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HCA, the active ingredient used to make weight loss supplements from the Garcinia Cambogia fruit, is extracted from the rind.

Garcinia Cambogia, also known as the Malabar tamarind, has long been used in South Asian cooking. The active ingredient used in weight loss supplements, HCA, is extracted from the fruit’s rind.

Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects

Garcinia Cambogia, also known as Malabar tamarind, is a fruit tree which grows native to India and Southeast Asia. The fruit of the tree contains HCA, or hydroxycitric acid, a natural chemical like citric acid. In recent years, HCA products have been sold as weight loss supplements under various brand names.1

Due to easy over the counter availability of Garcinia Cambogia, people may be less likely to research Garcinia side effects before trying it.

Supplements with Garcinia Cambogia are made using extracts from the fruit rind, and typically come in capsule, tea, tablet, or extract form.1

Garcinia Cambogia extract side effects are few, but while most are mild, such as nausea, there are some that require closer observation. One of the more severe possible negative side effects of Garcinia Cambogia extract is hepatotoxicity, or chemical liver damage.2

Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects Liver

While the United States Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements like these, most research on Garcinia Cambogia has shown minimal side effects when the supplement is used properly. The main concern is the negative Garcinia Cambogia side effects on liver. There have been several reports of hepatotoxicity due to the active chemical, HCA.2

A 2009 research paper reported many different cases of chemical liver damage. Each study found that liver function returned to normal when the Garcinia Cambogia supplements stopped being used.2

According to a 2016 case report, one 34-year old man was tested for a variety of liver-related illnesses following symptoms such as nausea, abdominal cramping, dark urine, and vomiting. After being tested for Wilson’s disease, hemochromatosis, and hepatitis, doctors realized that symptoms began after the patient had started using Garcinia Cambogia 3-times daily for 5-months. The patient eventually required a liver transplant.3

The Garcinia Cambogia side effects of liver damage have not been studied enough in human subjects to prove a correlation. More documented cases are required before a definitive conclusion may be drawn.

Common Side Effects of Garcinia Cambogia

Minor adverse effects of Garcinia Cambogia are also under-represented in scientific research, but do occur in some users. The most common of these Garcinia Cambogia diet pills side effects include:

Sexual Side Effects of Garcinia Cambogia

In 2012, a scientific review of Garcinia Cambogia reported an animal study in which subjects were given Garcinia Cambogia for a period of up to 93 days. The adverse effects included severe diarrhea and a reduced weight in testis by half in the subjects. Not only was testicular atrophy reported, but a decrease in sperm production was also noticed.6 The severe effects of this study occurred only with high doses of Garcinia Cambogia, and have not been proven a health hazard in any human studies to date.

Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects: High Blood Pressure

One of the other serious Garcinia Cambogia side effects diabetes patients may experience is high blood pressure. A 2016 report by the FDA documented a case in which a 26-year old diabetic man was hospitalized due to Garcinia Cambogia side effects heart related symptoms. It was discovered that he took 3-4 pills of two different supplements each day. One contained ephedrine, caffeine, chromium picolinate, and L-carnitine, while the other contained Garcinia Cambogia extract, ephedrine, caffeine, salicylates, and chromium picolinate. The result was an enlarged heart, extreme high blood pressure, and reduced blood pumping ability.5 This case suggests that Garcinia Cambogia could cause high blood pressure, and potential heart failure if taken with other supplements when diabetes is present.

Garcinia Cambogia Cold Symptoms

One study published in 1998 reported cold symptoms to be one of the adverse reactions experienced by volunteers in the trial, however, there was not a significant enough difference between the experimental and placebo group to officially document cold symptoms as a typical reaction to Garcinia cambogia.8

Cold symptoms, including upper respiratory issues involving the nose and throat, have been reported as side effects to Garcinia Cambogia, but are not fully supported by human studies.

Garcinia Cambogia Headaches

The same 1998 study described headaches as a possible side effect of Garcinia Cambogia, after subjects experienced head pain following use of the supplement. Again, the difference between the experimental and placebo group was not significant enough to report this as a true risk to those taking Garcinia Cambogia.8

Stomach Cramping After Garcinia Cambogia

In a 2016 study, researchers documented a case in which a 61-year old patient was admitted to the hospital for severe abdominal cramping. After testing the patient, doctors found that she was experiencing acute pancreatitis, and that symptoms had developed after she had begun taking Garcinia Cambogia. Doctors advised the patient against continuing the use of the supplement, and symptoms subsided within 4 days of intravenous fluids.7 Pancreatitis is an atypical response to Garcinia Cambogia, but stomach issues, such as cramping, have been reported in more than one scientific publication.

Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects: Nausea and Vomiting

According to a 2011 systematic review, which followed 12 randomized control trials, 7 out of the 12 trials experienced side effects after using Garcinia Cambogia diet pills. Nausea, gas, and other stomach issues were the main symptoms experienced throughout the trials, along with respiratory issues, and headaches.4

Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects: Constipation

Gastrointestinal issues are one of the more common side effects of Garcinia Cambogia, although there are few human studies with conclusive results on the matter. Typical symptoms associated with gastrointestinal problems include constipation, and diarrhea.6

Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects: Gas

There are no human studies which conclude that gas or flatulence is one of the side effects of Garcinia Cambogia diet pills. However, it is a gastrointestinal issue which may occur when bloating, constipation and stomach cramping are present.

It turns out that many of the “Top Secret Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects” aren’t top secret at all, but simply under-reported and without the appropriate amount of research to verify. If you experience any of the above symptoms after taking Garcinia Cambogia, they may go away if you discontinue use.

Some of the reported side effects of Garcina Cambogia include nausea, headache, and in rare cases, liver damage.

While most research reports minimal side effects when taken properly, there have been reports of minor side effects like gastrointestinal issues, as well as more severe side effects like chemical liver damage when taking Garcinia Cambogia.

Scientific Research Referenced in this Article

  1. National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health. (2017) Garcinia Cambogia. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved on October 1, 2017 from – view Reference
  2. Lobb, A. (2009) Hepatoxicity associated with weight-loss supplements: A case for better post-marketing surveillance. World Journal of Gastroenterology. DOI: 3748/wjg.15.1786
  3. Lunsford, K. E., Bodzin, A. S., Reino, D. C., Wang, H. L. & Busuttil, R. W. (2016) Dangerous dietary supplements: Garcinia cambogia-associated hepatic failure requiring transplantation. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 22(45), 10071-10076. DOI: 3748/wjg.v22.i45.10071
  4. Onakpoya, I., Hung, S. K., Perry, R., Wilder, B. & Ernst, E. (2011) the use of Garcinia extract (hydroxycitric acid) as a weight loss supplement: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Journal of Obesity. DOI: 1155/2011/509038
  5. S. Food and Drug Administration, (2016) Case study 4 – dietary supplement. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved on October 1, 2017 from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatchlearn/adverse_effects/case-study-04.htm
  6. Chuah, L. O., Yeap, S. K., Ho, W. Y, Beh, B. K. & Altheen, N. B. (2012) In vitro and in vivotoxicity of garcinia or hydroxycitric acid: A review. Evidence Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. DOI: 1155/2012/197920
  7. Grigos, A., Benmoussa, J., Sandhu, J., Chaucer, B., Clarke, M. & Patel, S. H. (2016) Acute pancreatitis secondary to garcinia cambogia; the unknown cost of herbal supplements. J. Pancreas. 17(3), 316-317. Retrieved on October 2, 2017 from – View Reference
  8. Heymsfield, S. B., Allison, D. B. & Vasselli, J. R. (1998) Garcinia cambogia (hydroxycitric acid) as a potential antiobesity agent a randomized controlled trial. 280(18), 1596-1600. DOI: doi:10.1001/jama.280.18.1596
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