Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA) Health Benefits

Hydroxycitric acid, commonly know as HCA, is an acidic chemical compound produced in the fruit of the Garcinia cambogia plant. To produce a supplement, the HCA is extracted from the Garcinia cambogia fruit. Garcinia has a long history in India as a popular condiment, and the dried rind is used as a flavoring agent in many culinary dishes. The Garcinia fruit has also been used by Indians in connection with gastrointestinal complaints and rheumatism. Hydroxycitric acid, the principal acid in the fruit of Garcinia cambogia, comprises 16 of the content of the dried fruit. This is a relatively high concentration when compared with the chemical makeup of other fruits.

Garcinia cambogia is most commonly recognized for its ability to help individuals lose weight due to various effects it may have on the body. This fruit is believed to help people lose weight in the following ways:
    1. It has been suggested that the HCA in Garcinia cambogies inhibits the body's ability to store fat, possibly causing more fat from foods to pass through the body without being stored.

    2. Garcinia cambogia may cause the body to use existing body fat for energy during prolonged exercise. Ordinarily, carbohydrates are used first during exercise

    3. In a few animal studies the hydroxycitric acid (HCA) produced by Garcina cambogia appeared to reduce appetite by raising the amount of serotonin in the body. (Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is thought to affect appetite control).
However, pharmacological human studies have not been performed to substantiate many of the suggested health benefits associated with HCA.

Dosage and Administration

Garcia cambogia products generally contain 50 of HCA. Doses of HCA used in human studies have ranged from 250 mg three times a day to 1000 mg (one gram) three times a day. For weight loss, Garcinia cambogia is usually taken about a half hour before each meal. Dosage recommendations will vary between manufacturers. Always follow manufacturer's recommendation.

Side Effects

Although no general side effects that have been associated with hydroxycitric acid (HCA) we always suggest that pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid hydroxycitrric acid.

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