The first interesting fact that I discovered was that Tamarind and Garcinia are not the same fruit. The tamarind actually grows in a brown pod and the inside texture of the pod is gummy much like the inside of a prune. The taste has been described as sweet and tangy. The garcinia fruit looks like a small green pumpkin on the outside and much like a grapefruit on the inside and has a sour taste to it.
HCA (Hydroxycitric Acid) found in the rind of the Garcinia fruit is said to be the fat binding agent that everyone is so eager to get their hands on. This is due to the reported success results it has had in so many case studies. HCA has had a lot of conflicting results due mostly to inadequate dose levels in the supplements. Science is still trying to find the dose of HCA that delivers the highest results while still being safe for human consumption. The most safe and effective dosage they’ve concluded to date is 1600mg per day. While Garcinia Cambogia has had no reported side effects in healthy subjects, an article published on wellness.com recommends against its use by diabetics. This is simply because it has been known to lower blood sugar levels. It is also recommended to avoid taking Garcinia if you take medication for regulating cholesterol (lipator etc) or antidepressants because Garcinia also affects serotonin levels thus potentially interfering with the effectiveness of your antidepressant meds. Studies have noted that calcium can disrupt the absorption of the carbohydrates by the HCA, how ever naturally occurring potassium will encourage this function.
A 2006 study, split into two groups conducted on 135 over weight, but otherwise healthy individuals showing group #1 receiving the Garcinia and group #2 receiving a placebo. The study showed that both groups did lose weight, but group #1 lost about 1-2 lbs more on average and showed drops in their cholesterol levels as well.
An evidence based review by Authority Nutrition stated, that in a study conducted on rats the HCA inhibited a fat enzyme called “citrate lyase” thus stopping the body from making fat out of carbohydrates. This has also been a fact shown in human case studies as well, but at somewhat of a less consistent level. This is most likely due to the inadequate dosing as stated above, but one may also conclude that diet and level of activity would also play rolls in this effect as well.
Studies have reported that effective supplements should contain a minimum of 60% HCA or higher in order to achieve successful results. It is also recommended to avoid products that contain fillers and binders. Fillers and binders would be anything on the label that is not the plant and the capsule.
For all practical purposes however we know that everyone is going to have varying results because, everyone is different. My conclusion without a doubt is that every bit of information I uncovered did show that subjects lost weight period. With that being said I just want to encourage all readers to talk to a doctor, dietitian or a nutritionist if you have any questions.