“Garcinia Cambogia” the new drug for obesity


 Nowadays most of the researchers are after natural plant products and the use of plant products for diseases is now on the increase. Plants that were considered of no use are now under study.

 Garcinia cambogia, commonly known as gambooge which comes under the citrus family is one such plant. They are seen mostly in moist regions of India. It is used mainly as a spice in cooking and also as a food preservative.

          The main component of Garcinia cambogia is HCA (Hydroxy citric acid) which is found to reduce appetite. The mechanism by which the HCA acts on the body is by increasing the amount of serotonin in the body. Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter that carries messages to the brain. It was also noticed that it can inhibit the cytoplasmic lipid accumulation and adipogenic differentiation of preadipocytes.

          All the other synthetic drugs that are now used to treat obesity can cause numerous side effects. But HCA is non toxic and causes few or no side effects and as it is a herbal natural product it acts indirectly. The HCA discourages fat storage and encourages calorie burning. It has also been found to reduce excess cholesterol.

Some experts say that as it may be damaging to the developing foetus and therefore it would be good for pregnant women and women who are suckling to avoid Garcinia cambogia. It has also been found that the drug can have certain adverse effects on diabetic patients and people who are allergic to citrus fruits.

Garcinia cambogia is available as an independent agent and also in combination with other herbal products which are known to aid weight loss. Commercially available Garcinia cambogia contains 50% HCA and for weight loss it has been recommended that one take the drug half an hour before each meal.

Studies on lab animals have shown that it can prevent the development of stomach ulcers in those who use alcohol. But no human trials have been conducted so far. This is quite an interesting field where presently a lot of research is going on, and it seems to offer a lot of hope for those who want to overcome obesity.