(-) Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) burst upon the diet world a few years ago with a bang. Proponents of this substance, which is derived from the dried rind of garcinia cambogia, a plant native to Southeast Asia, claim that it helps you manage your weight, helps suppress appetite, and produces higher energy levels. What's more, they claim it does all this without affecting the central nervous system, as many weight-loss products do. Let's take a look.
Weight LossStudies indicate that HCA helps people, including problematic "plateau" dieters, lose weight. Plateau dieters find weight loss especially frustrating because they do lose some weight, but reach a point at which they cannot lose more weight. In a 1995 Israeli study, HCA was gien to eight subjects who had been on a standard calorie-restricted diet for two months and had stopped losing weight. In the following two months they were given 250 mg. of HCA three times a day and continued to follow a moderate calorie-restricted diet. In the second two months, they lost between 3.3 and 17.6 more pounds (1.5 and 8 kg).
HCA also promotes stable weight loss - what you lose stays off. In a 1994 Danish study, 28 subjects took 750 mg. of HCA and 125 of chromium for six weeks. Over this time period, the subjects lost an average of 8.21 pounds (3.73 kg). The last two weeks of the study were conducted without the HCA. During this period, there was further weight loss of 1.7 pounds (0.8 kg). No weight gain was seen.
In a 1997 study, subjects took 2.6 grams (2600 mg.) of HCA per day for two months as part of a 1200 calorie-per-day, low-fat diet and exercise program. After the two months, the subjects continued taking the HCA for another year, but with no food restrictions. At the end of the year and two months, the subjects had lost 15% of their original weight, with an average weight loss of 30.4 pounds (13.8 kg).
Appetite SuppressionHCA also suppresses appetite. It does this not through an "aversion" mechanism - it does not make food taste bad - but by making your body think it has ben fed small meals throughout the day. And if your body thinks this, it is not going to feel hungry. The result? Less cravings to eat!
Increased EnergyMany HCA users also notice a greater energy level. This may prove true for many, because HCA helps your body burn fat it had not been able to burn. If your body is suddenly burning fat that it had not been able to burn before, it is logical that this would add to your energy.
How It WorksHCA research has been ongoing since the 1960s. In the three decades since then, much has been both theorized and determined. A summary of the most telling research brings out the following.
The article "The ABC's of HCA" is reproduced with the permission of AIM International
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