Don’t believe the LIES about Garcinia Cambogia


Since the late 1990’s Garcinia Cambogia has been included in various weight loss products, but exploded in popularity in 2012 when Dr Julie Chen talked about it on the uber popular Dr Oz TV show.

Unfortunately, there is an avalanche of faulty information about Garcinia Cambogia as well as some HUGE lies. Two of the biggest are:

BIG LIE #1 – Garcinia Cambogia is a magic weight loss pill that can melt your fat

Dishonest marketers promote Garcinia Cambogia as a miracle pill and make ridiculous claims about its ability to melt body fat.

These claims are largely based on some over exuberant statements made by Dr Oz, but are not backed up by research studies (more below).

BIG LIE #2 – Garcinia Cambogia is a scam and doesn’t work at all

Of the 9 studies on weight loss with Garcinia Cambogia that we cover below, there are conflicting results, but 7 of the 9 studies clearly show participants taking Garcinia Cambogia lost more weight than those taking placebo (12).

The most prominent study that did not show significant weight loss used much lower levels of Garcinia Cambogia than those that were successful.

Not surprisingly, the lead investigator in this study is affiliated with a leading pharmaceutical drug that competes directly with Garcinia Cambogia in the marketplace.

The other study that showed no significant difference in weight loss with Garcinia Cambogia used a low fat, high carb diet which some researchers believe had a negative impact on the results.

Conclusion: We examine the dozens of research studies below, and in particular the 9 most relevant studies to show that Garcinia Cambogia can help with weight loss, but is clearly not a “miracle pill” that many marketers claim.

How Does Garcinia Cambogia Work?

There have been dozens of studies on Garcinia Cambogia for weight loss in humans and rats.too hungry

These studies have found there are 2 different effects it has that benefit weight control.

  1. Lessens Hunger: It stimulates the body to increase production of Serotonin. This hormone  signals the brain when enough food has been consumed so you feel content.  This can result in decreased hunger and less calories consumed (67).
  2. Blocks Fat: It inhibits the production of Citrate lyase, an enzyme that helps produce fat from excess sugars and starches (45).
Conclusion: Studies have shown that garcinia cambogia may block fat creation, and increase Serotonin levels in the brain which increases satisfaction and lessens hunger.

Clinical Studies for Weight Loss

photo-research-woman-in-labSeveral studies on rats have demonstrated significant weight loss, belly fat reduction, and lowered blood glucose levels (8910).

However, research studies performed with rats aren’t always predictive of what results will be in humans.

We do have several studies carried out with humans. They also show weight loss from taking Garcinia Cambogia, but are more mixed results.

The chart below shows the results of a meta-analysis of 9 different studies that included a total of 706 participants.

Garcinia Cambogia and Weight Loss Chart

All of these were Randomized Controlled Trials, with subjects given Garcinia Cambogia or Placebo (Study #1,Study #2,Study #3,Study #4,Study #5,Study #6,Study #7,Study #8,Study #9)

Some of these studies show impressive weight loss benefits, and others very little.

However, it should be noted that studies #6 and 7 used the highest dosages of 2.8 grams daily, and showed the greatest amount of weight loss compared to placebo.

Those that showed little or no weight loss all used a dosage of 900 to 1,000mg daily.

So while the average for all 9 studies encompassing 706 participants was 2 pounds more lost than those that received placebo, it appears better results were obtained at the higher dosage, as the authors of the meta-analysis suggest. (20)

Conclusion: The average for the 9 relevant clinical studies on humans showed weight loss of 2 pounds more than placebo. Studies that used higher doses of HCA recorded weight loss of 8-10 pounds more than placebo.

SIDE EFFECTS – Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)

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Garcinia Cambogia is recognized as GRAS by the FDA, meaning it has “been adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use”.

There have been several studies to test the effectiveness of these products and in these controlled quantities there were no significant side effects.

This meta-analysis examined all published research on Garcinia Cambogia, and found garcinia to be free from any major side effects when taken at dosages up to 2800 mgs per day (with 60% HCA)

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garcinia warning

It  IS safe for most people. But there are a few cases where you wouldn’t want to take it:

  • Pregnant
  • Breastfeeding
  • Alzheimers or dementia

Garcinia Cambogia boosts serotonin levels in the brain (which triggers the satisfied, full feeling that helps suppress appetite).

For this reason, it is not advised for patients with neurological disorders such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons, or other forms of dementia.


Dr Harry Preuss is  a researcher and pathologist at Georgetown University past president of the American College of Nutrition who has led 2 of the studies on HCA that showed the best results (21,22)  He says:


The 9 studies that were included in the meta-analysis referenced above noted that 1 to 2.8 grams daily were used in testing, and that 2.8 grams seemed more effective (23)

Different studies that have been performed to focus on side effects found no major side effects at dosages up to 2.8 grams daily (24).

Dosage recommendations from those studies are:

  • 500 to 1000mg capsules
  • 50-60% HCA
  • 3 times a day
  • 30-60 minutes before meals
  • taken with 8 ounces of water

50% HCA means that the manufacturer has standardized the extract to be 50% Hydroxycitric Acid by volume.

50-60% was the highest purity commercially available until recently, so has been the standard used for testing.

Some manufacturers are now advertising 80-95% HCA.  This is done for marketing purposes so a brand can claim superiority over other brands.

The higher percentage provides more total HCA per capsule, but is not more effective otherwise.

In other words, the higher HCA % is not “better”,  you just need less of it.

For proper dosage, you should lower the quantity if you use a product with HCA % higher than the 60% used in studies.

For example, the maximum recommended dosage of 3 grams per day of a 60% HCA product would yield 1800 mg of pure HCA – the same as 2 grams of 90% HCA.


3,000 mg  x 60% HCA =   1800mg  pure HCA
2,000 mg  x 90% HCA = 1800mg  pure HCA


With any popular diet product, there are lots of scams that sell crappy product at ridiculous prices, and some that dissappear with your money.

You might want to review some guidelines by the FTC in spotting the crooks.

It is becoming more common now with Garcinia, so beware, and read some of our reviews of brands like Ultra, Extreme, Purely Inspired, Miracle, Whole Body, Natural, and Pure Garcinia Cambogia.

Amazon is super convenient, and great at making sure you get what you order. But they don’t do anything to ensure the quality of a product.

Any brand that just popped up yesterday and will be gone tomorrow is NOT concerned with quality.


There are now dozens of new “Brands” of Garcinia Cambogia sold on Amazon that just make up a name and throw a label on some garbage product. And, they LIE about what is in the bottle!

The following quote is directly from the Dr Oz website where they warn about such deceptive marketing.

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This doesn’t mean all products sold on Amazon are bad. It just warns that products sold ONLY on Amazon are a much higher risk for being very poor quality.

Conclusion: Beware any Brand or Product that is sold exclusively online and not in a brick in mortar store. Those that exist only on Amazon and do not even have a website of their own are very likely to sell a very poor quality product.