- Garcinia cambogia is native to India and Southeast Asia. The fruit pulp and rind have long been used in Asian countries as a condiment and food preservative.
- The rind contains a chemical called hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which has been studied for its effect on appetite. Garcinia cambogia supplements with HCA are marketed for weight loss.
- Garcinia cambogia has also been promoted for relief of joint pain and digestive symptoms and to improve athletic performance.
- Several studies have investigated the effect of garcinia cambogia on weight loss in people. Less research has been done on other uses of garcinia cambogia.
- Several dozen cases of liver toxicity have been reported in people who were taking products labeled as containing garcinia cambogia.
- A 2020 review of 11 short-term studies in people did not find significant effects of garcinia cambogia products on weight loss.
- Cases of liver damage associated with the use of garcinia cambogia products have been reported. This problem appears to be uncommon, but some cases were severe. Most of the reported cases involved products labeled as containing a combination of ingredients, but some involved products labeled as containing only garcinia cambogia.
- Other side effects associated with garcinia cambogia include headache and nausea, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms.
- Little is known about whether it’s safe to use garcinia cambogia during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
- Talk to your health care providers about any complementary health approaches before you use. It may be contraindicated with any medications you are currently taking.