Dr. Becky Maes - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Becky Maes

Is Garcinia Cambogia Bad For You?

Also Known As: Garcinia gummi-gutta, brindleberry, Malabar tamarind



Short answer

Due to a lack of research and objective studies, it is hard to deem Garcinia Cambogia good or bad. It has been shown to have some benefits, as well as some negative effects. We highly recommend doing more in-depth research and speaking with your doctor before starting Garcinia Cambogia.



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Long answer

Ever since 2013, when television star and physician Dr. Oz touted the astounding weight loss benefits of Garcinia Cambogia, this supplement has been flying off the shelves into the hands of those desperate to achieve weight loss. Dr. Oz himself described the supplement as a revolutionary, “magic” fat-buster. However, as with any quick trick to weight loss, there is more than meets the eye.

Garcinia Cambogia is a fruit that comes from the Garcinia tree which is found in Southeast Asia and India. The rind contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA) and preliminary tests show that HCA has the potential to prevent fat storage, help you control hunger, and increase your natural endurance when exercising. Testing on humans, however, has been limited and there is no objective data that supports Garcinia Cambogia is any more or less effective at promoting weight loss than traditional methods, or that it is even safe in concentrated levels.

A recent study in the Journal of Obesity did find that participants who used Garcinia Cambogia supplements lost on average two pounds more than those who did not use the supplement during testing. However, researchers could not prove that it was the supplement which contributed to the additional weight loss.

The problem with Garcinia Cambogia is that because it is considered a supplement, the Food and Drug Administration cannot regulate its safety or proper dosage. Independent research in the 2005 Food and Chemical Toxicology found that Garcinia Cambogia caused testicular atrophy in mice, a condition in which the male testes reduce in size, and lose functionality.

One potential benefit to this supplement is that there is some promising research that shows it may help normalize blood sugar and cholesterol levels. When studied in mice, the subjects who were given Garcinia Cambogia had lower levels of insulin than those were not given the supplement. Additional studies also appear to suggest that those who take this supplement may experience improving levels of HDL “good” cholesterol, and reduced levels of LDL “bad" cholesterol. However, it is important to note that these benefits should only be considered by those who are not already being treated for diabetes or high cholesterol, as mixing the supplement with other medications can have dangerous effects.

Overall, there is just not enough evidence to support whether or not Garcinia Cambogia is safe or effective. Although some testing has taken place in mice, objective reports in humans are lacking. As always, it is important to remember that the simplest and healthiest way to achieve weight loss is through proper diet and exercise.  Although Garcinia Cambogia appears to have some health benefits, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine your individual risks.

Possible short-term side effects

  • increased heart rate
  • contraindication with medications

Possible long-term side effects

  • reduction in testicular size in men
  • many side effects are unknown at this time


  • increased energy
  • appetite suppressant
  • potential help with weight loss
  • promising research with diabetes and cholesterol health

Healthier alternatives

  • exercising and maintaining a healthy diet

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Naturewise Garcinia Cambogia

  • Promotes weight management
  • 60% HCA extract
  • Two-month supply
  • 100% Pure Garcinia
  • 180 capsules
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 05-27-2016
Last updated: 12-01-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 05-27-2016
Last updated: 12-01-2023

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