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July 21, 1999

Garcinia cambogia for Weight Loss

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;282(3):233-235. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-3-jac90006

To the Editor: In their study evaluating the weight-loss potential of (−)hydroxycitric acid (HCA) derived from Garcinia cambogia, Dr Heymsfield and colleagues1 cite our HCA work. We wish to give a counterpoint to the conclusion expressed by the authors.

Based on their single clinical study, Heymsfield et al state that "These observations ... do not support a role as currently prescribed for the widely used herb G cambogia as a facilitator of weight loss." Aside from this strong statement, which contradicts the positive results reported in several earlier HCA clinical studies, the design of the trial indicates that the authors took little advantage of previously reported experiences involving HCA.2-4 In their own preclinical research, they report a prerequisite that suggests for HCA to effectively inhibit fat formation and body weight it needs to be administered with a simple carbohydrate-rich (lipogenic) diet.5

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