Is Garcinia Cambogia Safe?


Quick Answer

When taken by mouth, garcinia cambogian is possibly safe for use in humans for up to 12 weeks, according to WebMD. As of 2014, the long-term safety of the product is unknown. Potential side effects include headaches, nausea and digestive system upset. Research has not determined the safety of the product for use by pregnant or nursing mothers.

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Full Answer

Southwest Asians know garcinia cambogia as the Malabar tamarind and use it as a flavoring and a traditional food with no serious side effects, according to NYU Langone Medical Center. However, studies regarding the effectiveness of the supplement in terms of weight-loss are inconclusive. As of 2010, no studies had shown benefits that extended beyond 12 weeks, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Consumer Reports indicates that the FDA issued a warning about Hydroxycut, one of the products containing garcinia cambogia, in 2009. The manufacturer subsequently recalled the product but has since reissued it with a different formula.

Most manufacturers claim HCA affects the body's ability to metabolize fatty acids, according to Consumer Reports. Steven Heymsfield, M.D. published the first randomized study on HCA in 1998. He indicates that while HCA does affect fatty acid metabolism in a Petri dish, the process is far from what happens in the body. According to Heymsfield's research, the supplement brings no weight loss benefits.

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