia caused the testis in rats to lose fat tissues. This caused the testis to shrink. (The report of this side effect surely will cause terror in any man.)
This side effect could be expected to seriously harm sperm production and could reduce fertility.
However, this is only seen when the researchers gave the rats the two higher doses out of the 4 doses they tried.
Again, these are doses based on the body weight of the rats. Keep in mind that this may not translate directly to the equivalent weight in humans.
In other words, a dose of 51 mmol/kg give to rats may NOT be the same as a human taking 51 mmol/kg!
Until experts do dosage studies in humans, no one can surely be sure of the correct dose that is not toxic or harmful.
Here's the reference to this published paper:
Because of the reported toxicity to testis, another group of researchers decided to carry out safety studies in humans in 2008.
They wanted to know if it is really safe to use in the dose currently found in weight loss products containing garcinia cambogia.
They carried out a well-designed (double-blinded placebo-controlled study) in 44 volunteers for 12 weeks.
The volunteers either got a placebo (look-a-like sugar pill) or 1,667 mg per day of garcinia cambogia.
What they found was that, after 12 weeks, there were no difference in blood chemistry, blood testosterone or estrogen levels. The blood sex hormone levels were not changed.
Is Garcinia Cambogia safe?
It appears to be safe based on preliminary clinical studies.
And 1,667 mg per day appears to be a safe dose.
Experts cannot be certain if a higher dose would be.
Indeed, in animal studies, it was shown that higher doses given to rats cause their testis to shrink.
As for long-term use, as we would expect if a person is using it for weight loss, experts are even less certain.
Now, we will address the MOST important issue on everyone's mind.
Will it REALLY work to help promote weight loss and suppress appetite in people?
For the answer, see our next article...
Revised: April 5, 2014