Garcinia cambogia (GC) is a well-known superfood supplement with many reported benefits including increased energy, feeling full longer and improved fat loss. Garcinia belongs to family Guttiferae (Clusiaceae), which includes over 200 species, today mostly found throughout Asia and Africa. Traditionally, it was used as a remedy for constipation, rheumatism, and menstrual pain.
Many marketing claims suggest that garcinia cambogia will rapidly transform your body composition to give you a lean physique however these claims are not all backed by science. Garcinia cambogia benefits come not from the plant itself, but rather a compound it contains called hydroxycitric acid (HCA).
Best Garcinia Cambogia
1. VitaBalance Garcinia Cambogia Plus
This formulation is comprised of 100% pure garcinia cambogia extract, calcium, chromium, and potassium.
VitaBalance’s supplement is also free of additives, impurities, or artificial ingredients and manufactures their product in an FDA registered facility. For these reasons, it’s our #1 pick.
2. BioSchwartz Garcinia Cambogia
Each capsule provides 480 mg of pure HCA and only includes one other ingredient, cellulose. BioSchwartz Garcinia Cambogia pills contain a high concentration of HCA and are infused with potassium and calcium for improved absorption.
The 100% natural ingredient aspect also ensures it is a good fit for those who may be vegan or vegetarian, something not found in many other Garcinia supplements.
3. Garcinia Cambogia Extra
Primarily designed to help burn fat and suppress appetite, Garcinia Cambogia Extra, provides both the essential extra of Garcinia cambogia as well as raspberry ketones. This combination makes this supplement unique, powerful, and potent.
With its 900 mg dosage and its shortlist of all-natural ingredients, there are very few products that can provide the same amount of value found in this supplement.
4. NatureWise Pure Garcinia Cambogia
This supplement brings the standard HCA with a select few ingredients. They choose to manufacture their product in an FDA certified facility which only serves to demonstrate their commitment to superior and reliable quality.
With the 400 mg of garcinia cambogia per capsule, the dosage amount provided is adequate and realistic as well.
5. BulkSupplements Garcinia Cambogia
If you happen to be looking for a bulk purchase choice of garcinia cambogia, BulkSupplements is by far the best choice on the market. Their main drawback is the dosage needed for an effective supplement regimen. Those considering this choice should first determine their health goals and decide if the bulk purchase is the best direction.
If you want a supplement that gives you nothing but the best, however, at a high degree of value, this is certainly the choice for you.
6. Nature’s Craft Garcinia Cambogia
Rapid dissolving vegetarian capsule helps the active ingredients metabolize in the body so very little product is wasted and passed through your system.
Proving 700 mg of Garcinia cambogia per serving with vegetarian-friendly ingredients, this choice is one of the supplements listed that will fit a broader demographic.
7. Orphic Nutrition Garcinia Cambogia
This pure Garcinia Cambogia extract is free from GMO, gluten, additives, fillers, binders, allergen or any artificial ingredients found in most formulas on the market. Plus, these vegan capsules are easy and safe to swallow.
While it provides an adequate does of Garcinia cambogia, there are a few more additional ingredients than we would prefer. Though none of these are artificial, the number of extras could be unnecessary.
8. Research Verified Garcinia Cambogia
Each capsule of Research Verified Garcinia Cambogia Extract contains 95% HCA with a serving size of 1600mg per day (800mg capsule, 2x per day). The capsules are 100% vegetarian.
Effective, potent, and pure, this supplement gives you all of the benefits of Garcinia cambogia with the scientific backing to prove their quality is among the best.
9. aSquared Nutrition Garcinia Cambogia
aSquared Nutrition garcinia cambogia delivers 1120 mg of pure Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA) per daily intake.
Their supplement is made with potassium to increase bioavailability in the body. It contains no magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide or calcium, which can block the absorption of HCA. Additionally, it’s free of unnecessary fillers, binders, or potentially harmful preservatives or GMOs.
10. Vitamin Bounty Garcinia Cambogia
Vitamin Bounty’s Garcinia Cambogia is formulated to assist in your goals for natural weight management.
Vitamin Bounty provides a realistic amount of garcinia cambogia with 700 mg per serving and does a pretty good job of delivering on its promises. If you happen to be looking for a supplement that’s simple and easy, this is probably a good choice.
How We Rank
With supplements like garcinia cambogia, the market is highly saturated. While formulating the rankings for our list, we chose very specific criteria to decide what products were best to include and which needed to be excluded. Supplements that provided a shorter list of ingredients were given higher rankings. Though there are many garcinia cambogia supplements designed for weight loss and efficacy, we wanted the higher-ranked products to be as minimal as possible, such as BulkSupplements and NatureWise. This, however, did not exclude multi-ingredient brands from our list. If the ingredients included served a dual-purpose, like the raspberry ketones found in GC Extra, we deemed that to be a beneficial element.
Once the ingredient list of each supplement had been reviewed, we then focused on the amount of HCA supplied per supplement. We wanted to focus on the primary ingredient found in garcinia cambogia and wanted to rank products higher that followed scientific recommendations. Supplements provided between 400 and 900 mg per capsule or tablet, like BioShwartz were deemed to be of higher value compared to those who exceeded the standard.
Considering that the amount of HCA consumed should be right in the middle, we ranked supplements higher if they provided dosage amounts that drove results while maintaining safety. Though some brands have sweeping claims of 1000 mg per tablet, these options place you at a higher risk for side effects.
After all that, we determined the top 10 best garcinia cambogia supplements on the market.
1. Garcinia cambogia may help with weight loss, body fat loss. A 2001 meta-analysis of 12 studies published in the Journal of Obesity demonstrated that supplementing with garcinia cambogia, containing the active ingredient HCA, led to increased subtle weight loss over placebo (1).
Research is mixed, however since one 1998 study found no benefit over placebo for weight loss (2).
2. Garcinia cambogia may block new fat production. HCA primarily works by inhibiting the enzyme that leads to your body making fat (3).
By inhibiting citrate lyase, Garcinia cambogia is thought to slow down or block fat production in the body. This may reduce blood lipids (cholesterol) and lower the risk of weight gain, two major disease risk factors (7).
3. Garcinia Cambogia stabilizes blood sugar. Some evidence exists showing that garcinia cambogia can help control blood sugar by improving how cells take up glucose (sugar) to be used for energy.
One way in which it might improve weight loss is through inhibition of pancreatic alpha-amylase enzymes, changes in intestinal alpha-glucosidase and alterations in fatty acid synthesis. This might be able to change how carbohydrates are metabolized (8).
A couple of rat studies done in 1988 demonstrated that Garcinia cambogia can reduce weight gain during a period of overfeeding due to the reduce lipogenesis as reported above (9).
4. Garcinia cambogia supplementation has anti-diabetic properties. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research showed that Garcinia cambogia helps combat diabetes and diabetes onset by increasing leptin and insulin sensitivity (10, 11).
Higher insulin sensitivity means you need less insulin to clear the sugar out of your bloodstream (12).
Worsened insulin sensitivity also known as insulin resistance can lead to health problems such as diabetes in the long run.
5. Garcinia cambogia may lower your triglycerides. A 2014 study showed that Garcinia cambogia lowers triglycerides which may not be related to the changes in leptin (satiety hormone) (13).
This is important for prediabetics and diabetics who often have high triglyceride levels.
6. Garcinia cambogia may increase feelings of satiety. A mice study from 2002 found HCA suppressed appetite and resulted in enhanced levels of serotonin, your feel-good hormone that also influences appetite control. However, it needs to be noted that no human trials have been able to replicate the same satiety-inducing effects (14).
A 2000 study in Physiology and Behavior showed no benefit of HCA for appetite over placebo (15).
Thus, more research is needed to ensure garcinia cambogia’s effects on satiety.
7. Garcinia cambogia might help combat depression. A 2001 study published in Research Communications in Molecular Pathology and Pharmacology showed that Garcinia cambogia supplements boost serotonin brain levels in rats (16).
However, with only animal studies, it’s hard to confirm anything.
To add to that, a more recent 2004 study showed that the relationship between serotonin and depression is not as accurate as we once thought (17).
8. Garcinia cambogia may benefit exercisers and athletes. One study found Garcinia cambogia enhanced the rate at which carbohydrates were broken down from a post-workout meal and converted to glycogen for storage in muscle tissue. The study reported both glycogen synthesis and insulin sensitivity improved, which is ideal for faster recovery from workouts (18).
9. Garcinia cambogia protects the digestive system. A 2009 animal study published in Phytotherapy Research showed that Garcinia cambogia helps protect against inflammation and reduce damage to the inner lining of the digestive tract (19).
10. Garcinia cambogia supplementation has shown to reduce oxidative stress levels in the body. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine showed that Garcinia cambogia is effective in ameliorating high-fat-diet-induced hyperlipidemia and oxidative stress (20).
The study also found Garcinia cambogia resulted in an increase in glutathione, one of the most powerful antioxidants within the body.
11. Garcinia cambogia does not stimulate the nervous system. Many energy (and weight loss) supplements such as caffeine, ephedrine, and psychostimulants (like sibutramine) all provide energy by stimulating the nervous system. Garcinia cambogia may result in similar increases in energy yet without this stimulation.
12. Garcinia cambogia can lower cholesterol levels.
A 90 days study involving 99 obese men, Garcinia cambogia combined with a weight-loss drug (orlistat), reduced total cholesterol levels and increased HDL (good) cholesterol levels (21).
Another 8-week study on 82 obese adults, hydroxycitric acid (the main component of Garcinia cambogia) decreased LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by 12.9% and increased HDL-cholesterol levels by 8.9% (22).
Another 2004 study showed that hydroxycitric acid with or without Gymnema Sylvestre extracts reduced the total cholesterol and LDL levels during an 8-week study on 60 moderately obese adults (23).
In an 8-week study on 35 healthy adults, Garcinia cambogia decreased cholesterol levels more than the placebo (24).
13. Garcinia cambogia can increase energy levels. Though many people choose to use garcinia cambogia for its weight loss properties, there has been significant scientific research to support this supplement’s use as a natural energy booster. Garcinia cambogia has even been shown to provide benefits without some of the more detrimental effects found through the use of caffeine or other stimulants.
The main component of garcinia cambogia is hydroxycitric acid (HCA). Through scientific studies, HCA has been shown to positively affect the serotonin levels within the human body and brain. This neurotransmitter influences a myriad of elements including mood, social behavior, and appetite. As serotonin levels increase, consequently, both mood and energy also increase (25).
Though there is still a great deal of research needed to fully define and confirm the energy-boosting benefits of garcinia cambogia, there are many positive indicators that show this as a possible alternative to common prescription medication.
Garcinia cambogia is all-natural but can induce rashes, dizziness, mental fog, and digestive issues. While rare, life-threatening effects may also occur (26).
1. Garcinia cambogia may induce liver damage. While a rare occurrence, one case study reported a man required liver transplantation after Garcinia cambogia supplementation. (27).
2. Garcinia cambogia may induce serotonin overdose. One woman who took Garcinia cambogia with her antidepressant medications said to have developed a serotonin toxicity as a result (28).
3. Garcinia cambogia may not work as well as advertised for weight loss. One review of 12 studies found no significant difference in weight loss between the Garcinia cambogia and placebo groups (29).
Another massive study over 12 weeks, involving 135 participants, found no weight loss with GC supplementation compared to the group that took the placebo (30).
4. Garcinia cambogia may result in testicle issues. Animal studies have shown that a very high intake of Garcinia cambogia can cause testicular atrophy — shrinking of the testicles (31).
Sperm production may also be affected.
5. Garcinia cambogia has a long list of drug interactions. Many people should avoid Garcinia cambogia due to how it can affect other medications, pregnancy, nutrient levels, blood sugar and more.
Garcinia cambogia can interact poorly with: medications that are taken to control asthma and allergies; medications used to control mental disorders like anxiety and depression; diabetes medications and insulin; pregnancy and breastfeeding; liver and kidney conditions; statin drugs that lower cholesterol; blood thinners; iron supplements (32).
6. Garcinia cambogia is not regulated by the FDA. That means that the contents in the label may not be accurately represented in the bottle. Choosing a brand that has been third-party tested through a laboratory such as Consumer Lab or carries the USP verified seal will ensure a high-quality product.
7. Garcinia cambogia may lessen the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatment in patients with cancer.
8. Garcinia cambogia may not be an effective appetite suppressant. While a few studies have shown promise, other studies have concluded that Garcinia cambogia supplementation does not lead to feelings of satiety when compared to taking a placebo (33).
9. Garcinia cambogia could cause an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions typically vary based on the specific person consuming the supplement and the substance involved. In the case of garcinia cambogia, this variance still exists. As garcinia cambogia is a fruit, the possibility of an allergic reaction could be increased based on multiple factors.
Those who may have a history of berry or fruit allergies should be extremely cautious of possibly consuming garcinia cambogia. The immune system reacts to proteins encountered via the air or other means. As many proteins could be similar, there may an increased risk of cross-reactivity for those have existing allergies related to fruit consumption. Garcinia cambogia allergy is rare, however, and often presents itself in the form of nausea, dizziness, rashes, or hives.
If an allergic reaction does occur while taking garcinia cambogia, it is important to cease taking the supplement or consuming the fruit immediately and consult a physician before resuming use.
Top Garcinia cambogia supplements contain at least 50-60% HCA (34). This ensures the proper absorption and function of HCA in your body to increase your chances of experiencing benefits.
The maximum recommended dosage is 2.8g/day. The ideal dose has not been identified but the higher the dose, the more common the side effects. After 2800mg, it seems side effects are increased (35).
Dosages vary. Garcinia cambogia has been taken 3x per day at 500mg each dose, about 30-60 minutes before meals (36). Some studies have used lower doses with varying results.
Garcinia cambogia should be cycled. Studies have only tested these supplements for up to 12 weeks at a time. Therefore, it may be a good idea to take a few weeks off every three months or so.
It may be ideal for HCA to be bound with minerals. HCA degrades over time, so HCA in supplements is typically bonded with a mineral to preserve efficacy. One study shows enhanced absorption and benefits when Garcinia cambogia is combined with chromium (33). Research has yet to confirm if other minerals impart the same effects.
What are the side effects of taking Garcinia cambogia? Side effects of garcinia cambogia may include headaches, nausea, dizziness, digestive complaints, and dry mouth. If taken in excess, or in combination with other supplements or medications, more serious side effects may be experienced.
Is Garcinia safe? Clinical trials have shown it’s safe to take Garcinia cambogia extract by mouth — at least for 12 weeks. The fruit is safe to eat in unlimited amounts.
How does the fruit peel work? The active ingredient in the fruit’s rind, hydroxycitric acid, or HCA, has boosted fat-burning and cut back appetite in studies. It appears to block an enzyme called citrate lyase, which your body uses to make fat.
How long does it take for Garcinia to work? The time varies from individual to individual, but on average it takes about 2 weeks to kick in completely. However, you may start feeling some of its effects immediately.
Can Garcinia cambogia cause abdominal pain? Excessive consumption of Garcinia cambogia extract can cause gastrointestinal side effects and thus abdominal pain.
Do you take Garcinia cambogia with food? Take the recommended dosage of garcinia as a tablet or capsule with water 30-60 min before a meal. It’s best on an empty stomach or a few hours after the food was last ingested.
What kind of fruit is Garcinia cambogia? Garcinia gummi-gutta is a tropical species of Garcinia native to Indonesia. Common names include Garcinia cambogia (a former scientific name), as well as brindleberry, Malabar tamarind, and kudam puli (pot tamarind). This fruit looks like a small pumpkin and is green to pale yellow in color.
How much Garcinia cambogia should I take to lose weight? Look for “garcinia cambogia” or “GCE” with at least 50 percent HCA. Take 500 to 900mg before each meal, and make sure to take no more than 2800mg total per day. Studies are conflicting. Diet and exercise changes will have a more dramatic impact.
Can you take Garcinia while breastfeeding? Babies may experience some of the Garcinia effects like – loss of appetite and high metabolic rate. Moreover, the supplement can adversely affect the blood sugar level of the baby. It is not appropriate for breastfeeding mothers to use this product.
What percentage of HCA should be in Garcinia cambogia? The supplement must contain at least 50% hydroxycitric acid (HCA).
Can Garcinia cambogia be bad for your liver? In 2009, the FDA issued a safety warning after receiving more than 20 reports of severe reactions, including liver damage, in people taking the supplement Hydroxycut. However, it’s unclear if the Garcinia cambogia extract caused liver damage.
What does HCA do for weight loss? The peel of the fruit contains high amounts of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is the active ingredient responsible for most of the weight loss benefits seen in studies. It helps by inhibiting the enzyme responsible for fat conversion in the body.
Can garcinia cambogia be taken while pregnant? Though there may be many health benefits available through the use of garcinia cambogia, there is currently not enough research to conclude whether or not it is safe for use while pregnant. It is highly recommended that use be discontinued during this time. A doctor or physician should be consulted if usage is still preferred during pregnancy.
Who would benefit the most from garcinia cambogia? Garcinia cambogia would suit a wide array of uses and goals, however, primary clinical research has been focused on its use as a weight-loss agent. With this being the case, those who would like to lose modest amounts of weight may benefit greatly from the use of garcinia cambogia. Those who would also like to increase their energy and mood may also find this supplement useful.
Does garcinia cambogia provide any additional vitamins? No, in general, garcinia cambogia is a standalone supplement that provides its own set of benefits. While this is mostly true, however, some available supplements may include additional vitamins and minerals to enhance the effects of garcinia cambogia and its efficacy
Is it possible to take too much garcinia cambogia? While is not a common occurrence, garcinia cambogia toxicity is a possibility. This often occurs for those who take more than the recommended daily dose of garcinia cambogia. There have been some reports, however, of this occurring when moderate amounts have been taken as well. Users should limit their intake to recommended levels and consult a physician if they begin to experience signs or symptoms of garcinia cambogia toxicity
Does garcinia cambogia help with vision? Similar to other areas of study, there is currently no evidence to suggest that garcinia cambogia has either a negative or positive effect on vision.
Does garcinia cambogia have any effect on heart health? As garcinia cambogia has only been lightly studied and researched, there are still many elements that remain unknown. At this time, there is no existing information or research to support claims of better heart health through the use of garcinia cambogia. Use of garcinia cambogia, however, has very few negative effects on the heart according to the published research currently available unlike many other weight-loss focused supplements
Is Garcinia cambogia helpful for anxiety? Yes, garcinia cambogia has been shown to have a possible link to anxiety relief. In general, low serotonin levels have been linked to higher rates and instances of anxiety. The main compound of Garcinia Cambogia, HCA, increases serotonin levels which could possibly lower the rate of anxiety that occurs. Those looking to resolve issues with anxiety, however, should consult a physician prior to using garcinia cambogia as a treatment option
Is Garcinia cambogia helpful for depression? Yes, garcinia cambogia has been shown to possibly improve issues or concerns present with instances of depression. The HCA found in garcinia cambogia has demonstrated in several studies that it has the ability to increase serotonin levels. This increase subsequently boosts the neurotransmission occurring during brain activity and lessens the occurrence of depressive symptoms
Is Garcinia cambogia safe for children and your adults? As there is no current evidence or research that provides information related to the effect of garcinia cambogia on children. It is recommended that this supplement not be given to children under the age of 18. If you believe that there may be some benefit from the use of garcinia cambogia, it is recommended that a physician or doctor be consulted prior to beginning treatment
Where are the best places to purchase garcinia cambogia? Though many supplements can be purchased from standard grocery and health stores, it is always best to seek the guidance of a professional. Online options are also available, however, it is always highly recommended that research be conducted prior to reaching a decision as to which purchase option may suit your specific needs
Is it best to consume garcinia cambogia as a fruit or as a supplement? Though this will be determined by several factors, most people will be able to consume garcinia cambogia as a supplement. The choice to consume garcinia cambogia as fruit may be limited by location and accessibility. If this is the case, purchasing a high-quality supplement will provide many of the same benefits found directly in the fruit
While Garcinia cambogia isn’t a magic button to press and transform your body, it does seem to assist in fat loss and reducing fat storage. The main component of Garcinia cambogia fruit is the hydroxycitric acid (HCA) and its lactone. It comes from the peel of the fruit and not the whole fruit.
Garcinia cambogia not only prevents obesity, lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, but it may also boost the immune system, fight cancer, and prevent ulcers. However, Garcinia cambogia may be toxic to the liver, may cause liver damage or failure, and other side effects.
No matter what, it must be complemented with other weightloss-friendly lifestyle changes as it is not a magic pill.
For Healthtrends #1 Garcinia Cambogia recommendation, click here.