Garcinia Cambogia HCA for Weight Loss: Not The Healthiest Solution


By Colleen Russell

Recently, HCA, or the extract of Garcinia Cambogia has gotten a lot of weight loss press. We immediately began to receive inquiries as to the availability of HCA for weight loss and decided to launch an investigation of our own.

As a health supplement supplier, weight loss aids have naturally become a part of our business. Nourishing World was designed to be a resource for information on making positive natural lifestyle changes. To that end, we proudly source the safest, most effective natural weight loss products to help our clients reach their weight loss goals. When we decide to bring in a new product, we find the purest freeze-dried capsules and whole-food powders available. In order to ensure your safety, we spend as much of our day researching the effectiveness and potential side effect of supplements as we do marketing them.

What is Garcinia Cambogia?

Garcinia Cambogia is a thick-skinned fruit found growing in tropical climates that closely resembles a small pumpkin. The Garcinia Cambogia rind is a natural source of Hydroxy-Citric Acid, or HCA, an active ingredient in many popular weight loss supplements.
Researchers theorized that the HCA extracted from the Garcinia Cambogia fruit might block the liver enzymes responsible for metabolizing sugar and carbohydrates. This, in turn, would stop the formation of new fat cells and convert that sugar into energy and the fat into lean muscle. The increase in energy would cause a corresponding increase in serotonin production which could potentially suppress appetite to help you stay fuller longer. According to some, taking Garcinia Cambogia could improve your mood, decrease cravings for sugary food, and eliminate emotional eating, all while dumping fat stores and boosting energy. We will readily admit that it sounds incredible, but have erred on the side of caution and resisted the temptation to find a Garcinia Cambogia supplement manufacturer and jump on the HCA bandwagon with many of our competitors. A quick internet search for Garcinia Cambogia or HCA will yield pages of supplement companies screaming the benefits of this miracle fat burner, many offering free 30 day trials and advertising “all natural” products. So, what’s not to love?

The Science Behind HCA and Weight Loss; Does Garcinia Cambogia Work?

Our fact checkers went quickly to work analyzing clinical trial data, reading reviews from patients who had tried HCA supplements for weight loss, and pouring over scientific evidence published in medical research journals over the past 15 years. Garcinia Cambogia seemed to be weight loss magic, simply bottled and sold for an at-home body transformation. Sitting in front of us in the plain black-and white of journal text, it didn’t seem so magical at all.

The clinical trials we found dated as far back as 1998, when a clinical trial using Garcinia Cambogia for weight loss concluded that HCA is no more effective at burning fat than taking a placebo. The testing has been repeated several times since then, with at least twelve more studies utilizing different controls to test the efficacy of Garcinia Cambogia as an appetite suppressant, fat burner, and cholesterol or blood-pressure-reducing aid have reached the same conclusion. Garcinia Cambogia has little or no impact on weight loss.

What Are the Risks of Using Garcinia Cambogia?

I told you that science has suggested that HCA will not help you lose that ten pounds you have been fighting. So, why not try it anyway? TV doctors say it works, so what do you have to lose by trying this “natural” weight loss supplement? The answer will probably surprise you. Nourishing World’s independent analysis of Garcinia Cambogia revealed the results of animal laboratory tests which indicated HCA damage to the reproductive system caused by hormonal shifts. We also uncovered an FDA recall based on a death and several troubling side effects reported by people who have used the weight loss supplement. Garcinia Cambogia use is also contraindicated for people with diabetes, alzheimers, and those who are pregnant or nursing.

Laboratory testing revealed a startling discovery about the effects of Garcinia Cambogia on male reproductive organs. Prolonged ingestion of HCA was proven to cause testicular toxicity, a hormonal imbalance found to reduce testicular size and cause sperm count to plummet. In 2009, the FDA issued a safety warning about Garcinia Cambogia and the use of HCA in weight loss aids. A popular brand of diet pills containing HCA was subsequently recalled. According to the FDA, there were reports of 1 death, 23 liver problems, and an unspecified number of reports of seizure and cardiovascular damage. In the proceeding years, reputable weight loss supplement manufacturers refrained from using Garcinia Cambogia in their weight loss formulas.

What Does Nourishing World Recommend for Natural Weight Loss?

Nourishing World investigates the science behind many weight loss supplement claims and is proud to say that we will only recommend the ones that are proven to be the safest, most effective fat burners.  Acai, African Mango and Green Coffee Bean Extract remain three of our most popular weight loss items.

After seeing a ppular TV doctor’s show on Fat Burners suggesting that African Mango was a weight loss supplement with proven health benefits, we did some research and brought Perfect African Mango to our store. We know that African Mango is a safe and effective aid with proven health benefits on top of its effectiveness on weight loss results. Perfect African Mango comes to you from a reputable fair-trade manufacturer who does not use fillers, flow agents, or synthetics. If you were considering HCA based on anyone’s recommendation, we urge you to check out African Mango, a supplement with demonstrated safety and efficacy ratings, instead.

Nourishing World also recommends Green Coffee Bean Extract, a weight loss aid that we thoughtfully and carefully considered before bringing to the Nourishing World line of weight loss supplements. We find that pure green coffee bean extract supplements do not pose dangerous health risks from side effects. The clinical trial data consistently reports positive results. We source the pure, organic green coffee bean extract supplements from our favorite manufacturer, Perfect Supplements. Perfect Green Coffee is a 100% natural product without any dangerous side effects or potency-decreasing fillers.

The supplement industry is buzzing with hot, new, breakthrough weight loss and dieting solutions. There are several unscrupulous companies that will insist upon automatic renewal plans, make untrue claims, and use false advertising in order to get your busines. We remain committed to quality and want to reaffirm our promise to you that we will not sell any product that does not meet our strict safety guidelines.

48 thoughts on “Garcinia Cambogia HCA for Weight Loss: Not The Healthiest Solution

  1. Hi, I have taken the garcinia product recommended by dr. Oz and have had side affects. Severe stomach cramps, resembling ‘ulcer’ symptoms. After4 days of discontinuing the product I’m still sick and will have to undergo liver testing on Monday. I wish I had found this site earlier. Tanja Brown

    • Tanja, I’m so sorry to hear that. It sounds like a very painful way to spend a week. I hope that you are on the mend soon. Keep us posted on your progress. Check with your doctor first, but I have heard of a lot of people having success with healing stomach damage using coconut oil. You might see some benefits if you start cooking with it instead of butter or vegetable oil.

  2. I spent $45 dollars that I really can’t afford to waste on the Garcinia Cambrogia, trusting Dr. Oz. I watched the entire segment about this and since he pointed out over and over again that he’s not getting anything in return for promoting it, and highly recommended it. I don’t understand why someone with his influence would do this when there is the evidence that you found out there- He has a high paid staff that should be reviewing everything, it saddens me.
    Anyway, I found you when I was looking for reviews about this, and glad I did. I’m 48, and have always had a hard time keeping my weight down, I had lost a lot of weight and kept it off for about 5 years, but started gaining it back over the last few years. I’m having the hardest time losing it again and would appreciate suggestions of things that Really Do Work. Half of my time I’m volunteering myself so I don’t make a lot of extra money, if you could tell me what works and what’s affordable I’d be So Grateful!!
    Thanks so much,

    • Hi LeeAnn,
      Sorry to hear of your struggles, but congrats for putting forth effort. It can be really hard to get your metabolism to speed up, and it may just be that your body needs a jumpstart. Since you’re such a busy gal and don’t have the time or budget for copious amounts of supplements and a gym membership, try starting with a very easy, structured exercise routine and maybe give a different weight loss booster a try. Check with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise routine, and consider having some bloodwork done to check for any nutrient deficiencies that are curbing your efforts.
      As far as supplements, we have many customers who have reported success with using either Perfect Green Coffee or Perfect African Mango, which we sell in our store at We also highly advocate smoothies. There is a plethora of pins on our pinterest page with tested recipes. Try replacing one meal a day with a smoothie and throw in some plant-based protein powder. It’s low fat, low cal, highly bioavailable protein, and will help suppress your appetite while giving your body the nutrients that it needs. If you’re not eating breakfast every day, your metabolism isn’t going to start revving up because it thinks you might starve and is conserving your fat stores.
      If you aren’t following a structured exercise routine and don’t have time for the gym, and are physically able, consider trying a couch to 5k program. If you have an ipod/iphone/mp3 player, you can download an app that will give you instructions on when to walk and when to run, and will track your progress. (I used a program through BlueFin that was fabulous.) Some people (myself included) need that time carved out on the calendar to remind themselves to take care of themselves in that way. If you can commit 30 minutes 3 times a week to trying something new, write it on the calendar, set up reminders on your phone, etc etc. Remind yourself that you have to put on your own oxygen mask before you can help the passengers next to you. 🙂 Volunteering is a wonderful and fulfilling thing, but you need to give yourself a bit of loving kindness first and foremost.
      Wishing you the best of luck, LeeAnn. Let us know how you do and if there’s anything we can do to help, be it motivation, support, or product advice. You can do this!

  3. Hi I have just ordered this in from my local health care shop because I am currently reading Patrick Holford’s Burn Fat Fast Low GL alternate day fasting book, where he too recommends HCA from tamarind !
    Again this lovely gentleman has an amazing reputation with extensive nutritional knowledge.
    This has left me a little miffed, have you told doctor Oz your findings ?
    I think these nutritionists should be informed as they have a massive influence over us that actually really care about our well being and look to these people for sure fire advice.

    • Hi Donna,
      We stay on top of Dr. Oz recommendations because he often has great insight on current research, especially when it comes to natural weight loss. When I did research for this piece, I forwarded the information over to his customer service department but did not get a response.
      I suppose that, like anything else there are inherent risks that go along with benefits. In the face of some pretty compelling risks though, I just think we can do better than Garcinia Cambogia for weight loss. I have heard a great number of glowing reviews from users of Green Coffee and Raspberry Ketones and have not received any reports of adverse side effects associated with their use.
      I haven’t read the book that you mentioned, but will look it up right away. Did you have any other interesting takeaways?

  4. Thank you for posting this information. I’m sure it’s not always easy going against the grain so to speak. I also find myself at times getting sucked in if you will to the next best greatest natural weight loss live longer look better many I too want to believe. But I always come back to this: each week there seems to be a new product or a new plan – a different product a different plan to make us lose more, live longer and look better…. Every week there’s something new. And it comes across as “this is it” “a miracle” this is our society for sure but does it bother anyone else that it seems to be the same person, the same show, a ‘trusted’ dr? His reputation has been lost for me because of this. Just a thought.

  5. I started taking Garcinia Cambogia and the green coffee
    bean extract recommended by Dr. Oz this past Monday….and I now,
    as of last night have a blood clot in my ankle….can the clot be
    related to these pills?

  6. hi ,I am a girl,16 years old ,my height is 5 feet 4 inches ,I wanna lose 15 kg,plz help me I also started cabbage soup diet but give up on 4 day bcoz lack of ingredients which are not available in our country plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz help me

  7. Irecently purchased a six-month supply of Miracle Garcinia Cambogia, 60% HCA and Potassium, but it does no include 100% pure 1600 mg. Are you familiar with this product?

    • I’m not farmiliar with that particular product. Our product research into Garcinia Cambogia ended when we uncovered a list of possible side effects and fda recalls for some very unsavory effects. We continue to recommend products that we know are safe and effective and have used personally with success. Perfect Green Coffee, African Mango, Lite ‘N Up with CLA, and Raspberry Ketones are some personal favorites here at Peaceful Planet. If you’d like to try one out, use coupon code Peaceful for 10% off your first order.

    • I wouldn’t recommend Garcinia Cambogia for anyone. It is particularly harmful for men because of the risk of testicular toxicity. Green coffee, african mango, cla, and raspberry ketones get my vote for weight loss supplements.

  8. As a women in her 50’s I have been struggling with weight gain for the past 5 years. I have tried everything out there, including the green coffee beans, green tea, ect. I still lift weights and do cardio 3 times a week, no sugar and a low carb diet. I keep my calories under 1000. a day and honestly never get hungry so I have to remind myself to eat.. The weight just stays, it won’t leave. Tired of paying for supplements that do not work. Is there something that will guarantee weight loss. I am so sure I have a six pack under all this extra weight, sure would like to see it!

    • Most people burn at least 1200 Calories per day so you might be under-eating. Also, what types of foods are you eating. A mainly plant-based diet is often associated with healthy weight and when I switched my lifestyle to include this type of eating I lost 40 pounds within a year. Obviously everybody’s bodies are different, but it might be something to keep in mind.

  9. Recently tried Garcinia Cambogia for two days and only one pill/day and have been feeling weak and shaky (low blood sugar?). I haven’t seen any side effects mentioned similar to this. Has anyone else experienced this?

      • Well on the same page I found below link which lists all the products fda/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2009/ucm149575

        I do not see anything specific to Garcinia C. If I check the wiki for Hydroxycut below then it lists green coffee bean extract as its primary ingredient and not Garcinia.


      • I don’t use wikipedia as a source for a variety of reasons, so I don’t know what they have posted there. Everything I have posted here regarding scientific data comes directly from the FDA or from the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. For the product that I referred to in my post, I used public service announcements from the FDA which were backed by the findings of the NIH. That study can be found here:

        Hydroxycut was originally an Ephedra-containing diet drug before that was pulled from the market for cardiovascular concerns, after which the company switched to HCA extracted from Garcinia Cambogia. In 2009, the FDA issued a warning about this new formulation. Garcinia Cambogia may not be spelled out on the list that you found because it was an ingredient, not a product name. A little more digging will give you the ingredient list and nutrition profile of Hydroxycut from 2009. I don’t have any information on its current state, but I don’t doubt that the newest formulation contains green coffee bean extract, which is a proven safe and effective ingredient. Peaceful Planet carries a green coffee bean extract supplement from Perfect Supplements which is all-natural, and which I would trust to both recommend and take myself.

        With that said, I will note that I don’t think that everyone who takes Garcinia Cambogia has an adverse effect or that any study is all-telling. I am aware of other products that have better reported success without the implied risks of this particular one, that’s all. When Dr. Oz aired his special on HCA/Garcinia Cambogia, the very first thing that Peaceful Planet did was hit the books in search of any appearance of impropriety. This one didn’t make the grade, and we moved on.

  10. I have recently bought garcinia and African mango which would you recommend taking? And should I be taking anything in addition to either, would love lose 20 lbs! Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Colleen!
      Congratulations on starting! I don’t trust Garcinia Cambogia. Perhaps we’re going against the grain here, but there has been enough scientific evidence presented to suggest that it’s not worth the risk. I can vouch for African Mango, though, and have heard a lot of success stories without any question about safety. If you wanted to try a “formal” plan to kick-start weight loss, I can highly recommend the “Dr. Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight Loss Plan.” It might be a good way to kick-start a detox followed by a month on the African Mango to boost your effects. Doing a weight loss detox first helps you to banish your cravings, which goes a long way to transforming bad habits and making you successful in your efforts. Check it out and let us know if you have any questions.

  11. I just read the FDA report of the drug and I it said that I’m the trials that did have side affects, they were very minor. And they’re were no deaths so they specifically said its very safe…

    • Hi Naomi,
      You are absolutely free to try whatever method you choose. This post was based on our findings and conclusions drawn from an analysis of all of the facts associated with this particular product. The FDA report I referenced was from May of 2009, when an entire panel of experts including Dr. Linda Katz, the Chief Medical Officer with FDA’s Center For Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Dr. Vasilios Frankos, the Division Director with the Office of
      Dietary Supplements with the FDA, and Susan Cruzan from FDA’s Media Relations Staff gathered to discuss Hydroxycut Dietary Supplements. The FDA Warned Consumers to Stop Using Hydroxycut Products, which at that time were made of a blend of herbal extracts, the first of which was Garcinia Cambogia, because of Risk of Liver Injury. If you would like to read a transcript of this meeting, you can find it on the FDA website.

      “FDA today has received 23 reports of adverse liver effects in users of
      Hydroxycut products including asymptomatic blood liver enzyme changes,
      jaundice, liver damage, liver transplant and death.

      In addition, we are aware of four case reports in the medical literature
      involving sick patients who had consumed Hydroxycut and were diagnosed
      with serious liver disease.”

      I am not intending to dispense medical advice here, just passing on the warning. After using this product, there was a reported death, and the FDA in no way implied that it was “very safe.”

    • I wouldn’t recommend that anybody take Garcinia Cambogia, but you would have to check with a doctor for a recommendation on that.

  12. I started using Garcia Cambodia a few weeks ago, I am 51 years old male and in good health. I had a blood clot travel to my lung and now I have a pulmonary embolism, after spending several days in the hospital they could not find any reason why I would have formed a clot. I am just wondering if anyone else is having any problems with blood clots after taking Garcia Cambodia.

  13. The fact is every products can have side effect. Even things that are all natural. I mean even to much water is bad for you, but sometimes the benefits are awesome. I have been using all the new diet pills that have been hitting the market, and honestly I have had no side effects and I feel and look pretty damn good.

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  19. This does certainly bring some new insight about HCA and cambogia. I mean I’m trying it myself and let’s see how it goes but the green coffee bean extract did catch my attention. So we’ll see… good tip! Very informative!

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