Does Garcinia Cambogia Extract Actually Work? An Objective Look

Woman Who is Disappointed on The ScaleDieting sucks.

It tends to lead to cravings… and hunger.

This generally causes people to give up on their diet and gain the weight back.

For this reason, most conventional weight loss methods have a terrible success rate. Very few people succeed in the long run.

This is where a popular weight loss supplement called Garcinia Cambogia extract steps in.

According to many health experts, it can reduce appetite and help you lose weight, pretty much without effort.

Even Dr. Oz has been touting the benefits of it. He is an American TV doctor and probably the most famous health “guru” in the world.

Last year, Dr. Oz featured Garcinia Cambogia on his show.

He seemed very excited about it… he even used the word magic and said that it might be “the most exciting breakthrough in natural weight loss to date” (you can watch the episode here).

Now… I’m a big fan of supplements and self-experimentation.

I’ve personally experimented with a ton of different supplements throughout my life, although only a handful have stuck with me.

Given the raving reviews about Garcinia Cambogia, I got excited and decided to take a closer look at this supplement and the science behind it.

What is Garcinia Cambogia?

Garcinia Cambogia Fruit

Garcinia cambogia is a plant, also known as Garcinia gummi-gutta.

The fruit of the plant looks like a small, green pumpkin and is used in many traditional Asian dishes for its sour flavor.

In the skin of the fruit, there is a large amount of a natural substance called Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA).

This is the active ingredient in Garcinia Cambogia extract… that is, the substance that produces the weight loss effects.

Bottom Line: Garcinia Cambogia is a plant often used in Asian recipes. The skin of the fruit contains a substance called Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA), which is the active ingredient.

Does Garcinia Cambogia Actually Work?

Woman Smiling and Holding a Supplement

I managed to find several research studies on Garcinia Cambogia, in both animals and humans.

According to some studies in rats, it can inhibit a fat producing enzyme called Citrate Lyase, making it more difficult for the body to produce fat out of carbohydrates (1).

Other rat studies show increased levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. This could theoretically lead to reduced appetite and cravings (2).

There are actually a whole bunch of studies in rats showing that Garcinia Cambogia consistently leads to significant weight loss (3, 4, 5, 6).

However, what works in rats doesn’t always work in humans.

Bottom Line: Studies in rats show that the active ingredient in Garcinia Cambogia can inhibit a fat producing enzyme called Citrate Lyase and increase serotonin levels, leading to significant weight loss.

A Look at Some Human Studies

Fortunately, I also found several human studies on Garcinia Cambogia.

All of these studies are so-called randomized controlled trials, which are the gold standard of scientific experiments in humans.

The biggest of the studies included 135 overweight individuals, which were split into two groups (7):

  • Treatment group: 3 grams of Garcinia Cambogia Extract (a total of 1500mg Hydroxycitric acid) in three separate doses, 30 minutes before meals.
  • Placebo group: The other group took dummy pills (placebo).

Both groups also went on a high-fiber, low calorie diet.

These were the results of the 12 week study, which was published in The Journal of The American Medical Association (a highly respected scientific journal):

Heymsfield,  et al. 1998

As you can see, both groups lost weight.

But the group taking Garcinia Cambogia extract actually lost less weight (3.2 kg – 7 pounds) than the placebo group (4.1 kg – 9 pounds).

The researchers also looked at body fat percentage. The placebo group lost 2.16%, while the group taking Garcinia Cambogia lost only 1.6%.

However, the difference was not statistically significant, meaning that the results could have been due to chance.

More Studies

In another study with 89 overweight females, Garcinia Cambogia did lead to 1.3 kg (2.8 pounds) more weight loss compared to placebo, over a period of 12 weeks. They found no difference in appetite between groups (8)

Another study also found that Garcinia Cambogia reduced belly fat and reduced blood triglycerides. However, it did not cause actual weight loss (9).

Overall, I looked at 4 more studies. Two of them showed weight loss of a few pounds over a period of 8 weeks (10, 11), but the other two showed no effect (12, 13).

So… unfortunately, the weight loss effects appear to be both weak and inconsistent.

A review published in the Journal of Obesity in 2011 that looked at 12 clinical trials found that Garcinia Cambogia can increase weight loss by about 0.88 kg, or 2 pounds, on average, over a period of several weeks (14).

Their conclusion sums it up quite nicely:

“…Garcinia extracts/HCA can cause short-term weight loss. The magnitude of the effect is small, and the clinical relevance is uncertain.”

I agree. It may cause a mild effect in some people, but overall the effects are small and unlikely to make a major difference.

Bottom Line: There have been many studies conducted on Garcinia Cambogia in overweight individuals. Some of them show a small amount of weight loss, while other studies show no effect.

Garcinia Cambogia Appears to be Very Safe

Bottle With Blue Pills

It is important to keep in mind that these studies usually only report averages.

It is possible that some individuals can in fact lose weight with this supplement, although it doesn’t seem to work very well on average.

At least, Garcinia Cambogia appears to be safe. There are no serious side effects, only some reports of mild digestive issues (15).

If you want to try it out despite the poor results in the studies, then it is best to get a brand with at least 50% Hydroxycitric acid. The most common dose is 500 mg, 3 times per day, half an hour before meals.

If Garcinia Cambogia Doesn’t Work, Then What Does?

I’ve been experimenting with and researching supplements for years, but I have yet to find a weight loss supplement that actually works.

There are a few that appear to be mildly effective. This includes Caffeine, Green Tea and Glucomannan (a fiber that can reduce appetite). However, the results are usually weak and inconsistent and certainly nothing to get excited about.

At the end of the day, the only thing that is really proven to help you lose weight is changing your diet. Exercise can help too, but what you eat is by far the most important.

For a proven way to lose weight without hunger, check out this article.

Take Home Message

One day, science might discover a supplement or a drug that actually works for weight loss… and I hope we do, believe me.

But it is clear from the studies that Garcinia Cambogia isn’t it. Period.

192 Comments

  1. I ordered this product after seeing it advertised by Magda Szubanski, I was a bit impulsive or desperate. Since then I have been trying to find out if in fact she does endorse this and so far nothing. I have paid for this and still haven’t received anything and am concerned now as I can’t even contact the company as they never answer. When I do get it I will be a bit reluctant to try it now. Has anybody else had a similar experience?

    • Johnny B Good says:

      I ordered this stuff off of PulseTV’s website – 3 months supply for $20 – because they claimed you lose weight without changing your diet or exercise. I did this also because after stopping smoking for 45 years, I gained 15 pounds. I weigh myself first thing in the morning, totally nude and have a 2 year log.

      The first week my weight dropped a little each day to total 5 pounds the first week. After that it goes up and down but never less than the first 5 pounds. With a month gone and not having lost more than the first 5 pounds, I may have to try some exercise. I’m not impressed but it is still early.

      • I recently reviewed another one of Dr. Oz’s supplements, this one looks a bit more promising:

        http://authoritynutrition.com/does-yacon-syrup-work/

        • I used to have respect for Dr. Oz when he was writing the “You and …” books about your body and other more authoritative books that were more about education than about selling the latest supplement.

          I’ve only watched his show a couple of times and it seems he’s really into pushing weight loss under the guise of “natural” aids. One show I saw was about Chia seeds – also magic.

          Bottom line (for me): I don’t trust Dr. Oz anymore. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he’s making a ton off affiliate links to these “magic” solutions.

          • Sue Greenan says:

            I agree, I only watch the Dr Oz show a few times because I work at night. Sleeping in the day. But I think he is just trying to sell these diet products, it seems his show has become one fad after another. What’s the new diet craze?

            I wish he would stop pushing this stuff that doesn’t work. Come on, if there was some magic pill out there we all would be taking it to lose weight!

          • I so agree with you on the money making on stuff. I have tried Garcinia Cambogia for nearly a month now and have actually gained from it. I am sending it back for refund, we will see how that goes, luckily I bought from what I think is a reputable firm. I just needed a punch to get off my plateau I was on, this just made things worse.

            Luckily it was only a couple pound weight gain… and this was with only 1100 calories a day and walking 30 minutes, so my opinion… don’t waste your time with these.

      • I had ordered garcinia cambogia through the drugstore… I was in now way overweight. I was only taking this supplement to help me lose a few fat pounds and inches faster and to help keep my calorie intake down while I was working out at the gym to tone up a bit.

        When I started I was 120lbs and only 5’3″. I took recommended dose for 2 weeks and I didn’t see a difference in weight. I stopped taking them as my weight had not been changing and as soon as I stopped taking them I gained 8 lbs within a week or two. Now I have to lose 13 lbs instead of 5!

        Totally ticked off. My eating habits stayed the same throughout when I was on or off this supplement so I’m not sure how I gained 8 lbs but I’ve been going to the gym and eating healthy and the weight doesn’t seem to be coming off!

        • Did you perhaps gain muscle mass?

          • Ha, indeed. This and about a million other comments on here have said the same. In my first weeks on Garcinia I gained 4/5 pounds but soon realised that the food I was eating was starting to store as mass rather than fat.

            2 months in and I am a stone and a half down, but more importantly, it seems to have aimed specifically for the belly, looking a lot trimmer now. People should not expect to see weight loss in the first 2/3 weeks of use, garcinia doesn’t work like that.

        • Which website or brand did you buy from? There are knock off brands out there that won’t work.

        • Ummm 5’3 and 120 pounds is NOT overweight. I wish I was 120 pounds again, we are the same height.

    • I bought 3 bottles, took almost 8 weeks to get here (Australia). Tried it for 3 weeks… lost nothing!! This is just another weight loss gimmick that doesn’t work.

      • I have been using this product with the HCA @ 60%, thinking I was going to lose weight, or at least some belly fat without changing my eating habits.

        I love Dr. Oz so this is one of the reasons I bought it. I spent $60.00 and it’s been 30 days and I see no difference. I actually feel like I have gained. I think I’m going to just try another approach by eating better and getting some exercise.

        • Well Cynthia, you hit the nail on the head, that’s the only way I have found to lose pounds. Eat healthy (less junk) and exercise more!

        • I take 3 tablets a day, 30 mins before meals (hca 50%, 800mg), exercise 4 times a week for 30-45mins… it has decreased my usually insatiable appetite and although the scales are not moving much my measurements have dropped significantly, no side effects and my shape is changing and I am very happy with the results so far. I bought mine from my local chemist outlet for $22 AU, so don’t think you need to pay top $$ for it too work.

          • Hey Kiz, where did you get it from in Australia?

            I live in the Sydney area… local health food store or discount vitamins?

            I am not overweight and do exercise and eat well but have trouble losing the last 5 kg… if this would help along with what I already do then that would be awesome.

          • I’m also from OZ, live in Melb. Saw the product at GNC.

        • That is what my game plan is Cynthia. But I know I have gained a couples pounds from when I started the pills, and I watched what I ate and kept a log. So I really do not think they work. Yahoo for those of you they helped.

        • I also gained weight… but continued to take it as per instructions, thinking that I have to give it time. 2 bottles later and about 6 lbs later and I cannot get in touch with the company from which I bought it! I’ve tried many of Dr. Oz’s gimmicks… and that’s all they are, gimmicks.

          I’ve tried cutting out coffee and drinking green tea for 10 weeks. The result should have been to lose 6 lbs in 10 weeks. I rec’d nothing but headaches – gimmicks!

        • I have been using this product for 2 weeks now and I have had some good results. Now, I understand that some people are skeptical and with good reason but, as with ANY product out there, it doesn’t work the same for everyone. I started out at 270 lbs and have lost 7 pounds so far.

          I have noticed that I cannot eat as much as I used to (my girlfriend has noticed this as well in her diet as she is taking it too). For whatever reason that I am losing this weight, I am giving the product the credit for suppressing my appetite.

          So, for now, I give Original Garcinia Cambogia the thumbs up. If my situation changes at any time, I will update you all.

          • What brand are you using?

          • I am using Garcinia Cambogia from LiveWell Labs. They were rated as one of the best on a few consumer rating sites. They are said to have an accurate dose of the extract and HCA. So far, I have lost about 15 pounds in about a month without changing anything at all (I already ate healthy, but drank a bit of beer).

            I just recently started walking again, and stopped drinking wine and beer. We’ll see how it goes. When I started I was at about a 40 inch waist (snug), and now I am down to 38 (getting a little loose). Not sure if it is the Garcinia or not because I was 270 at a 46 inch waist a couple of years ago and have been consistently losing since then. I just noticed it seems to have sped up a little with Garcinia.

          • I have been seeing things about mixing it with Safer colon or something named similar (I forget the name), has anyone tried this method and had better results?

      • I tried it and I work out 6 days a week. I’ve hit a plateau and it did nothing for me during a 4 week trial.

    • No it does not work, nor does the cleanse do anything, it certainly has not even began to make me clean! Just another 90 dollar gimmick.

    • Laura Barnes says:

      My husband and I are on week 3 of using the Garcinia Cambogia as directed. I even made sure I got the highest percentage of HCA I could find. We both work out at least 4 times a week and we count calories. Neither one of us has seen weight loss with this product. I am a little disappointed as I was hoping that since we do exercise that we’d see additional weight come off – but no.

    • Yes this also happened to me. It’s very disappointing that we live in such a criminal world. Bottom line… don’t believe anything you see on tv and listen to your conscience.

    • Hi Jenny.

      There is a well known scammer out there who uses fake celebrity endorsement (Oprah in particular) to hook people into ordering via their bogus sites – product range includes African Mango, Green Coffee Bean extract, Raspberry Ketone etc… the list goes on.

      As you say, you either don’t get the product, or the product you do get is highly suspect and I imagine not fit for human consumption. The point is, if ANY site you go onto does not have security around credit card payments, then it will NOT be a reputable seller. They are only after your credit card details so they can rip you off and potentially steal your credit identity. If you haven’t yet done so, please cancel that card and get a new one issued.

      I have reported this organisation to relevant authorities time and time again, however, as they keep shutting down and changing their web address, they are hard to pin down. So consumer beware is the message here.

      Cheers,
      Rachelle

    • Chris Luca says:

      Hi Jenny.

      Ditto – but I did get my order. I have seen a clip on TV by Magda saying she did not endorse this product – and she has now put on weight if not more than before anyways. I have found that Garcinia Cambogia is an appetite suppressant but I haven’t lost any weight since using for almost 2 months now.

      Sorry – I think you have lost your money but you probably wouldn’t have lost any weight either…

      Good luck with future trials.

    • Carmma Prater says:

      So I have ordered the same thing, mine did come on time but my aunt ordered 3 months worth and never received hers and couldn’t get a hold of anyone to see what was wrong.

      But she got a hold of her bank and they got a hold of the company and it is all real and they did send it… after that phone call with her bank she got it in the mail 2 weeks after!

  2. I agree it would be great if someone found a magic pill for weight loss, but wouldn’t it still give people an excuse to be unhealthy? I think it would deter people from learning that thin doesn’t necessarily equal healthy

    • You’re spot on Shira, people don’t want to put the (supposed) hard work in to change their diets. But then, given the nonsense spouted by our government agencies, why would they? I mean, who’d want to go on a deprivation diet, feel hungry and then gain any weight lost back again once their old diet resumes (because deprivation diets can’t be maintained for the long term)?

      What I’ve found with my clients over the years is that when the goal is fat loss as a result of health then the weight stays off, people feel good and they have a diet that they can happily maintain for the rest of their lives. Just what Kris here is recommending!

      Here’s to our health,
      George

      • RomanyGirl says:

        George,
        Some of us are physically unable to exercise so I find your comment about people not wanting to put in hard work to lose weight somewhat offensive.
        Please consider that we aren’t all able to be as active as we would like.

        Thanks.

  3. It usually comes back to the same thing:

    If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is…

    • Well, I have been knowledgeable about medical and psychological issues most of my life because I’m from a family that consisted of two physicians and a registered nurse. You are all right. Deprivation diets simply do not work because we are basically animals. Our bodies don’t respond to starvation except with shutting down to conserve fuel and energy.

      There you are on this magnificent all-lettuce or grapefruit diet or eating three cucumbers with each meal. Try to keep that up for a few days and you may succeed. Try it for a lifetime? Blah! The best way to long term weight loss and weight stabilization is to eat smaller portions of what is considered healthy food – veggies, beans, grains, nuts.

      I prefer a vegetarian diet with veggie burgers and some of the other fake meats – they are really tasty and far less fattening than the real stuff. Then an occasional splurge of a slice of pie or scoop of ice cream to keep your sanity and you can actually lose weight. Smaller portions more frequently, without getting stuffed and a little recreational junk food maybe once a week.

      The real get-fat foods are cheese, fatty meats like bacon, candy, cake and cookies. Also, amazingly, eating while watching TV makes you fat because you are not paying attention to your food so too much of it goes down. When you eat, eat! Smoking is the same. If you smoke, pay close attention to your cigarette for those 7 minutes that you are puffing and you will not need to smoke the whole pack.

      • I agree with you! I commend you as this was a very logical response, thank you!! I found losing weight when I was younger much easier.

        Weight Watchers way of thinking diet is sensible and does work. People want results overnight! It just isn’t the way we were made! I find the older I get the less meats I want to eat or find I’m hungry for as well. Sometimes a true flame burger with pepperjack cheese hits the spot!

        I will claim however, for me a colon cleanse felt as though I wasn’t as sluggish. We all know 8 ounces of water before every meal will help us eat less but we forget. Thanks again for your words of wisdom!

  4. Thank you for this information! I have been hearing about this supplement and wanted to know if it is worthwhile. You’ve saved me time and probably money.

  5. Strange that it’s the hydroxycitric acid that is the active ingredient here. I would have expected the intense yellow dye in the fruit to have useful properties. Anyway, I’ve been underwhelmed by my experiences with raspberry ketones (with or without a touch of raspberry aroma) and green coffee bean extract, and won’t use any gambogia stuff except as a dye or to flavor some Indian dish.

  6. Hi Kris, love your articles! Just curious if you’ve researched Saffron Extract as an appetite suppressant, also endorsed by Dr. Oz? http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/miracle-appetite-suppressant

  7. Etienne Juneau says:

    Kris,

    You’re so good at reporting research, it seems like you’ve been doing it for years.

    I’m about to get my PhD in epidemiology and I couldn’t do it better.

    Your about page say you’re just a medical student. Where did you learn to report research this well?

    Etienne

    • Just practice I guess. I’ve written many blog posts and always trying to improve my writing skills.

      • Etienne Juneau says:

        Jesus, even most of my PhD colleagues couldn’t report on research this clearly, without confusing cause and correlation or overgeneralizing the studies’ conclusions.

        Good work,

        Etienne

  8. I don’t know if you’ve ever looked into Yohimbine but that has some evidence as to increasing fat loss by a significant amount. At the very least it’s a good stimulant and helps with ED in men.

    • Thanks Francis. I’ve heard of it before but never looked into it.

    • Yohimbine is a stimulant and absolutely works something like Viagra BUT there are a host of side effects that should be looked into before taking anything containing yohimbine. Some people are more dosage sensitive than others… I had EVERY side effect there is with this stuff. I was jittery, nauseous, my eyes got congested, chills, and couldn’t sleep for 24 hours. But the ED thing… yep, it really does work for that.

      Since my initial experience, if I take something with any yohimbine in it, I can tell right away. For me, as long as the dosage is small, it’s okay.

  9. Peta Wyatt says:

    Just like Jenny commented, I too ordered this product after seeing it advertised by Magda Szubanski. It has been two weeks and nothing has arrived. Feel like I have been scammed by an impulsive decision! Disgruntled.

  10. I used to like Dr. Oz and his partner when they were writing the “You. The Owner’s Manual” and others in the “You” series.

    Ever since he became “Oprah’s Doctor” and got his own show he has become nothing but a huckster for the latest fad. I know it may sound strong but he is no more than a charlatan passing off anything the masses may want to hear in order to keep his ratings high.

    He was pushing chia seeds as a weight loss miracle for awhile. That doesn’t seem to work, either.

    • I completely agree, Ken. It is amazing what the lure of money can do to a person’s integrity and credibility!

  11. Thank you! I ordered it, used it and didn’t lose anything! I’ll just stay with a healthy diet and exercise!

    • I as well Gail. Please, people, don’t waste your time and effort on these pills, they do not work. I would hate to see what I would have weighed had I not changed my eating habits as well. OMG :(

  12. I have been taking garcinia with the colon cleanse pill. 3000 mg a day of garcinia and 2 colon pills daily. 30 minutes before every meal. I haven’t lost but have gained at least 5 lbs. It is 60% hca and 100% pure extract. My husband hasn’t lost either.

    Funny thing is, I eat healthy. Cranberry juice and spinach salads. Chicken and veggies. I went from 220 to 154 with no pills eating spinach salads daily. Well, I have been stuck at 154 for over a year, that’s why I got garcinia cambogia. Not helping grrr.

    I was 125 lbs before I was 220 lbs so I know I can get small again. I just want to loose another 20 lbs. Any ideas? Definitely not happy with this product. Waste of money.

    • Drink water, not juice. No grain carbs, no fruits, no sugar. Eat meat, fish, green vegetables. Try it for a week and you will notice the difference.

      • Well said, try and keep away from anything with high carbs, and also eat to live, not live to eat. Practice this method and watch the weight come off. Some people take one teaspoon of Epson salts every morning, 30 minutes before breakfast and that seems to work for them.

        • Alyssa Ross says:

          I weigh 154 and it’s so uncomfortable. I have been trying to lose weight but it’s hard not to eat all the junk food and soda, what can help me dramatically? I don’t look “fat” but I feel very fat, my belly has fat that you can completely grab and I want it gone.

          I never tend to finish exercising if I start, so I need to know a very good diet that can help me start losing weight. It is time for a dramatic change for me and maybe little exercises I should do daily? I’m really in need for help, please – Alyssa.

      • In that case Amit, you would lose with out taking the pills. It says don’t change your eating and you will lose. I did change my eating to 1050 calories a day, with exercise, and gained 2 pounds taking Garcinia :( They are, in my opinion, a waste of money.

  13. I have always wanted there to be a magic pill that would make all my issues disappear… but there isn’t one.

    Call me cynical but my belief is that IF there were such a supplement out there that could make fat disappear, do we not think the big drug companies would be out there killing and destroying to get rights to it? O.K. killing might be a bit dramatic but they would definitely be strong-arming their way into the market.

    A pill isn’t going to fix you. A pill isn’t going to help you deal with the WHY you can’t/won’t stop eating crap. A pill is not going to magically make weight disappear and change how you mentally and emotionally deal with food.

    In the end, when you are done taking your pills you still go to bed and get up with yourself every day. Change what’s going on on the inside and you might have a chance to change what is going on on the outside.

  14. I agree with you Ken, Dr Oz is a “media tart” and actually sells most of the faddy things that he promotes so you can’t trust anything that he supports.

    Kris, I would love to get your take on the HCG drops. I don’t believe the homeopathic drops work at all – it’s the 500 calorie a day diet! But a doctor who injects the real HCG says that it works – I still think it’s the starvation diet.

    http://dremmasdiet.com/new-study-on-hcg-diet-concludes-that-hcg-injections-can-help-weight-loss-but-hcg-drops-cannot-be-absorbed-by-the-body/

    • Jan, my sister lost 48 lb. on HCG through a doctor. She has kept it off after 2 years. Believe me when I say, she is not the type who could do it with only diet. That stuff is no joke.

      Janine

  15. Oh yes, Dr. Oz and his miracle weight loss supplement of the week strikes again.

    Raspberry ketones anyone?

  16. Maro khan says:

    Guys I’ve just ordered garcinia 1500mg today, and after reading all these posts I’m highly confused! Not sure if it will do me any good or not! Need guidance!

  17. Lynn Payne says:

    Well I and my husband ordered it from the Healthy Choice website and we payed -0- for the supplement and $7.75 each for shipping in a round container.

    Inside there were 4 bottles for each of us… no further instructions. I’ve now been on it for a little over 2 weeks and my husband for 7 days, and it’s hard to tell if it has done anything.

    We started eating a better diet and exercising more and we both have lost 3 and 4 lbs, but I really don’t think it is due to the supplement… sorry others who paid to try it!

    • I too looked at this site for the free trial but then I read in the terms and conditions that you have 15 days to cancel the trial and then they will begin charging you $98 a month and sending you 30 day supplies. I would call their number and cancel as soon as possible.

  18. Hey Kris,
    Thanks for that ultra informative report! Wish I found this out sooner…

    I bought 2 bottles of Garcinia Cambogia 1300 and haven’t lost any weight yet. I did notice a week after taking it that I developed some type of a dry skin rash spot on my chin that I’ve never had before. I’m linking it to the Garbagia (that’s what I’m calling it) as I’ve been eating pretty healthy. Even after one whole month there is no loss… feeling gipped right about now.

    I really thought it would work too, especially after seeing those vids about it on the Dr OZ website. Man they know how to market the desperate and naive…

    I recently lost 25 kg 5 years ago (thanks to Power 90) and kept it off until I came back from a holiday to the USA last year where I ate nothing but fatty food, since then I’ve put on 15 kg and it’s so hard do get rid of.

    I’m already going back to my previous program to lose this damn weight again. Good old Power 90 DVD has given me the results before and it can do it again without forking out money for this so called “Holy Grail” of weight loss.

    • I’ve been taking Garcinia Cambogia for one week. It took all hunger and desire for mindless eating completely away. I weighed myself every morning and was so excited! In the first three days, I lost 2.5 lbs. Then, alas, I started gaining weight. To date, I weigh four lbs more than I did when I started. I also have a rash on my face – the source of which is questionable. I love that hunger suppressant aspect of G.C. but weight gain?

      Signed, Confused and frustrated!

      • Suppressing your appetite (and, therefore, your food consumption) without also exercising can slow your metabolism, so you can lose weight at first, but then put it back on. This can happen with dieting, too, if you do not also exercise.

  19. Hi Kris – I found your article so helpful and so easy to read and understand… a business associate has just started selling Xerveo and offered me the opportunity to do the same. He said he has lost 6 kilos and his partner has lost 3 kg in the first two and a half weeks.

    He said his appetite has decreased dramatically so his eating has changed. It will be interesting to see if the next couple of weeks are as successful. I want to lose 4-5kg and have been trying to shift this weight for 6 months now.

    I exercise regularly, eat healthy 80% of the time but I guess I am looking for a bit of help to shed this extra weight without taking away that 20% of not so healthy… guess I have to look at that 20%, not magic pills! THANK YOU for saving me some $$$.

  20. My Husband and I went on the Garcinia Cambogia a month ago. No weight loss at all. Very disappointed. What a waste of money. Say you will lose 4 lbs a month. Wished that was true. We spent over a hundred dollars buying the product. So sad.

  21. It really must be an Oprah thing… Dr Phil used to be good too until he went on Oprah and let fame get to his head. So tired of all these so called experts claiming they have found the latest knowledge only to be a product seller, and send you masses of emails of their ‘new’, reduced rate for a short period items. They really are just money spinners.

  22. Thank you so much for your honest and easy to read article. I was a trigger point away from ordering when I decided to Google “Does Garcinia Cambogia really work?”. Your article was so easy to read and understand! Thank you. I believe you saved me money and wasted time. Good old fashion eating right and exercise is the better route to take.

  23. Carolyn Talbot says:

    I bought a package of 3 bottles and after taking the first I saw it was not working. I think I should get my money back!

  24. I used this product as suggested for several weeks.

    The only weight I lost was in my wallet.

  25. This product is just an other scam like so many others before it.

    They pay Dr. Oz to promote and show on TV and every one goes crazy and throws away good money for a worthless product.

    Hell, I would like to see the Dr. Oz show with both of the new pill pushers of companies and see what he says if one is better then the other.

    Pure Green Coffee Bean, remember that scam where is the sales pitch for it now, or did everyone forget about it and now we have a new pill, Garcinia Cambogia Extract, to push on people that are desperate to spend money on anything that says weight loss.

    If you really want to lose pounds, just drink water and eat a little bread each day for 30-60 days and you will see how many pounds come off.

    Ever wonder how people got so thin during world war 2? Simple, because they had no food to eat, like we have today and we stuff ourselves with junk food and then we waste more money buying these useless products to lose weight.

    • Nick, I think you’ve gone a bit too far with your reference to starvation in WWII. Hopefully nobody in modernized countries will ever have to starve like the victims of war. In addition, eating less only caused metabolism to slow, so nobody will healthfully lose weight using your supposed strategy. Eating healthy foods, drinking lots of water, and adding exercise will lead to lifelong habits and desired changes.

  26. I, as well, wish I stumbled upon this sooner. I read article after article and watched video after video of women on webcams saying they were in no way associated with any companies and that it is helping them significantly.

    I ordered Healthy Choice Garcinia Cambogia and I was meant to pay $4.05 for the shipping for a month’s trial supply. When it arrived, it was FOUR bottles. I was confused, but my card did not have any extra charges on it, so I was going to use the month’s supply to give it a go and then if I didn’t like it, send the rest back.

    Well a couple days later, I checked my account and I was missing $148 written to yours truly, Healthy Choice Garcinia Cambogia! I dug around, looking for any fine print, and lo and behold, at the very bottom of the massive four supplement high tube, there was a tiny piece of paper reading, “Your ten day trial has begun as of 11/21/2013!” The package did not even arrive until eight days after that.

    I am continuing to take Garcinia Cambogia because I have noticed that it does make my mood improve and I do feel that it suppresses my hunger a little.

    However, I understand that it is NOT the “miracle fat burner” that it claims, but the company is refusing to give me my money back and I have not had any negative side effects so I am going to give it a chance for the remainder of the month. I have lost a couple pounds in the past week, but that could be water weight, as far as I am concerned.

    • RomanyGirl says:

      A good place to buy is ebay – you can get it really cheap and there is no continuation of charges! :) good luck.

  27. Hi Kris.

    Wanted to see if you have researched the benefits of dried Moringa Oleifera leaf? If so, please share… want to see if benefits may be worth my money. Thank you, Deb.

  28. If this product is such a bust, with almost NO results in anyone, or even weight GAIN, then why does every single site out there discussing it have a million people saying how great it worked for them? Are they all liars? Hundreds of testimonials and reviews? That seems almost as hard to believe as a miracle weight loss supplement. Help!

    • Hey Julie.

      When I was doing research for the article, I saw these testimonials you speak of.

      I am pretty sure most of them are fake. Fake facebook accounts, fake youtube accounts, fake websites… the majority of them trying to sell the supplement. I even strongly suspect that many of the Amazon reviews are fake.

      Of course, it is possible that it can work for some people and that some of the reviews are real, but it is most likely a placebo effect because the studies cited in the article show clearly that it is not much better than a dummy pill.

      • I can tell anyone who is considering buying the Garcinia product, that I have bought two bottles since last October and used it along with the Green Coffee Bean and I have always maintained my weight, but after using these products I am now wrestling with an extra 4 lbs over the last 4 months.

        Save your money. I do not even notice the ‘energy’ boost they claim. I am experimenting with taking 6-8 capsules a day and still see no difference. What a rip with Oprah and Rachel Ray all claiming to have lost weight with this product.

    • That is what I was thinking!! Amazon has a majority of happy reviewers for this stuff and Amazon reviews are typically very honest. I’m confused.

  29. Also, you haven’t addressed the situation of low-quality vs high-quality Garcinia Cambogia… could this be the reason many people see no results? Just curious. I cancelled my order anyway.

    • It is the active ingredient, Hydroxycitric Acid, that matters. The studies in the article showed that Hydroxycitric Acid doesn’t work.

      I really don’t think the quality of the product makes a major difference, even if it contains the hydroxycitric acid that it is supposed to then it still won’t have any major effect, at least not according to the studies.

      • Ok, thanks. That is a bummer, though. I’m not some lazy person who doesn’t want to work out, either. I have a TINY bit of weight left to lose, am very athletic, and love to work out, and cook everything I eat. It seems like these last few pounds are impossible to get rid of, and I DO need a miracle! I guess that won’t be happening. Keep on working my butt off with no results! Ugh.

  30. It is a disgrace that Dr. Oz endorsed losing belly fat by taking Garcinia Cambogia Extract. Even the website he was on caused a virus that went through everyones inbox. I now judge what he talks about on his show. He should restudy this extract and get his credibility back.

  31. Hi Kris, thanks for the review.

    I picked up a bottle this morning from a health food store much in the same lines as you. I maintain a health and fitness blog and it’s a bit of experimentation as a few people have asked me my thoughts. I have had moderate success with thermogenic protein powders in the past containing high levels of HCA, it seems to go well for two weeks and then plateau (interestingly the one that outperformed the others only had one additional ingredient, which was raspberry ketones).

    I exercise regularly and eat pretty well so I’m interested to see if this gives my weight loss a boost… always that last stubborn 5 kg. Anyway, all the comments on here seem to be on the negative side, so I’ll report back in a month and see if I’m any different! As a baseline I’m at 68kg, an aus size 12 (us 8) and I will be taking 3 doses of 1600mg tablets a day (yep one of the highest doses on the market). Results in four weeks :)

  32. Robert Carter says:

    I read up on it for about a week, doing research. I even watched the episode of Dr Oz on youtube and thought, “wow, if he is endorsing this, it MUST work”. Was I fooled? YES!

    I’ve also read several articles about taking the correct amount. A great many supplements contain less than 60% of the Garcinia Cambogia, make sure you take a supplement that has 60% or more of the active ingredient. I purchased a product that has 80% of the Garcinia cambogia. I have been taking it now like clockwork and as directed for 2 weeks and have not lost 1 lb, on the contrary, I’ve actually gained 2 lbs!!!

    I have ALWAYS been reluctant to purchasing over the counter diet aids and this is the first in 6 years I’m guessing. I’ve always thought, “if there was an over the counter pill that DOES WORK, their would not be any obese folks”, thus, I never purchased any.

    After watching Dr Oz and researching, I figured there are more for this than against it so I’m going to give it a shot… Lesson Learned. The supplements I purchased cost $20 (for a week’s supply) so I purchased 2. Even “if” the average person could lose about 4 lbs a month on this, for me, that would equate to approx. $80.00 for 4 lbs of loss! Still not worth it.

  33. Been taking garcinia cambogia for three weeks now. 500 mg pill 30-60 minutes before meals and 1000 mg powder in my drinks. I work out daily and eat low carb. Funny, I’ve gained 6 lbs! Product does not work!!!

  34. I have taking this product for six weeks, it’s a Hoax.

  35. Thanks for the time you invested in research and writing. Your report is very helpful.

    Do you think it is possible that Garcinia Cambogia can actually have a negative effect on metabolism, causing you to gain weight? After taking the product for two or three months and losing about three pounds from the original weight, I have now gained three from original weight. None of this flux seems to be food/diet related.

    I look forward to hearing your insights!

  36. Interesting comments on this site. It seems that everybody is happy to be told things don’t work. Mob mentality. Like most I have read. I lost weight in the first week and yes I am in week 3 with no further change. But if you dig a little deeper. And you know your body shape. While scales have stopped moving, my belt holes are moving.

    The theory behind Garcinia is that it teams down fat, but the fat can also feed your lean muscles. Resulting in an increase in lean muscle weight. If you use the theory that muscle weighs twice as much as fat, then my results are making sense to me. I’m happy to lose a kilo a week. But I am now starting to exercise to sculpt the lean muscle.

    I’m no expert. And maybe I’m wrong in my theory. But please guys have your own opinion based on your own research. Not somebody else’s opinion or research.

    • If you look at reference number 7, they also measured body fat percentage, which actually decreased less (although not statistically significant) in the Garcinia group. This also happened to be the largest study, by far. I highly doubt Garcinia has any effect on lean mass.

      • I’m just curious, did the groups in these studies also exercise, to help keep their metabolism up? Without exercise being included (for both groups, of course), I would not be surprised to see, over time, a group taking an appetite suppressant and dieting having less weight loss (and less body fat loss) than a group dieting alone.

  37. I’ve just started to give Garcinia a chance. One thing I have noticed. I lost 4 pounds the first week, then seemed to put it back on. However, there was this party…

    But, I’m noticing my appetite is decreasing and I’m not so hungry at night. Or, during the day. When the weather was better (I ride horses) and I was at the barn was when I lost the most weight. I’m back out there again. I do believe I’m eating less, so, I will stick out the program for two months. (I, too, got 5 bottles of $99.00 or “Pure Garcinia Extract.”

    It contains potassium, chromium, calcium, 60% HCA and 1000 mg of the extract. There are some fillers: microcrystalline cellulose, gelatin, vegetable magneusiumsateareate, silicon dioxide. Please forgive if the spelling sucks. I’m not good at reading less thant 1% fonts. Ugh. I will probably go to bed now and not eat anything, which I’ve done for so long. Also the serotonin uptake is better than antidepressants, I believe. I’m totally over those altogether, so maybe there’s an extra positive side effect.

    One negative side effect, though, was stomach cramps and some diarrhea twice. I didn’t have a fever, so it wasn’t the flu. I also get a bit light headed. I am monitoring that closely.

    Hope I can report something positive. I’d like to read some positive results from your folks on this forum.

  38. I’m really disappointed that G.C. didn’t work for others like it worked for me, but everyone is different. I’ve tried so many diet pills over the years and I really did begin to realize that only dieting and leading an active lifestyle would promote weight loss… but G.C. helped me lose a healthy 2 lbs a week without changing my diet.

    Quite honestly, I don’t eat pure junk, but I’m no food angel either. I feel like I lost more weight with the supplement than going on a healthy diet and exercising 3 times a week. I took GC for two weeks straight following instructions, gave myself a week away from it and then continued again.

    Maybe the stuff works… maybe it doesn’t, I should wait another few months for results and really pay attention to how I lose weight, but I hope that everyone achieves the goals they set and please don’t but into the GC scams online! BuY from a reputable dealer like pharmacy or online sites such as amazon or eBay strictly to avoid the wallet busting contract scams! :) Good luck all!

  39. I think GC is a good aid if you’re going to diet and eat responsibly anyway. If you decide you can eat anything you want, then probably not. It gives you that “I’m not hungry feeling” so you can eat what you’re supposed to be eating. I think where the misleading comes in, is to say you can eat anything and continue on your routine as normal.

    I’m also not drinking the amount of water I should be. I keep forgetting that part. And, isn’t that a normal part of dieting? Any diet? And exercise too.

    So, I started on November 9 at 190. I went down to 188 then up to 190 then down to 187 then up to 194, today I was 190.

    Again, water, exercise, small meals. I can’t help deserts. I have to monitor that. I’m not going out much to restaurants so, it’s saving on my budget.

  40. Bill Thornton says:

    IMPORTANT ADVICE!

    PLEASE do not order GC from Healthy Choice (free trial). It is a SCAM!! I reported the company. There are reputable companies that sell the product. I ordered it from Healthy Choice and had so much trouble that I had to close my credit card account. The company will continue to charge you!

  41. I am always entertained how these sites bring out the “you lazy people people who have emotional eating issues/no self control” crowd.

    I spent most of my life drastically underweight, as little as 100 lbs at 5’7″, and unable to gain weight. After finally achieving a healthy weight and keeping it for years, I became very ill and so nauseous that I could not eat at all and my weight was dropping frighteningly. I was placed on a medication to stop this, which caused me to put on 30 lbs in a short time, and even after going off it, I could not lose the weight and kept gaining. Recently I hit 170 lbs.
    I walked 2 hours per day most days (to and from work) until additional weight set off osteoarthritis in my knees, and ate carefully, veggies, salads and fish. I was sent to a nutritionist/dietitian who could do nothing for me because my diet was already excellent. I tried restrictive 1300 cal/day diets with no results at all. Then gave up and started snacking again, since it didn’t seem to matter (though my “snacking” is pretty tame) I’m now on arthritis meds and walking again and doing yoga and pilates and dancing and back to good eating and was STILL not losing.

    If you haven’t suffered with a body that refuses to respond to “sensible meals/portions and exercise and willpower” then how very *******nice for you. I used to be one of the skinny minnies too, except that because I couldn’t gain weight no matter how I tried, I empathized with people who couldn’t lose it, and didn’t judge them.

    So yes, I’ve finally gotten desperate enough to try a “fad” for once on the off chance that it will work. 3 days in, I have stopped gaining and am sitting at 160. I’m not hungry all the time, and no longer even tempted by sugary and fatty foods. If that’s all it does, and it keeps up, I’ll take it. It’s sure better than being starving and miserable and seeing no results… which has been the last 18 months of my life.

  42. Been taking this for 8 weeks. Gained 4 pounds. Lost more when I was dieting exercising alone.

  43. Christy Zacharias says:

    Thanks for posting this. So many people were jumping on this fad, and I had to see what the real statistical data was, and it turns out it isn’t even that significant. You could try any of the other products in the market, and you could still see the same results or lose more weight.

    My cousin used the garcinia cambogia extract for two months and she didn’t lose any weight, all she felt was a smaller appetite. It’s weird because this fruit is actually used a lot in Indian cooking from Kerala. Kerala is a southern part of India, and it is used in a lot of dishes to add flavor. I think a healthy diet and exercise is the best bet to losing weight.

  44. Lynn Daniel says:

    Basically, if anything REALLY works, the FDA will take it away from us. Remember Metabolife 356? Ma Huang Ephedra alkaloids WORKED and they were not dangerous. It’s a natural product and the deaths attributed to it were only a handful of morons who took too much and the part they leave out is they drank copious amounts of diet sodas containing TOXIC aspartame which was probably the cause of their death. I used ephedra for years and kept my weight off.

    The government does not want us to be lean and healthy. That’s why they’ve poisoned our food supply with high fructose corn syrup, msg, aspartame, etc. They are now putting aspartame in milk and dairy products and not mentioning it on the ingredient lists. Why do you think over 60 percent of Americans have a weight problem? It’s not because they are all overeating it’s because of the nutritionally depleted food supply.

    And all you who keep saying “drink water” well most of our water is full of sodium fluoride (industrial waste by products/aka rat poison) that big corporations (who run our government) dump into our water to keep from having to pay to dispose of it. It ruins the thyroid gland and slows down the metabolism among many other negative health related problems.

    Anything that works to decrease our appetite and give us energy is banned by the crooks in the FDA run by Monsanto’s former VP. Monsanto is My Satan in Spanish. Do the math.

  45. I am so close to ordering this – but not for the reasons you think. I am not trying to loose weight by any means, but I AM looking for a boost in mood and energy the healthy way and without stimulants.

    SSRI’s have worked very well for me in the past for mood but I don’t wish to go back to them, and I seem plagued with fatigue. This seems like a solution to regain my energy, mood and mental clarity.

    Do you have any suggestions for alternatives? Did the studies discuss my areas of interest aside from the weight loss component? I would love your opinion.

    Thanks!

    • Hey Lia. The studies I looked at focused primarily on weight loss, didn’t see anything about energy levels and I really don’t think garcinia will work for that.

      Maybe look into a supplement called Rhodiola Rosea, it has some evidence of working although it has no noticeable effect on me.

      In my experience, the best thing to do for energy, mood and brain function is to exercise.

    • I am taking it mainly to avoid the antidepressants. I suffer from seasonal depression and this supplement is being wonderful! I am sleeping better and my anxiety and panic attacks have been reduced greatly. I haven’t lost any weight though but I am pretty sure I lost some body fat.

    • RomanyGirl says:

      Have you had your thyroid checked by your doctor? It might be worth it as an underactive thyroid can cause lethargy and weight gain :)

  46. Well balanced, honest research. Thanks for the work you’ve put in. Definitely made up my mind for me.

  47. I still believe in good old traditional ways of losing weight… proper diet and exercise (progressively increase the intensity over a period suitable to each individual, listen to your body, if you feel you can do more… then go for it.)

  48. Listen, the GC supplement does not really make you lose weight directly, but more so indirectly…

    It stops people from overeating by making them feel better and reducing stress eating. You need to do some form of exercise, even if it’s walking, for your metabolism to work properly. If you then don’t force feed yourself by habit you should eat quite a bit less resulting in weight loss indirectly over a few months.

    No pill will make you just “lose” weight except watershed and that’s superficial…

  49. I just started taking this about a week ago. I ordered it from Whole Body Research. I’m also doing this in conjunction with Weight Watchers. An exercise routine to come next. Here’s the thing. I think it is designed to be an aiding tool to help with doing it the “hard way.”

    For me, I am an extreme emotional eater, and it’s hard to stick with a points system when you have five points left and all you want is that peanut butter cookie staring at you. This week it has helped me with my insatiable cravings and has allowed me to do what I’ve always wanted to do: Eat to live, not live to eat.

    I get hungry at normal times of the day and I’m able to eat and then move on. I can stop when I’m full. I don’t have to finish the plate just because it’s there. I slipped up a few times this week and of course it’s my nature to declare defeat and throw in the towel.

    It’s my weigh-in day for Weight Watchers. I almost didn’t weigh myself because I was convinced I hadn’t lost or I had gained. But in fact, I lost three pounds this week.

    So we’ll see where it goes. I’m not putting all of my eggs in the GB basket. It’s not a magic pill by itself. You still have to do the work!

    • Hey Kellie.

      Please keep in mind that even IF you feel that it is working in the first week or two, it will probably stop working later. The studies in the article above went on for several weeks.

      Many things work for a week or two, but then they stop working because the body has many redundant ways of making sure that it gets the energy that it “wants.”

      Just don’t want you to feel disappointed. Garcinia cambogia simply does not work very well in the long term, if at all.

      • You are awesome Kris in your research, and you are so right, it does not work… In fact I gained as I have stated here. Yes, only 2 pounds but the point is I was supposed to lose and that is after taking them for nearly a month. And they did not help me feel fuller. So I am back to eating healthy and making better decisions on what I eat and of course walk, walk, walk. Good luck to those that do try them, I hope you lose. To each their own. But they are not worth the money.

  50. I have been taking garcinia for a short time. It has been a great appetite supressant with no side effects. I am not inclined to go for the cookies, instead I eat when I am hungry, my mood has improved and I sleep much better.

    I am not looking for a magic pill. I am on a reduced calorie food plan with exercise 30 minutes 3x week. I also dropped breads from my diet, nearly all gluten and most starches. I have belly fat I believe is stress related and for me Garcinia has been perfect.

    I just needed some constitutional support. I lost 7 lbs in 7 days. My waistline is slimming. I like it but I do not think garcinia alone is a solution.

    • Just bought 6 bottles for 200.00$ … after reading this I’m scared I wasted all that money. I wanna lose 25 lbs and can’t :(

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