Hydroxycitric acid is derived from the dried rind of the fruit that grows on the Garcinia cambogia tree, which it is native to India, Malaysia and Africa. Hydroxycitric acid is isolated and sold as a nutritional supplement for a variety of health promoting purposes. As with any nutritional supplement, you should talk to your health care practitioner before taking hydroxycitric acid.
Hydroxycitric acid contains numerous phytochemicals including xanthones, flavanoids and benzophenones. Phytochemicals are antioxidant compounds found in plants that help to prevent free radical induced damage and death to your cells and DNA, as well as to prevent and treat disease in humans. Preliminary research suggests that the phytochemical xanthone, found in hydroxycitric acid exhibits antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory activity.
Weight Loss Benefits
Hydroxycitric acid has gained recent popularity as a weight loss aid. It has been found to increase lipid oxidation and thereby help to breakdown and remove fatty acids from your body. It may also help to decrease appetite, and a six-week, placebo controlled study cited in the June 2002 edition of "International Journal of Obesity-Related Metabolic Disorders" examined the effectiveness of hydroxycitric acid as an appetite suppressant. The study found that hydroxycitric acid supplementation decreased the daily caloric intake in overweight individuals by 15 to 30 percent. The participants experienced weight loss, whilst also reporting feelings of satiety.
Additional Purported Uses
Due to its lipid lowering properties, Drugs.com website states that hydroxycitric acid may also help to lower triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein, or "LDL," levels. Ayurvedic medicine practitioners use hydroxycitric acid as a general health tonic, to help treat rheumatism, diabetes, dysentery, worms, parasites and stomach ulcers and to enhance exercise endurance, states "Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database." In addition, hydroxycitric acid has anti-inflammatory properties and is used to help treat inflammatory bowel disorders. More research needs to be done to confirm the efficacy of hydroxycitric acid for these uses however.
Dosage and Precautions
The dosage of hydroxycitric acid ranges from 900 to 2,800 mg daily, or 15 to 47 mg, per kg of body weight. Hydroxycitric acid is considered non toxic, but it may cause mild side effects, such as headaches, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, diarrhea and gastrointestinal complaints. It may also interact with certain medications, including diabetes and depression drugs.
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Page 9, Phyllis Balch and James Balch, M.D.; 2003
- "Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database"; Therapeutic Research Faculty; 2011
- Drugs.com: Garcinia (hydroxycitric acid)
- "International Journal of Obesity Related Metabolic Disorders"; The effect of (-)-hydroxycitrate on energy intake and satiety in overweight humans; Westerterp-Plantenga MS et al; June 2002