Garcinia Cambogia as a new resource

Author: Fabio Nesta
Date: 06/02/2014



Garcinia is a plant genus of the family Clusiaceae native to many countries of the world such as Asia, Australia, tropical and southern Africa and also Polynesia.

There are many species across the world. According to the latest research nearly 50 to 300. Most of them is in serious danger all because of natural destruction that is leading to their extinction as for Garcinia Cadelliana. In recent years it has come to the fore as a health improving and anti-obesity fruit. There are a few drugs in the market to ameliorate or prevent obesity, but there are costs, efficacy, and side effects to be considered. For example, the currently available pharmacological agents, Sibutramine, Rimonabant, Orlistat, and Phentermine which are licensed for weight reduction therapy, appear to possess some adverse effects. Phentermine, for instance, has been reported to cause dry mouth, insomnia, headache, dizziness, fatigue, and palpitation. It is well known that Garcinia has been used for centuries in Asian countries for culinary purposes as a condiment and flavoring agent in place of tamarind or lemon and to make meals more filling.


This plant is the most well known species due to its effects on:

  • Weight loss
  • Fat blocking
  • Fat burning
  • Patient appetite suppressing
  • Antiinflammatory property

Garcinia Cambogia is the origin of weird berries with a fleshy endocarp white coloured. Despite our thoughts what seems to be the important part is not the fruit inside but the rind around it used for years by the indian people who firstly cultivated them in Indonesia. The "gambooge fruit" also known as the Malabar tamarind grows across southwest India, Myanmar and expecially Indonesia.It ripens to a red or yellowish fruit about the size of an orange, but resembling the size of a pumpkin. Recently studies have identified the active principle in the rind that contains the natural major source of hydrxycitric acid, or HCA.


HCA: hydroxycitric acid:

Garcinia Cambogia's hydroxycitric acid is a safe, natural supplement for weight management. It is derived from citric acid that can be found also in Hibiscus cannabius is the competitive inhibitor of ATP citrate lyase, a key enzyme which facilitates the synthesis of fatty acids, cholesterol and triglicerydes.


When we eat too much carbohydrates, derives a large amount of Acetyl CoA which cannot pass the mitochondrion membrane. Due to this fact Acetyl CoA is turned into Citrate in order to pass it. In the cell cytosol ATP citrate lyase catalyzes the cleavage of citrate into oxaloacetate and Acetyl CoA.

Acetyl CoA then is converted into Malonyl CoA that is the start point of the construction of fatty acids and cholesterol. If there is malonyl CoA our body is able to build fat. Furthermore, it has been discovered that Malonyl CoA can inhibit the activity of the enzyme carnitine acyltransferase which carries the fat produced in the citosol into the mitocondria to have them burned. If there is too much Malonyl CoA it is not possible to consume fatty acids as well.

But if there is less Acetyl CoA, thanks to the molecular mechanism in which HCA is involved, there will be less conversion of it into Malonyl CoA and consequently our body will have less production of new fatty acids and cholesterol. Moreover if there is less malonyl CoA the human cells will be able to transfer the fatty acids into the mitochondria passing the membrane more easily because the enxyme carnitine acyltransferase is no longer inhibited and the body can burn them rapidly.

In conclusion if the body does not create fat( there is no malonyl CoA to build fat) it is able to burn it and there is no malonyl CoA to prevent fat from being transported to the mitochondrion. In rats, the salt also caused downregulation of genes encoding abdominal fat leptin while expressions of the plasma leptin genes remained unaltered. Notably also in the microarray analyses, HCA-SX, the HCA added with Ca(++) and K(+)called SuperCitriMax, demonstrated a distinct effect on appetite suppression whereby genes encoding serotonin receptors were shown to be selectively upregulated by the salt. Besides, HCA-SX was also found to be capable of activating hypoxia inducible factor (HIF), a transcription factor involved in energy metabolism,and restored the increase in oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance in obese Zucker rats. Many studies and research have been carried on to prove its efficiency. Some scientists have suggested that HCA causes weight loss according to experiments double blind on mice in laboratories. But it has been also noticed that HCA plays an important role as for the brain. A typical reduction of food appetite and an increased serotonin availability were observed in all the weight control studies of HCA-SX on both animal and human subjects. These were associated with reduced levels of total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides, and serum leptin as well as increased HDL level and urinary excretion of fat metabolites In fact it is capable of increasing the availability of serotonin, thereby leading to the appetite suppression. With the inhibiting effect on ATP citrate lyase HCA causes the availability of two-carbon units required for the initial steps of fatty acid and cholesterol biosynthesis during carbohydrate feeding was limited. As a result, the consumed carbon source was diverted to glycogen synthesis in liver. A signal was then sent to the brain due to this metabolic alteration, resulting in rising of serotonin level concomitant with a reduced appetite.

Rise of serotonin mediated by HCA,2007

Other authors postulated that the weight loss mechanisms include inhibition of pancreatic alpha amylase and intestinal alpha glucosidase, thereby leading to a reduction in carbohydrate metabolism.

Effect on pancreatic enzymes,2011

The role of G. Cambogia in inflammatory deseases:There is sperimental evidence that GC can treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis which are chronic enteropathies that probably result from a dysregulated mucosal immune response. These pathologies are characterized by oxidative and nitrosative stress, leukocyte infiltration and up-regulation of pro-inflammatory substances. Garcinia cambogia extract seems to have gastroprotective effects in addition to the others described above. In one study, the antiinflammatory activity of a garcinia extract was assessed in TNBS, 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid,induced colitis rats. This study revealed that garcinia administration to colitic rats improved the macroscopic damage and caused substantial reductions in increases in MPO activity, COX-2 and iNOS expression. In addition, garcinia extract treatment was able to reduce PGE2 and IL-1β colonic levels. Finally, Garcinia extract caused neither mortality nor toxicity signals after oral administration. The antiinflammatory effects provided by the Garcinia cambogia extract result in an improvement of several parameters analysed in experimental colitis and could provide a source for the search for new antiinflammatory compounds useful in IBD treatment.

Attenuation of colitis injury in rats using Garcinia cambogia extract,2008


It is too early to claim with certainty if Garcinia Cambogia has side effects. According to a study effected on mice in which the supplementation of it significantly lowered visceral fat accumulation and adipocyte size through the inhibition of fatty acid synthase activity and its mRNA expression in visceral adipose tissue, along with enhanced enzymatic activity and gene expression involved in adipose fatty acid β-oxidation. However it has been demonstrated that it increased hepatic collagen accumulation, lipid peroxidation and mRNA levels of genes related to oxidative stress (superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase) and inflammatory responses (tumor necrosis factor-α and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1) as well as plasma alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase levels.

Side effects on mice,2013.


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 in humans between individuals treated with G. cambogia and controls.

Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of HCA and Garcinia cambogia extracts in humans, 2012

AddThis Social Bookmark Button