The chemical compound known as hydrocitric acid HCA is the principal active compound found in extracts of a rare fruit called the "garcinia cambogia" by botanists. This rare tropical fruit which is found in the jungles of India is restricted in distribution to the jungles of Asia, and is absent in other parts of the world. This plant belongs to the tamarind family of plants. The fruit of the garcinia is yellow or red in coloration and grows to the size of an orange. The Indians have used this sour fruit for hundreds of years to make curries. The Ayurvedic healers and practitioners have made the garcinia into an herbal digestive aid and a natural appetite suppressant. The plant has been introduced to the western world in recent times.
The compounds present in the extracts of the garcinia, especially the compound HCA has generated great interest in the western world. It is felt that this compound may be a great tool in the battle against obesity. Results from laboratory experiments conducted recently have shown that the HCA is a "lipogenesis inhibitor," meaning, it actually slows down the biosynthesis of fat in the body which is normally the case following the metabolism of excess carbohydrates and proteins, which are not needed by the body for energy generation. In the human body, excess calories from digestion that are not needed for energy generation are normally stored as glycogen in the liver and muscle tissues - these are then utilized for the production of energy when the body requires it. The human body cannot go on storing excess calories as glycogen as there is a limited amount of space for such storage in tissues. So whenever the tissues in which glycogen is normally stored are sated, all the excess calories are immediately converted to fat - the main storage tissue of all animals. Once calories are transformed into fat, they can no longer be used as a source of energy except as an emergency and the brain starts sending out hunger signals - this is the reason that obese people feel as hungry as the average individual even though they have excess energy in the form of fat. The most beneficial effect of the HCA is that it boosts the ability of the liver and the muscle tissues to store excess calories in the form of glycogen - this greatly reduces the bio-synthesis of fat in the human body. HCA also affects the brain and inhibits it from flooding the body with hunger signals - this prevents overeating and hence obesity. The beneficial effect is that more of the calories consumed per meal are burned to generate metabolic energy, and less of it is converted into unwanted pounds in the form of fat. The HCA also suppresses hunger and prevents overeating. The ability of HCA to suppress the bio-synthesis of fat by forty to eighty percent following eight to twelve hours after a meal has been demonstrated conclusively in animal trials. This effect has further been confirmed in human trials, HCA consumption made human subjects eat less food and store less fat. Therefore, HCA is a potential ally in the fight against obesity and its risks.
The compound HCA aside may be able to help prevent the onset of heart disease - by lowering elevated levels of blood triglyceride, an important risk factor for heart attack and stroke, aside from its principal use as tool for weight loss. HCA is also ideal as a supplement to combat weight loss as compared to the amphetamine based over the counter diet pills found in the market, it is non addictive causing no muscular jitters or other side effects that are unpleasant or otherwise dangerous to the user.
The best effect of HCA in therapeutic use is that it suppresses appetite and alleviates hunger pangs, this helps in offsetting the risk for obesity due to over indulgence in food. The body increases the rate of glucogenesis, which is simply the transformation of excess carbohydrates into glucose, under the influence of HCA - this leads to an increase in the efficiency of energy produced in the body at any time, immediately reflected in the reduction of appetite leading to weight loss over time. HCA supplements tend to lower the appetite without over stimulating the nervous system, the HCA supplements does not tax the nervous system of the person unlike stimulants like efedra or efedrina which do affect the nervous system in some way. A stimulant which affects an artificial and temporary boost in energy levels by influencing the nervous system often produces distinct side effects, including sleep disorders such as insomnia, extreme nervousness and hyperactivity; these symptoms may be accompanied by a great loss in energy when the effects of the stimulant begin to wear off resulting in physical fatigue and generalized weakness in the body. These types of side effects and symptoms are never noticed with the use of garcinia extracts.
Individuals who suffer from hypoglycemia also benefit from the use of garcinia supplements as the extract lowers the physiological effect of the minimal sugar in the blood and suppresses the appetite leading to better control of sugar levels.
Garcinia supplements also boost the metabolism; this translates into the greater rate of burning of stored fats and carbohydrates - quickly oxygenating them and chemically converting them into metabolic energy resulting in a higher metabolic rate and a quicker turnover of calories.
HCA actively burns fat, it also stimulates the liver and influences metabolism in general. In the body, the process of metabolic oxidation, which is the chemical breakdown of digested food or fat burning, occurs within the mitochondrion in the cells - these are otherwise known as the powerhouses of cell. A faster metabolism and oxidation rate is induced by the HCA, found in extracts of garcinia, in the body.
HCA is doubly beneficial for the metabolism as its use does not result in the reduction of muscular bulk in the body of a person using the supplement. This is an important and useful effect of the HCA, in that protein is not lost from muscle tissues during metabolism even as the rate of fat burning is increased. The net result is that weight loss occurs as more of the body's fat stores are diminished without the use of precious muscle tissues. This is the reason that HCA is such a boon for obese individuals.