Can Garcina Cambodia actually help burn fat?

Garcina cambodia plant

What is Garcina Cambodia?

Garcina Cambodia is a small fruit originating from India and South Asia, and mainly used to enhance flavor of curries. Other uses may include reducing symptoms of rheumatism and digestive problems.

How does it work?

Different fat burners work in different ways. G. Cambodia is a great source of hydroxycitric acids which are known to manage weight by suppressing appetite.  (National Center for complementary and integrative health, 2017). But can it actually help you burn fat? Let’s take a look.


What does Garcina Cambodia do or so they say it does?

When we consume fats or excess calories, our body will break them down into free fatty acids which can accumulate as body fat. Garcina Cambodia supposedly suppresses citric acid and lyase enzymes which create those fatty acids. In other words, it suppresses our body’s ability to gain weight. If at this point you are wondering what will happen to the extra calories you will eat? You will simply excrete them.

However, because this supplement will reduce your ability to create fatty acids, your appetite will also be suppressed.

Now, you may be thinking that this sounds great. However, we are essentially tricking our body into doing something it shouldn’t. This can cause some unpleasant side effects.

Garcina Cambodia case studies

There was a study done on rats that showed a reduction in appetite. When appetite is reduced, we eat less calories. Therefore, there’s an opportunity to lose weight. Although our appetite is reduced, it does not mean this will fix our habits. Despite you feeling fuller, if you go to the cinema where you’d normally eat popcorn, you’ll still probably take popcorn. So, don’t rely on the supplement itself. You need discipline too.

There are other studies which demonstrate lack of effectiveness as well. (Patel, 2018).

For instance, one study done by Heymsfield (1998) using 135 obese persons demonstrated no significant effects on weight loss.

In addition, another study done by Kim et al (2011) used 86 overweight people over a period of 1-6 months. The participants who consumed Garcina Cambodia over the term of the study demonstrated no significant difference in weight loss or fat loss compared to the placebo group.

More studies

Above all, a study conducted by the Department of foods and Nutrition (2000) tested the effects on Hydroxycitric acid on appetite.  Some females were placed on a caloric deficit and others into a placebo group. Over a period of 12 weeks the group who consumed Garcina Cambodia, were only able to lose 1.3g more weight than the other group.

Therefore, the results can be mixed, but where the results have shown some effect on weight loss, these were very little. No reports have shown any toxic or harmful symptoms from oral consumption. It seems that consumption of this plant is safe over a short period of time like 12 weeks.

How to take Garcina Cambodia?

You can consume this fruit in tea, capsules and extracts.

Garcina Cambodia Dosage

The clinical studies used between 2-3g of G. Cambodia.

Is it safe to take Garcina Cambodia during pregnancy?

It is not recommended taking it during pregnancy or during lactation as there is no sufficient research conducted whether it is safe or not.


In conclusion, there is no sufficient evidence to confirm this supplement burns fat. It suppressed appetite in rats but it failed to provide sufficient results in human participants. So, there are much better products out there that provide better effects. Therefore, more research is required.

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Frank, K., Patel, K., Lopez, G. and Willis, B. (2019). G. cambogia Research Analysis. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Jul. 2019].

Heymsfield SB, e. (1998). Garcinia cambogia (hydroxycitric acid) as a potential antiobesity agent: a randomized controlled trial. – PubMed – NCBI. [online] Available at : [Accessed 17 Jul. 2019].

Kim, Je. Jeon, SM. Park, KH. Lee, WS. McGregor, RA. Chois,MS. (2011). Does Glycine max leaves or G. Cambogia promote weight-loss or lower plasma cholesterol in overweight individuals: a randomized control trial.[online] Available at: [accessed 09 Jul.2019]

NCCIH. (2017). Garcinia Cambogia. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Nov. 2019].

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