It seems every time I turn around I’m being bombarded with some new trend; be it clothes, shoes, make-up or hair styles, jewelry or work-out routines, there’s always something “new” that we should all be trying. One area I especially see this is in anything to do with weight loss—specifically fad weight loss supplements that make pound-melting, fat-burning, energy-boosting promises with little to no effort on the consumer’s part. While buying darker shades of lipstick, cutting your hair into a bob and signing up for a Zumba class are perfectly harmless and often fun ways to spice up your routine, popping pills without truly knowing what they are or their side effects strikes me as a slightly risky bandwagon to jump aboard blindly.
Today’s craze in the weight loss community is a supplement called Garcinia Cambogia. Garcinia cambogia is a plant that grows in India that looks like a very small pumpkin. The fruit contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA), an extract that some claim aid in appetite suppression and fat burning. In the past, HCA has been found in popular weight loss pills such as Hydroxycut, but now supplements claiming to be pure garcinia cambogia are flooding the market.
Essentially, the way in which HCA works is by slowing down the production of an enzyme in the body responsible for the creation and storage of fat. Once this enzyme is reduced, your body will then burn off the excess carbohydrates within a day—leaving nothing from which to create and store fat. As this occurs, HCA is also believed to function as an appetite suppressant, further amplifying the fat-burning and weight-loss effects. However, while there may be some truth to the claims, there is no clinical trial evidence to back them up; nor is the supplement’s effects supported by the FDA.
Many people experiment with these types of supplements, thinking they’re perfectly safe simply because the word “natural” is on the bottle. Also, who doesn’t love the idea of burning fat and losing weight with no more effort than the click of a “Buy Now” button on a website? However, please be an informed consumer. Make sure, if you decide to try this product, that you are purchasing it from a legitimate seller, that the amount of HCA in the brand you choose is within the appropriate range and the moment you experience any adverse side effects, stop taking the supplement and contact your doctor. To be even safer, consult your doctor before even purchasing this product—he or she will be able to tell you about certain side effects, toxic medication combinations and maybe even find an alternative route to you shedding a few unwanted pounds.
New trends are fun; a new haircut, some blue eye shadow or a fun new dress can put a pep in your step like nothing else. But when it comes to your body and health, do not take these trends so lightly. Do not trust that everything is safe merely because it’s being sold on the internet. Do your research and be a smart, informed consumer. After all, with matters like these, you can’t just put on a baseball cap when your risks go awry.