Garcinia cambogia is a tree native to Southeast Asia and Africa. It produces a small, pumpkin-like fruit that is popular in the cuisines of Thailand and India. The fruit of Garcinia cambogia is believed to offer some health benefits and is used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine.

There isn’t enough evidence to support the use of Garcinia cambogia for weight loss.

Is Garcinia cambogia an effective dietary supplement ingredient for weight loss?

The rind of Garcinia cambogia fruit contains hydroxycitric acid (often abbreviated “HCA” on labels), a substance thought to contribute to weight loss by suppressing appetite and inhibiting fat production. Although some scientific studies on animals and humans have shown positive short-term effects of Garcinia cambogia on weight loss, the majority of studies on humans have found no effect. There currently isn’t enough reliable evidence to support the claims that Garcinia cambogia is effective for weight loss in humans.

Can Garcinia cambogia negatively affect my health?

Garcinia cambogia is generally well tolerated and has been used in studies for up to 12 weeks without serious adverse effects. However, the latest research indicates some concern for liver toxicity. Reports have included several cases of elevated liver enzymes, one report of acute hepatitis, and one case of acute liver failure associated with a specific dietary supplement product containing Garcinia cambogia. More research is needed to confirm the association, because other ingredients also were present. Therefore, Military Service Members should use caution, particularly with multi-ingredient products.


Updated 07 January 2021


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