Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia cambogia is the plant commonly referenced as garcinia, citirn, cambooge or Tamarind, and is a member of the Clusiaceae family. It is native to Southeastern Asia where it has been used for centuries as a food preservative, flavoring agent and carminative. The fruit of the plant is yellow, about the size of an orange, and has a thin skin with deep furrows. [1] The rind of the fruit is the part of the plant emplyed for various medicinal applications. Garcinia does not have a long history of use in Western Herbalism, but has gained interest due to its effects on fat metabolism and appetite suppression.

The principle constituent in garcinia is hydroxycitric acid (HCA), or hydroxycitrate. This important component makes up 10 - 30% of the dried fruit rind. Garcinia is discussed essentially in terms of hydroxycitrate, with the majority of research focusing on this chemical compound. Garcinia also contains a significant amount of beneficial flavonoids.

The exact mechanisms of action for hydroxycitrate's effect on physiologic and metabolic processes are not fully known. Early studies showed that it inhibits the formation of fat in animals. HCA was shown to be a potent inhibitor of ATP citrate lyase, an enzyme that catalyzes the extramitochondrial cleavage of citrate to oxaloacetate and acetyl-CoA:

- citrate + ATP + CoA –> acetyl-CoA + ADP + P(i) + oxaloacetate -

The significance of this metabolic reaction is that inhibition limits the availability of acetyl-CoA units required for fatty acid synthesis and lipogenesis; especially when a diet high in carbohydrates is consumed. Furthermore, extensive animal studies indicated that (-)-HCA suppresses food intake and may actually induce weight loss.

Hydroxycitrate also appears to exert effects on processes other than fuel metabolism. One study in rats showed that hydroxycitrate can inhibit [3H]-5-HT (hydroxy-tryptophan) uptake, while also increasing 5-HT availability in isolated brain cortical slices; similar to the way SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) work. The authors conclude that these effects may be applicable in controlling appetite, as well as treatment of depression, insomnia, migraine headaches, and other serotonin-deficient conditions.

A novel derivative of hydroxycitrate, called Super Citrimax or HCA-SX, has been commonly used in research studies. It appears to be safe when taken orally and has demonstrated bioavailablity in human plasma when studied by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

Products Containing Garcinia Cambogia
Name Price Rating Serving Price # of Servings Manufacturer Health Condition
Exitor $37.95
$1.27 30 Progressive Health
Thyroid T3 $22.95
$0.77 30 Absolute Nutrition Thyroid


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