Garcinia cambogia is a tropical fruit used as a weight loss supplement. The supplement blocks the body's ability to make fat, suppresses appetite and may regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
The active ingredient, hydroxycitric acid, is found in the fruit's rind and works by blocking the enzyme citrate lyase, which the body uses to make fat. Hydroxycitric acid also decreases appetite by increasing the brain's serotonin levels. Garcinia cambogia may possibly be used to treat parasites, worms and dysentery, but more research is needed to evaluate the supplement's effectiveness in treating these conditions. In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration warned garcinia cambogia users to stop using products that contain garcinia cambogia because of the risk of serious liver problems. Other side effects include dizziness, dry mouth, headache, upset stomach and diarrhea.