Hydroxycitric acid is a citric acid derivative found primarily in Garcinia cambogia. This small, purple fruit, also known as the Malabar tamarind, is valued in Southeast Asia for its unique sweet and sour flavor.
In the United States, HCA is mainly used as a weight loss supplement in tablet, capsule and powder forms. Animal research suggests that HCA may be helpful in weight loss, but studies in humans have been mixed. HCA has also been known to have dangerous side effects such as liver and kidney damage. Patients should speak with their doctor about these risks and any medications they're taking prior to using HCA.