Recently, Best Food Facts received a question regarding whether celebrities are using garcinia cambogia to lose weight. We called Stephen Heymsfield, MD, the George A. Bray, Jr. Endowed Super Chair in Nutrition Professor, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, to find out.
What can you tell us about garcinia cambogia (HCA)?
Dr. Stephen Heymsfield: “It has a very long history. Many years ago, researchers found that garcinia cambogia has some molecular mechanism that inhibits an enzyme in metabolism. It’s been around for centuries, but in the last 30 or 40 years, researchers have studied the biochemistry of it, so there’s some scientific and cultural grounding for its existence."
Does garcinia cambogia really help people lose weight?
Dr. Stephen Heymsfield: “Data to support the fact that HCA causes significant weight loss is very, very scarce. I did a randomized trial of it many years ago, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It didn’t show statistically significant weight loss in that trial. There have been a number of other studies as well, but they lack credibility. Some researchers have looked at all of the research (through a meta-analysis), and they can’t find any proof of real meaningful weight loss.
“Someone would have to show me a really good, carefully-done study to convince me that garcinia cambogia has any weight loss effects.”
How do you cut calories?