Hydroxycitric acid, AHC
- Indications with possible efficacy:
- Indications with possible, but poorly documented efficacy:
- Other indications with no proof of efficacy:
Improve exercise endurance
Weight loss (common use)
- Risk of Drug Interactions: Low
- Adverse Effects: Low
Part of the plant used: fruit rind
This small tree grows mainly in India and southeast Asia. There are many species which vary in appearance. The fruit, which look like small yellow pumpkins, turn red when ripe, and are about 5 cm in diameter. For centuries, these fruit have been used in food preparation, as condiments and as flavouring agents. The rind of the fruit contains hydroxycitric acid which is the active ingredient in garcinia.
Directions for use
- Weight loss:
Doses used: 500 to 1500 mg, 3 times a day, of an extract containing 50% hydroxycitric acid.
The safety of garcinia cambogia has not been established beyond 12 weeks.
- Adverse effects
There are few adverse effects associated with garcinia cambogia and these adverse effects are usually mild. It rarely causes gastrointestinal upset (nausea, flatulence, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort) and headache.
Garcinia cambogia should be used with caution in patients with diabetes, consult your pharmacist for more information.
Garcinia cambogia may interact with other drugs (eg, certain antidepressants, cough medicine, and narcotic analgesics). Before using garcinia cambogia, speak to your pharmacist to see whether it is compatible with the drugs you are presently taking.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
The use of garcinia cambogia should be avoided during pregnancy or breastfeeding since there is no reliable information about its safety.
In 2004, Canada adopted new regulations that control the manufacturing, packaging, labeling and importing of natural health products. The new regulations also include an adverse reaction reporting system. Products that conform to the regulation's criteria are identified with a natural product number (NPN) and can be legally sold in Canada. This number indicates that the product meets specific criteria for safety and purity, not that it is effective for any indication.
Medicinal plant contents vary naturally from plant to plant - just as fruits from the same package may vary in taste and texture. There is no standard to measure the active content of each plant. Thus, efficacy of natural products should be expected to vary from brand to brand as well as from bottle to bottle of the same brand.
For more information about the Natural Health Products Regulations, or to check if a product has been assessed, visit the Health Canada website at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/index-eng.php.
- Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2010
- Passeportsanté.net. Garcinia cambogia. www.passeportsante.net
- Natural Therapeutics Pocket Guide, 2000-2001
- The Review of Natural Products, 6th Edition, 2010
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The patient information leaflets are provided by Vigilance Santé Inc. This content is for information purposes only and does not in any manner whatsoever replace the opinion or advice of your health care professional. Always consult a health care professional before making a decision about your medication or treatment.