Carol Burr, Naturopath
Garcinia cambogia is a fruit native to Indonesia and grown throughout India, Southeast Asia, and some parts of Africa. The skin of the fruit contains a natural substance called hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which is said to be beneficial in weight and appetite management.
Garcinia cambogia is a fruit native to Indonesia and grown throughout India, Southeast Asia, and some parts of Africa. Also known as Brindleberry, Garcinia looks like a small green pumpkin and has a long history of use in cooking, where it is made into chutneys and used in curries. The skin of the fruit contains a natural substance called hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which is said to be beneficial in weight and appetite management.
Garcinia cambogia contains HCA, which works by blocking an enzyme responsible for converting glycogen (your body’s short-term sugar storage molecule) into fat (your body’s long-term energy storage molecule). Glycogen is naturally produced by the liver in response to a high or concentrated intake of carbohydrates.
When an individual consumes more carbohydrates than the body can cope with, the excess nutrients are converted into glycogen so they can be stored later for a ‘rainy day’.
The downside with glycogen though, is that it has a limited storage capacity, meaning that once capacity is reached, the body’s only choice is to convert this precious sugar storage molecule into a molecule that can be stored for a much longer period of time – fat. HCA interrupts this natural process by blocking the enzyme responsible for the conversion of glycogen to fat.
This means the body has a greater chance of using the easily mobilised left-over glycogen for energy, before it is converted into difficult-to-budge fat.
1. Preuss, H.G., Rao, C.V.S., et al. (2004). An overview of the safety and efficacy of a novel, natural Hydroxycitric Acid Extract (HCA-SX) for weight management. Journal of Medicine, 35, 1-6. 2. Bagchi, M., Zafra-Stone, S., Sen, C.K., Roy, S., Bagchi, D. (2006). DNA Microarray Technology in the evaluation of weight management potential of a novel calcium-potassium salt of Hydroxycitric Acid. Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods, 16, 129-135. 3. Preuss, H.G., Bagchi, D., et al. (2004). Effects of a natural extract of Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA-SX) and a combination of HCA-SX plus niacin-bound chromium and Gymnema sylvestre extract on weight loss. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 6, 171-180.
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