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Does Gamboge Have Weight Loss Benefits? Is its Extract Safe?
Aug 10, 2018

Malabar tamarind, also known as gamboge, was once a popular fruit, it is a close relative of mangosteen fruit. But now, nutritional supplements containing this fruit extract have attracted attention because they claim to suppress appetite and prevent weight gain. But at the same time, it also has some negative effects.


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Gamboge grows in southwestern India, Myanmar and Indonesia. It ripens as a red or yellow fruit similar in size to an orange but similar in shape to a pumpkin.


Dry gamboge peels have long been used for sauces and curries, and sometimes for stomach ailments. But at the end of the 1960s, scientists found a substance called hydroxyl citric acid (HCA) in the rattan peel, which was potentially attractive to people because of their weight loss.

Catherine Ubu Richter (Catherine Ulbricht), a senior pharmacist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said: "some studies have shown that HCA can reduce an enzyme that converts sugar into fat."


The attraction of a fruit extract that affects body fat production is obvious. However, the results of animal experiments are not the same as those of humans.


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Does Gamboge fruit have a weight loss effect?


Some studies have shown that HCA works, and some say it doesn't. Animal studies of HCA have shown that mice taking the substance eat less, lose weight and convert less fat from sugar.


A weight loss trial showed that people taking gamboge were no different from those taking other drugs. Other trials have shown that HCA is associated with weight loss and lowering blood lipid levels (lipid is fat). But Ulbrich said: "Further clinical trials are needed before any conclusions can be drawn."


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