encyclopedia

Garcinia Fruit Rind

Scientific Names:     

Garcinia cambogia Besr., G. indica, and G. atroviridis [Fam. Rutaceae]     

Forms:     

Fresh Garcinia fruit rind; Powdered, dehydrated Garcinia fruit rind and extracts; Extracts of Garcinia standardized for Hydroxycitric acid content.     

Traditional Usage:     

– Antibacterial
– Antiseptic
– Appetite Suppressant
– Bone and Joint Disorders
– Constipation
– Digestive Disorders
– Obesity
– Rheumatism
– Scurvy
– Vitamin C Deficiency
– Weight Reduction     

Overview:     

Garcinia, Garcinia cambogia Besr. and other Garcinia species [Fam. Rutaceae], is a citrus tree that bears small, sweet, purple fruit, also called the Malabar tamarind. It is one of the main ingredients of south East Indian food preparation and was valued traditionally for its dried rind, which possesses marked antiseptic properties. The fruit is a common article of commerce in the dry state. It was used in the Bombay army as an antiscorbutic in 1799 to prevent scurvy. Historically, it was also valued as a condiment for flavouring curries in place of tamarind or lime. In Ceylon, the fruits were picked under-ripe, the thick pericarp cut into sections and dried in the sun for use with salt in the curing of fish. A decoction of the fruit rind was traditionally used for treating rheumatism and bowel complaints and the resin was used as a purgative. For cattle it is used as a wash in mouth diseases. Garcinia contains high concentrations of (-)-Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) as the principal acid of its fruit rinds. Animal studies have shown that Garcinia extracts and HCA can suppress appetite and thereby encourage weight loss. It is thought to work by interfering with the body's ability to produce and store fat. HCA has been shown to be a potent inhibitor of ATP citrate lyase, an enzyme involved in the conversion of cellular ATP to energy. This effect limits the availability of acetyl-CoA units required for fatty acid synthesis in a lipid-producing (high carbohydrates) diet. Oral administration of HCA has been shown to significantly depress the weight, body lipid and appetite of lipogenic rats. Studies have documented the effects of Garcinia on ketogenesis, glycogenesis, gluconeogenesis and lipid oxidation. However, one human clinical trial found no benefits compared with placebo for patients that followed a low calorie diet.     

Active Ingredients:     

Garcinia fruit rind contains approximately 30% acid (calculated as Citric acid) mainly (-)-hydroxy-citric acid. It also contains tartaric acid reducing sugars and phosphoric acid (as calcium triphosphate). Camboginol and cambogin have also been identified.     

Suggested Amount:     

A typical dosage of HCA from Garcinia fruit rind is 250 to 1,000 mg 3 times daily. Products are often standardized to contain approximately 50% HCA.     

Drug Interactions:     

None known.     

Contraindications:     

None known.     

Side Effects:     

When taken at recommended dosages, there are no side effects reported. However, (-)-HCA taken in excessive amounts can cause upset stomach and diarrhea.     

References:     

Greenwood MR, Cleary MP, Gruen R, et al. 1981. Effect of (-)-hydroxycitrate on development of obesity in the Zucker obese rat. Am J Physiol 240: E72-78.
 
Heymsfield SB, Allison DB, Vasselli JR, et al. Garcinia cambogia (hydroxycitric acid) as a potential antiobesity agent: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 280(18) 1596-1600, 1998.
 
Jena BS, Jayaprakasha GK, Singh RP, Sakariah KK. 2002. Chemistry and biochemistry of (-)-hydroxycitric acid from Garcinia. J Agric Food Chem 2002 Jan 2;50(1):10-22.
 
Ramos, R.R. et. al., 1996, Garcinia cambogia in the control of obesity (in Spanish), Invest. Med. Intern. Vol. 22, pp. 97-100; Firenzuoli F and Gori, L., 1999, JAMA, 1999, Vol. 21(3), pp. 234.
 
Sullivan AC, Triscari J, Hamilton JG, et al. Effect of (-)-hydroxycitrate upon the accumulation of lipid in the rat. I. Lipogenesis. Lipids 9: 121-128, 1974.