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Hydroxycitric acid (HCA)

Marketed as Citrimax or Citrin, this popular supplement has become a standard ingredient in many diet pills and is also available in pure form. It is extracted from the rind of an Asian fruit, Garcinia cambogia (Brindle berry).

The claim is that HCA helps to regulate appetite, stops cravings for sweet foods, stimulates metabolism and uses the body’s fat stores to provide energy.

The promise of HCA is based on some animal studies (rats) and one human study that showed marginal results when using large doses of 1-2.5 g. As is often the case, diet pill suppliers have latched onto this as the basis of their hype, and the use of HCA as a weight loss supplement is virtually unquestioned. In fact two recent well-designed studies, one on sedentary men and another on active dieters, have both shown what many people have long suspected – that HCA simply has no significant weight loss effects in humans.




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