Garcinia cambogia extract (fruit) standardized to 60% hydroxycitric acid (HCA)

According to Marquez et al. (2012) 1, Garcinia cambogia is a fruit-bearing tree that grows throughout the Polynesian islands, Africa, and Asia 2. A high amount of hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is found in the pulp and rind of the fruit 2, 3 and it is traditionally used as a flavorant in fish curries, or as a condiment, since it has a sour, sharp taste 4, 5. Garcinia is also known as Garcinia combogia (Malabar tamarind) and is used for exercise performance and to help manage weight 3, 5. Although results among studies vary, some studies of Garcinia extract standardized to 50% to 60% HCA combined with specific calorie levels and/or exercise activities show a measurable outcome on participants. For example, HCA Garcinia extract standardized to 60% hydroxycitric acid, 800 mg to 1.55 grams, was taken 30-60 minutes prior to meals three times daily for 8-12 weeks in conjunction with low calorie diets 5, 6, 7. Garcinia extract (standardized to 60% HCA) taken in conjunction with a 2,000 kcal daily diet, reduced body weight by 6.45 lbs (2.93 kg), and lowered body mass index (BMI) by 3% in overweight patients, compared to dieting alone 5, 7. Another garcinia extract, 800 mg (standardized with 50% HCA) taken for 12 weeks orally three times/day combined with a 1200 Kcal diet in overweight women, led to decreased body weight by approximately 1.3 kg (or 2.86 lbs) more than diet alone 3, 4. An exercise-related study of untrained women taking HCA, 250 mg/day for 5 days showed enhanced exercise performance compared to placebo 5, 8. Furthermore, the time to exhaustion was about 20 minutes longer for the HCA group vs placebo 5, 8. Taken orally, Garcinia cambogia for 12 weeks or less appears safe for most people 3.

This ingredient can be found in the following products in United States:


  1. Marquez F, Babio N, Bullo M, Salas-Salvado J. Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of hydroxycitric acid or Garcinia cambogia extracts in humans. [Abstract]. Crit Rev Food Sci nutr 2012;52:585-94.
  2. Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss. Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). Updated 2/1/2019.
  3. Garcinia Cambogia. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). NCCIH Publication No: D506. Updated: 1/2017. Modified: 2/26/2019. Accessed 6/3/2019.
  4. Semwal RB, Semwal DK, Vremaak L, Vilijoen A. A comprehensive scientific overview of Garcinia cambogia. [Abstract]. Fitoterapia 2015; 134-148.
  5. Garcinia. Natural medicines – professional monograph. Product ID no. 818. Last reviewed 4/16/2019. Last updated 6/13/2019. Subscription required.,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=818
  6. Mattes RD, Bormann L. Effects of (-)-hydroxycitric acid on appetitive variables. [Abstract]. Physiol Behav 2000;71:87-94.
  7. Preuss HG, Bagchi D, Bagchi M, et al. Effects of a natural extract of (-)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA-SX) and a combination of HCA-SX plus niacin bound chromium and Gymnema sylvestre extract on weight loss. [Abstract]. Diabetes Obes metab 2004;6:171-180.
  8. Lim K, Ryu S, Nho HS, et al. (-)-Hydroxycitric acid ingestion increases fat utilization during exercise in untrained women. [Abstract]. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (TokyoO 2003;49:163-167.