Hydroxycitric acid (HCA), is a derivative of citric acid and is found primarily in a small, sweet, purple fruit called the Malabar tamarind or, more commonly known as, the Garcinia Cambogia. Test tube and animal research suggests that HCA supplementation may be helpful in weight loss because of its effects on metabolism; however, studies in humans have found mixed results.
Several studies have shown that garcinia cambogia plays an important role in the regulation of endogenous lipid biosynthesis. This effect is specially attributed to hydroxycitric acid (HCA) inhibiting the enzyme ATP-dependent citrate lyase, which catalyzes the cleavage of citrate to oxaloacetate and acetyl-CoA.
Although several studies have found that the supplementation of garcinia cambogia extracts is associated with body weight and fat loss in both experimental animals and humans, we should be cautious when interpreting the results as other randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials have not reported the same outcomes. Furthermore, most studies in humans have been conducted on small samples and mainly in the short term.
With regard to toxicity and safety, it is important to note that except in rare cases, studies conducted in experimental animals have not reported increased mortality or significant toxicity. Furthermore, at the doses usually administered, no differences have been reported in terms of side effects or adverse events (those studied) in humans between individuals treated with garcinia cambogia and controls.
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