Are There Any Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects?
There are very few reported Garcinia cambogia side effects and the fruit, and its extract, are considered safe for almost everyone. After all, Garcinia cambogia has been around for quite some time. But before you start taking the supplement, read on to know more about documented side effects.
Blood glucose (sugar) levels
If you are diabetic (type 1 or type 2) or you have a known history of hypoglycemia, you may want to get your physician’s opinion before you start taking the supplement. That’s because drops in blood glucose levels have been reported as one of Garcinia cambogia side effects. If you’re on insulin, metformin, or any other oral hypoglycemic agent, your doctor can work with you to adjust your dose — this will help curb your risks of Garcinia cambogia side effects.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s better to err on the side of caution and avoid Garcinia cambogia —potential side effects have not been investigated in pregnant or nursing mothers and it is not known whether Garcinia cambogia can cross the feto-placental barrier or passes into breast milk. Moreover, dietitians and medical professionals advise against weight loss during pregnancy as this could have life-long adverse effects on the developing fetus. This recommendation is not related to Garcinia cambogia side effects but to any weight loss practices during pregnancy.
Liver and kidney disease
The liver and the kidneys are the main organs involved in clearing drugs, supplements and toxins amongst other substances from the body. Thus, if you have an existing liver disease such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis or if you suffer from any kidney conditions like chronic kidney disease, renal failure, nephrotic or nephritic syndrome, it might be better to avoid Garcinia cambogia as your body may not be able to process the supplement efficiently.
Headaches, respiratory discomfort and gastrointestinal disorders
Researchers from the Obesity Research Centre of Columbia University, US, reported that participants complained of a few Garcinia cambogia side effects such as headaches, respiratory and digestive issues. However, these findings can be taken with a grain of salt as the subjects who were on the placebo cited similar problems. It is more likely that these have nothing to do with Garcinia cambogia side effects but are side-effects of the high-fibre, low-calorie diet followed by all the participants.
Shrinkage of the testes sounds scary but this side effect can only happen when the supplement is taken in extremely high doses — way much than the recommended dose. According to a 2005 study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, obese rats fed with 389mg of Garcinia cambogia per kilogram of body weight per day — that would be a daily dose over 26,000mg for a person weighing 75kg (150lbs) — experienced no Garcinia cambogia side effects. Hence, the recommended dose of 250 to 1000mg per day for adults is perfectly safe.
Allergic reactions include itching, rashes, facial swelling, respiratory distress and wheezing. If you experience any of these, please call emergency services.
Common weight loss supplement side effects
- Increased blood pressure
- Gastric discomfort
- Stomach irritation
- Dry mouth
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Fatigue or lethargy
What to watch out for
- The name Garcinia cambogia should clearly appear on the bottle.
- The supplement should be from a GNP Certified Lab without any fillers, binders or chemical additives.
- The manufacturer must abide by the rules of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
- The supplement should have at least 50% hydroxycitric acid.