What Is Hydroxycitric Acid Used For?

Traditionally, hydroxycitric acid was used for treating rheumatism and parasitic infections. Now, however, it is used primarily as a weight loss supplement. It's not clear how hydroxycitric acid works or its exact effects on the body. It may decrease fat formation, affect blood sugar, or decrease appetite. Hydroxycitric acid uses are designed for adults only, since children are often more susceptible to herbal toxicities.

What Is Hydroxycitric Acid Used For? -- An Overview

Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is used in Indian and Thai food, but it is also gaining popularity as an active ingredient in weight loss supplements.
With obesity on the rise (see Obesity Statistics), people frequently search for "quick fixes" to help them lose weight. Although the ideal weight loss plan focuses on gradual weight loss by healthy eating and increased exercise (see How to Lose Weight), many people have difficulty following such plans or feel they need extra assistance in their efforts. Before turning to drastic measures such as weight loss surgery, many people consider using weight loss pills, especially if they have unsuccessfully tried to control their obesity and exercise and diet have been ineffective.

Origins of Hydroxycitric Acid

Hydroxycitric acid is often derived from Garcinia cambogia, a tropical plant. Traditionally, it has been used as a remedy for rheumatism and parasitic infections. However, when it was discovered that hydroxycitric acid inhibits an enzyme that is important in metabolism and fat production, many people became interested in it as a weight loss product.

How Does Hydroxycitric Acid Work?

There are several different theories about how hydroxycitric acid works for weight loss. It may decrease the formation of fat in the body, decrease the appetite, or have effects on blood sugar or how the body handles carbohydrates. Most of the research in this area has used animals, not human subjects, and it is important to understand that hydroxycitric acid may not have the same effects in humans.

More Headlines in What Is Hydroxycitric Acid Used For?

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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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