Garcinia Supplement Reviews 5/5 (1)

Our site is full of great Garcinia Supplement Reviews, but the truth is, there is a lot up in the air about this ingredient.  In this article, we hope to explore some of the potential benefits, pitfalls, and uses of Garcinia.

Garcinia Cambogia is one of the most popular ingredients out there right now.  But that hasn’t always been the case.  Tracing the arc of this supplement standard from its lowly origins to its current weight loss champion status is as convoluted and complicated as the weight loss industry itself.  But if we had to trace the popularity of this supplement back to one, pivotal time, it would be September, 2003.

The Early Garcinia Supplement Reviews

Back in September, 2003, a group of researchers led by Kohsuke Hayamizu, MS, published a study in the journal of Current Therapeutic Research. It’s viewed as one of the first Garcinia Supplement Reviews, or trials, ever done. This study was designed to examine the effects of Garcinia Cambogia, or, more specifically, Hydroxycitric Acid, on the accumulation of visceral fat on both men and women.  The end points, or what they looked at as a measurement of efficacy was measurements of the body ranging from body mass index, to hip circumference, waist-hip ratio and measurable levels of cholesterol, free fatty acids and triacylglycerol.  The study focused on subjects between 20 to 65 years old.  These subjects also had a visceral fat measurement of over 90 cubic centimeters.  That means subjects needed to have at least 3 pounds of visceral fat on their body to participate in the trial.

What Is Visceral Fat?

Garcinia Supplement Reviews - model showing weight loss

No visceral fat here.

Visceral fat is different from other types of fat.  It specifically denotes a type of fat that is “stored within the abdominal cavity”1 It’s different from other types of fat in that it’s a signal of various other issues happening within the body.  First, it marks a regular excess of calories.  Second, it’s a visual marker of insulin resistance, which is an early indicator of diabetes.  There is a slew of other issues that visceral fat can cause as well, including;

  • Diabetes
  • Breast Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Heart Disease
  • Colon Cancer

But Visceral fat is just one place you can store fat.  That said, it’s invaluable as a marker of unhealthy amounts of fat.  Visceral fat, as it is, shows about 10% of the body’s stored fat, with other areas of the body storing excess fat as well.  That makes it a great place to look when looking at the overall efficacy of an ingredient that might decrease fat levels.

The Garcinia Cambogia Weight Loss Connection: Part 2

The 2003 study on the effects of Garcinia on visceral fat accumulation lasted 12 weeks.  Users were selected, at random, to receive a 1000mg of HCA per day.  The subjects not selected to take the HCA dosage were given a placebo.  After the completion of the administration, all users were given a placebo for 4 weeks.  User progress was measured using a “computed tomography scan” before, at the start of the trial, and at weeks 12 and 16.

The Garcinia Weight Loss Connection: Part 3

The results of the study found that at week 16, subjects who were administered the HCA dosage had “had significantly reduced visceral, subcutaneous, and total fat areas compared with the placebo group”2  So, what does that mean?  Basically, that people who used Garcinia Cambogia for the duration of the trial experienced a drop in visceral fat levels.  What “significant” means, we can’t say.  And the study didn’t exactly prove the link between the two, just provided evidence that supported the hypothesis that using G Cambogia “may” be helpful in preventing or reducing the accumulation of stored visceral fat.

Garcinia Supplement Reviews - Cambogia studies and trials

Which sample was which again?

Other Important Notes from the Garcinia Weight Loss Study

One of the things that gets glossed over from this study is that the people who took the dose for 16 weeks didn’t note any serious side effects.  While the study didn’t look at side effects after the “rebound” period, it’s an important thing to note. The only noted side effects were a cold, toothache, diarrhea, and headache.  There are other studies that point out side effects, of course, but it’s still a good sign of overall safety.  Another thing to point out is that it took longer for the women to see results than it did for men.  While both groups saw significant results at 16 weeks, only the men saw results at 12.  That might give an indication of how long users need to use the product to see significant results.

Later Garcinia Supplement Reviews 

One study that we found particularly interesting was a study, of studies.  Weird, right?  It’s a standard in the scientific community, and helps to keep studies that aren’t scientifically sound from sneaking in and gaining traction in world outside these tight-knit communities.  This study, led by Igho Onakpoya, was published in the Journal of Obesity on 12/14/20103.  It was billed as a “systematic review and meta-analysis” of clinical trials specifically relating to Garcinia Extract and weight loss.

One of the most interesting areas they focused on was the findings of the trials.  Of the studies they looked at, 3 studies found a positive correlation between using HCA and weight loss, while two found no significant difference between the focus and placebo groups.  Some other things that the study points out include; differences in HCA dosage, differences in the Garcinia strain used (one used Garcinia atroviridis vs Garcinia cambogia), and duration of the studies.

Garcinia Supplement Reviews: The Exciting Conclusion

Basically, there isn’t enough information out there to say definitively that Garcinia helps, or doesn’t help with losing weight.  There is plenty of evidence out there that people respond to Garcinia Cambogia as a weight loss supplement, including direct evidence of an effect on visceral and subcutaneous fats.  But there is also information out there that makes it seem like it doesn’t work, or if it does, doesn’t work significantly. In fact, the study was careful to point out that future studies and trials should be more careful in design, and feature longer durations and better overall reporting.

So, what should we make of all this?  Basically, that it’s an ongoing process, and that researchers are still trying to hone in on how to make Garcinia cambogia, and the other HCA ingredients, most effective for consumers.

Garcinia Supplement Reviews - Cambogia history book

Not a real book. More of a novella, really.

Garcinia cambogia: A History

In order to get to the really interesting Garcinia efficacy study stuff, we had to gloss over a few areas.  We’re now going to go back in time, to a time where dinosaurs ruled the world.  There they were, the dinosaurs.  Now flash forward to the human era.  You’re in Southeast Asia, hanging out in coastal india.  You walk into a nearby tree line, and there it is hanging out from a thick, deciduous tree, Garcinia cambogia fruit.  But Garcinia cambogia is only one of hundreds of fruit from that family.  Purple mangosteen, a closely related species, is commonly consumed as a fruit.  There are other ones that are fairly prevelant as well, including lemon drop mangosteen, and button mangosteen.

While the usage of these fruits can vary from area to area, some of the more commonly used applications include; use as a spice, purgative, cathartic, or as a pigment.  Additionally, and most famously, they’re used as an appetite suppressant.  There are two other ones we wanted to look at quick, the G. kola, or bitter kola, and G. mannii.  These ones are pretty interesting, as they’re used in folk, medicinal applications as well as a chew stick.  Chew sticks are interesting, as they serve as an inexpensive form of toothbrush.

The Emergence of Garcinia in the West

So, what made Garcinia explode in popularity in the US?  We trace that back to a single episode of the syndicated television show “The Dr. Oz Show”.  In this episode, the famous (or infamous) Dr. Oz supported the use of Garcinia as a weight loss/ weight management ingredient.  The subsequent explosion in popularity has spawned thousands upon thousands of supplements, drinks, powders, and other various ways to use Garcinia cambogia.

Garcinia Supplement Reviews: Different Strokes…

There are a variety of ways to use Garcinia, but most of the supplements we see are pill-based.  Let’s go over some of the other, less common forms of Garcinia supplements.  After all, the most common type might be perfect for most people, but may not be quite right for you.

Garcinia Supplement Reviews: Liquid Garcinia Cambogia 

While liquid garcinia supplements aren’t nearly as common as their pill-based compatriots, they do exist in ample supply.  They range from sprays, to drops, to liquid drink mixes, but they all server the same purpose; ingesting garcinia.  So do they improve upon the efficacy of Garcinia pill supplements?  We can’t say.  There is some truth behind oral liquid being digested faster.  But whether or not that makes garcinia more effective is up for debate.  Most studies we looked at used pill-based garcinia extract, not liquid. Liquid Garcinia supplement reviews are mixed.

Liquid Garcinia Supplement Pro’s and Con’s


  • Easy to use
  • Fast Absorbing
  • Add to Smoothies


  • Might not be as effective
  • Garcinia Powders

Garcinia Supplement Reviews: Garcinia Powder

We’re starting to see more and more Garcinia gummi-gutta powders on the market.  It makes sense, they cheaper than pills, and let the user have more control over their dosage.  But they are bulky, and can be a bit messy. But as long as you find a high quality blend, you should be happy with the result.  The only concern for us is that by not having a pill-standardized serving size, you might be giving yourself too much, or too little.  As far as Garcinia Supplement Reviews go, Garcinia powder is rated very highly.

Garcinia Powder Pro’s and Con’s:


  • Put in Anything
  • No Added Ingredients
  • Gluten/Soy/Dairy Free


  • Messy
  • No Dosage Control
  • Unknown Quality

Garcinia Supplement Reviews: Garcinia Paste

This isn’t necessarily a weight-loss use of Garcinia, but it could be used that way.  It’s prepared as a traditional paste, (think curry paste) as a way to spice certain dishes.  You can find it by looking for “Goraka Churnaya” paste, as it’s mostly an ethnic Indian spice in that regard.  paste-based Garcinia supplement reviews are uncommon, as the product is used generally as a spice, not a weight loss method.

Garcinia Paste Pro’s and Con’s


  • Great For Cooking


  • Unknown Quality
  • Foreign Produced
  • Grow Your Own Garcinia

Let’s get this out of the way, unless you’re an expert at growing and raising tropical fruits, have a greenhouse, and a lot of time to spend, we don’t recommend going this route.  That said, if you happen to be an expert (or want to pretend to be one), there are options available.  Look for the specific type of Garcinia seeds you want, and check out growing requirements before you get started.  If you do this, please let us know!  That would be pretty cool.

Garcinia Supplement Reviews - Smiling girlHow To Get Great Results From Garcinia

So you’ve decided you want a Garcinia cambogia supplement, and you’re willing to go the extra mile to get results. The next step is deciding what you can do to improve those results.  Here’s our list of helpful diets and workouts you can do to get the best results possible.  Let’s start with diets.

Good Diets To Use With Garcinia Supplements

We’re going to start this section off with a preface; no matter which diet you pick, pick one that you know you can follow.  For example; I love pizza.  It’s big reason why I have a buddha belly, but there is absolutely no way I’m giving it up.  But I can limit how much of it I eat.  So using a diet that doesn’t allow carbs, or even cheese would be a big no-go for me.  But that’s me.  Some of you might not want to give up pastas, some of you might not want to give up sweets.  So you’ll want to find a diet that at least allows for you to have some of those foods you love.  That’s why we tend to recommend more portion-oriented diets.

But there can be some trouble with portion-oriented diets. One, you don’t feel full.  That’s the crux of this whole thing.  When you server yourself a smaller portion than you want, you’re going to be going right back to the cupboard to find something to fill you up.  Half the time, you end up eating more calories than you would have if you just had the meal you wanted in the first place…hmph.  So what do you do?  We supplement with protein.  Protein is low calorie, super-filling, and can be tasty.  It’s not a new concept by any means, but having a nice dinner chased down with a chocolately protein shake can make things work well.

Tips for Limiting Calories

Another area we can all work on is limiting our alcohol intake.  Alcoholic beverages can have sneaky amounts of calories.  Even a 5 oz class of wine can add on 125 calories to your meal.  And don’t even get us started on margaritas and pina coladas.  Depending on the drink they can balloon up to 500 calories.  This is a tip we find in a lot of Garcinia supplement reviews; stick to light beers, and steer clear of sweeter wines.  Shoot for dry wines, light beers, and avoid sweetened liqueurs at all cost.

Why Low Carb Diets Help Garcinia

Let’s look at your standard pasta dish.  It’s 75% pasta, and if you’re like us, then it’s the enriched, white pasta that we know and love.  If you’re eating a small portion, around 4 ounces, then you’re getting 182 calories from that.  But when you use the average serving size, that can increase to double, or even triple that number.

These calories, if unused via workouts, are made into fat. HCA is thought to disrupt that process.  HCA is thought to disrupt the enzymatic process of citric lyase, which creates fat from carbohydrate based food sources in your digestive tract.   Because carboydrates are so prevalent in the modern diet, it’s almost a certainty that people will eat more calories than they need to get by.

Garcinia Supplement Reviews - workout image

No ropes necessary.

Good Exercises To Help Get Results With Garcinia

Exercise is just as important as maintaining a healthy diet for Garcinia results.  After all, the weight loss continuum is based on the idea that you need to burn more calories than you take in.  When you don’t burn the needed calories, your body makes fat from the excess.  And while Garcinia is fantastic at preventing some of that fat creation, it’s really only effective at preventing it from carb-based food sources.  That means if you’re eating significantly more calories from other foods, you might be putting on fat still.  There are a few ways to do that with diet management, but the best solution is one that makes you healthier and happier; exercise.

The Exercise Routines To Use With Garcinia

The best exercise routines are, again, ones you can stick with.   We’ve seen so many workout routines borne from the best intentions that end up burning up like some kind of health-seeking Icarus.  Set up achievable goals, and start out slow.  That way you can build into the routine, and burn calories in a way that will keep you healthy and happy.  We recommend building up to high intensity cardio, and supplementing that routine with some light weight lifting. Don’t worry, you won’t look like some kind of steroid using muscle woman.  It’s mostly meant to keep your muscles active and healthy.  By doing high rep, low weight weightlifting, you’re building muscle more suited to aerobic activities, not power lifting.

Garcinia Supplement Reviews: Final Thoughts

We’ve covered a lot of ground here today, and there’s a lot more to learn about Garcinia than we’ve had time to mention.  We hope you enjoyed our breakdowns on these commonly-cited trials, and our own input on how to make Garcinia work best for you.  We had a lot of fun writing this article, and we hope that it shows.  Are we missing something?  Something else you want to see?  Let us know in the comment section.  If you’re done reading, you can click the link here to head back to the best new supplements page.  Or click here to head to the Best New Garcinia Supplements category page, we have a ton of reviews and how-to articles in the works for you to check out.  Thanks for reading!

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