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Garcinia Cambogia Extract and Weight Loss: An Unbiased Review

Before we get started, here are a few interesting facts to help give you some context and perspective.

Did you know: The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reported that as of 2012 over 35% of U.S. adults were obese – over 69% were overweight.

Did you also know: As of 2006, over half of the U.S. population has used some form of dietary supplement. That was nine years ago. It’s safe to assume the numbers have risen since.

Read those stats again and let them sink in…

Over 50% of people have taken dietary supplements, yet a whopping 69% are still overweight and 35% are obese!

The numbers don’t lie…

Dietary supplements aren’t the miracle pills we hope they would be. Yet that doesn’t stop half of us from continuing to buy those supplements, hoping that we’ll eventually find that one “magic pill” that will make us shed pounds like crazy.

Garcinia Cambogia is one of the “magic pills” that has led the charge for the past three years.

It’s been called “the next great dietary supplement” and it’s sparked a lot of debate between health specialists, nutritionists, and fitness experts alike.

And they’ve basically split themselves into two camps (or teams): Team Overhyped and Team Misunderstood. (More on these “teams” in just a bit.)

But what really matters to you (and everyone else) is if this little pill is any good at helping people lose weight.

This unbiased garcinia cambogia review will answer that question.

What is Garcinia Cambogia?

Garcinia Cambogia is a tropical fruit, native to Indonesia.

It looks like a miniature pumpkin and ranges in color from light yellow to dark red. When the fruit is cured it takes on a dark-brown or blackish color.

For years, it’s been used by locals and Indian citizens for cooking (making spices, like curries) and fish curing (especially in South India and Sri Lanka).

But the western hemisphere has come to know garcinia cambogia almost exclusively for being a weight loss supplement.

Garcinia Cambogia for Weight Loss

Garcinia cambogia has experienced two popularity surges in the U.S.

  1. The first, in the 90s: When initial findings on the fruit’s unusual ingredient, HCA’s, effects on weight loss in animals were revealed to the public. (More on HCA in just a second.)
  1. And again in 2012: After celebrity doctor, Dr. Oz, touted the fruit’s effectiveness at burning fat on his nationally-syndicated show, the Dr. Oz Show.

But why the surge in popularity? And why weight loss?

Two words: Hydroxycitric acid (HCA)

HCA is a unique acid (found exclusively in garcinia cambogia) that is similar to the citric acid found in oranges and lemons.

But here’s what makes it special…

HCA blocks a part of an enzyme called citrate lyase. And citrate lyase helps turn sugars and starches into fat.

So, what happens when your body blocks a part of citrate lyase? ...

The carbs in your body get used to produce energy instead of being converted and stored as body fat. Interesting, no?

Let’s bring it home…

So when you burn fat via exercise and working out, there is less fat present to replace what you’ve burned – thus your overall fat levels drop.


But not so fast…

In theory, it sounds great – a true “magic pill.”

But as research shows, garcinia cambogia might not be as effective as it’s sometimes made out to be.

What Research Has Uncovered About Garcinia Cambogia?


Countless research studies have been conducted over the years to determine how effective garcinia cambogia is for weight loss.

These studies have uncovered a wide range of results:

  • Other studies concluded that garcinia cambogia is, in fact, a fairly beneficial dietary supplement for weight loss … when taken in a specific way. (More on this later on.)

In the spirit of full disclosure, here are select handful of studies that both oppose and support garcinia cambogia’s ability to help accelerate weight loss.

The Bad

  • Another double-blind, placebo-controlled study performed in 2010 concluded that while garcinia cambogia did have a positive effect on weight loss, it was so minute that it didn’t warrant labeling the supplement as a viable means of weight loss.

The Good

  • Harry Preuss conducted several studies that strongly supported the effectiveness of garcinia cambogia. One such study followed 30 people (between the ages of 21-50) over the span of eight weeks. At the end of the study, the half that took a placebo lost an average of 3 pounds. The other half that took the garcinia cambogia lost an average of 12 pounds – a 400% increase over the placebo group.
  • Another study conducted by Dr. Preuss on 60 people found that not only did the garcinia cambogia group lose more weight (10.6 lb. average), but they also had a 16% decrease in the amount of food they ate per meal.

How to Take Garcinia Cambogia

It’s hard to argue with results like that. But what’s the catch?

Why did Dr. Preuss’ studies garner such good results while other studies seemed to fall flat on their faces?

One word… precision.

Dr. Preuss knew a couple of important details about garcinia cambogia that other doctors didn’t:

  • It’s not all created equal. Some garcinia cambogia derivatives are useless for weight loss (pure calcium hydroxycitric acid), while others are optimal (calcium and potassium-bonded hydroxycitric acid).
  • It must be taken in an extremely consistent and exact manner. More difficult than you think. Only 33% of medicine takers follow the instructions on the label to a “T”.

Dr. Preuss, in this report (PDF), describes how garcinia cambogia should be taken:

  • The product should be at least 50% HCA, and should not be composed entirely of calcium salts.
  • Take near 1.5g, three times per day before each meal. Do not exceed that amount.
  • Take it on an empty stomach – between 30 and 60 minutes before each meal. HCA must have “space” to be effective. Food will only “suffocate” it.
  • Remember: Follow the above directions EXACTLY. Never miss a dose. It can ruin everything.

Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects

 If you choose to give garcinia cambogia extract a shot, then side effects might be a concern for you. That’s normal.

Here’s the good news…

As of this writing, there are no known serious side effects associated with consuming garcinia cambogia.

(A small group of people reported a minor side effect involving mild digestive issues. That’s it.)

Also, it’s not a stimulant. So a sound night’s sleep or mood swings are not an issue.

Final Words

Bringing this around full circle…

Remember the “teams” from earlier?

You have one group (Team Overhyped) that tends to focus on the negative research and believes that garcinia cambogia is just another “magic pill” weight loss supplement meant to steal more money from the misguided public.

Then there’s the other group (Team Misunderstood) that believes garcinia cambogia can be very effective at promoting weight loss when it’s taken exactly as prescribed and combined with regular exercise and proper nutrition.

Ultimately, the verdict is still out on the effectiveness of garcinia cambogia for weight loss

So there’s really only one way for you to know for sure…

By trying it out for yourself.

And if you do decide to give it a shot, make sure you share your results in the comments below.

We’d love to hear about your experience.

Who knows … maybe it’ll help us finally form a concrete conclusion on whether garcinia cambogia really works or not.

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