Hydroxycitric Acid

Hydroxycitric acid is a substance traditionally used in Indian and Thai cooking that comes from certain tropical plants. It is also used as a weight loss supplement, but its effectiveness has not been proven. The substance may work by decreasing fat formation, decreasing appetite, or affecting blood sugar. Commonly reported side effects of the weight loss pill include headaches, stomach pain, and nausea.

What Is Hydroxycitric Acid?

Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is a substance found in tropical plants, such as Garcinia cambogia. It is traditionally used in Indian and Thai cooking. However, it is also commonly used in weight loss supplements.
(Click What Is Hydroxycitric Acid Used For? for more information.)

Side Effects

A few side effects have been reported with hydroxycitric acid, such as:
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Stomach or intestinal pain or discomfort.
(Click Side Effects of Hydroxycitric Acid to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)

Is It Safe?

Hydroxycitric acid appears to be safe in many situations. However, some people may be more likely to experience problems when taking it. Therefore, you should talk with your healthcare provider before taking hydroxycitric acid if you have:
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
  • Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Any other chronic disease or health problem.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Is Hydroxycitric Acid Safe? for more information, including any available warnings and precautions.)
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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