Hydroxycitric acid


(-)-Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is a main component of the dried fruit rind of Garcinia cambogia, a native Southeast Asian plant commonly known as brindleberry or Malabar tamarind. HCA is present in high concentrations in Garcinia cambogia and is also found in the tropical plant Hibiscus sabdariffa. The dried rind of Garcinia cambogia has been used widely as a food preservative, a flavoring agent, and a carminative (prevents or relieves gas in the stomach and intestines). In Indian folk medicine, Garcinia cambogia is used to treat rheumatism (pain in the bones, muscles, joints, and tendons) and bowel complaints.
HCA is currently used in a number of over-the-counter weight loss products. HCA may also enhance exercise performance, but different studies have produced conflicting results. More high-quality clinical trials are needed.

Related Terms

Bio-Max 3000, brindal berry, brindleberry, Citrilite®, CitriMax®, gambooge, Garcinia, Garcinia atroviridis, Garcinia cambogia, Garcinia indica, Garcinia-Max Diet System, Garcinia Trim-Plus®, gorikapuli, Hibiscus sabdariffa, (-)-hydroxycitrate (HCA), Malabar tamarind, PhytriMax®, Super Garcinia®, Super Prolean® mega fat burner, SuperCitrimax®.
Combination products: Avesil® (Super Citrimax, chromium, and green tea extract), Awe Slim® (aloe vera juice, hydrolyzed collagen, apple cider vinegar, conjugated linoleic acid, Garcinia cambogia extract, L-carnitine, L-arginine, L-lysine, and L-ornithine), Citri Chrome® (Garcinia cambogia and chromium picolinate), Citrin® (maltodextrin, Garcinia cambogia extract, microcrystalline cellulose, starch, magnesium stearate, chromium picolinate), Garcinia 1000® (chromium, picolinate, Garcinia berry extract, HCA), HCA with calcium/potassium salt (HCA-SX), Herbalife®'s "Snack Defense" tablets (Gymnema sylvestre, chromium polynicotinate, Garcinia cambogia), Hydroxycut® (Garcinia cambogia, chromium polynicotinate, and Gymnema sylvestre), Lite Bites™ (sugar, chromium picolinate, Garcinia cambogia), Metabolife® Ephedra-Free (green tea extract, Super Citrimax®, Garcinia cambogia extract, guarana extract, yerba mate extract).
Note: Hydroxycut® was withdrawn from the U.S. market on May 1, 2009 for causing liver injury.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Weight loss (Grade: B)
The effect of HCA on weight loss has been investigated. In some studies individuals lost weight after HCA treatment, and in others, did not. More high quality research is needed.
Exercise performance (Grade: C)
In some clinical studies, HCA caused a detectable increase in fat metabolism, which may increase exercise performance; however, other studies have not found such an increase. Additional study is required before firm conclusions can be made.