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Garcinia, what?

Garcinia, what?

Learn about the Guttiferae family, it’s popularity in Ayurvedic practices, the mysterious chemical HCA, an enzyme called citrate lyase and how all this comes together in one complicated metabolic tale that changes the way we digest carbohydrates….

This beautiful looking fruit is called Garcinia Cambogia (let’s call it GC from now on) and is the cousin of the once very trendy fruit called a Mangosteen. The GC fruit hails from a fruit family called the Guttiferae’s. The Guttiferae’s Gambooge fruit is also called the Malabar Tamarind or Gummi Gutta fruit and it grows well in Myanmar, Indonesia, Australia, Polynesia and Southern parts of India and Africa. It starts life looking like a green pumpkin, but ripens up to this beautiful Instagram worthy yellow or bright red colour and ends up the size of a large orange or grapefruit.

The sour tasting skins are used quite often used for curries, jams and condiments and for marinating meat and fish dishes. It is often used in recipes to replace the more expensive Tamarind flavour in South Eastern Asian dishes. Garcinia has a long history of use within Ayurvedic holistic Indian health particularly for its use in supporting healthy digestion and bowel regularity. Primary scientific studies indicate that Garcinia Cambogia supports healthy blood fat levels, energy and metabolism.

The main phytochemical component of the fruit is HCA or Hydroxycitric Acid which comes from the tough rinds. HCA has been indicated in short term studies to support healthy lipid management and low levels of the enzyme citrate lyase, which the liver uses to synthesise excess glucose and carbohydrates into fat cells.

HCA appears to modulate the production of citrate lyase. HCA also supports healthy lipogenesis activity which is how we convert sugars and simple carbohydrates consumed via our diet into fatty acids. HCA also appears to slow down the release of two pancreatic digestive chemicals – alpha amylase and alpha glucoside which further slows down the carbohydrate digestive process. Garcinia Cambogia does not act on the central nervous system or stimulate metabolism like many chemical stimulants and it doesn’t contain any addictive components, which ticks a lot of boxes for those who prefer to look for more natural ways to work with the body.

In addition, HCA supports the normal synthesis of the appetite management hormone leptin, which is responsible for the feeling of satiety or fullness.

GC, Garcinia or the Gummi Gutta fruit can be used in the short term for weight management for people adjusting their lifestyle to a healthier dietary intake and increased exercise routine.

As it is hard to find here in New Zealand and not part of our regular diet, it can be purchased in the form of capsules. It should not be taken if you are actively trying to get pregnant, you are pregnant or breastfeeding nor if you have liver or kidney disease – and it is not suitable for children. It is usually well tolerated and non-toxic, but may have a purgative effect in higher doses. For longer term healthy weight management – attention needs to be paid to overall food, drink and dietary choices, portion sizes, exercise, movement and mental health and emotional wellbeing.

That being said, maybe the fruit of the Guttiferae family might be a gentle natural kick starter for your summer body plans?

TAPS Code: PP1495

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