If you consider Garcinia cambogia for weight loss … beware!

Which is the best Garcinia cambogia supplement? Many people have asked this question since The Dr. Oz Show aired a segment about using this herbal supplement for weight management. To answer consumers’ questions, ConsumerLab.com selected and purchased eleven Garcinia extract supplements on the market and tested each. The results were very surprising.ConsumerLab.com tested each supplement for its amount of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), a plant compound believed to be important to Garcinia’s biological effects and found that six of the supplements (55%) contained only 16% to 81% of the listed amount of HCA. Two products having the lowest percentages (16% and 22%, respectively) of their listed HCA appeared to be promoting false endorsement by Dr. Oz,  who does not actually endorse any specific product.

Tod Cooperman, M.D. President of ConsumerLab.com. says, “Garcinia cambogia extract may have a modest benefit in weight management.” However, the experts at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rate Garcinia as “POSSIBLY INEFFECTIVE” for obesity. They write, “Taking garcinia fruit rind extract orally doesn’t seem to help decrease weight, satiety, fat oxidation, or energy expenditure in obese people. There is some mixed evidence that garcinia might reduce food intake while sustaining satiety, but it’s too early to recommend it for this use.”

Nevertheless, for consumers choosing to try it, despite the lack of evidence for efficacy, Dr. Cooperman warns, “Most products on the market don’t actually deliver what’s listed on their labels.”


Garcinia is typically taken three times a day approximately one hour before meals, to provide a total daily dose of about 900 mg to 1,500 mg of HCA. However, one of the products which failed ConsumerLab.com’s tests provided less than 100 mg of HCA per day.

Even among products which contained what they listed, the amount of HCA in a suggested daily serving ranged from as little as 250 mg to as much as 3,150 mg of HCA.

Unlike OTC products and prescription medications, for which dosing must be approved by the FDA, dietary supplement companies set their own suggested serving levels, which may or may not correspond to what has been shown to work.

Among the five products which passed testing, the cost to obtain an equivalent amount (1,500 mg) of HCA ranged from 74 cents to $2.08. In products which did not contain what they claimed, this cost was as much as $11.39 based on the amounts of HCA actually present.

The complete Garcinia Cambogia (HCA) Supplement Review, which includes results for thirteen products, is available at https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/garcinia_cambogia_HCA_review/garcinia/.

ConsumerLab.com selected eleven of these, and two were tested at the request of their manufacturer or distributor through CL’s Quality Certification Program  and are included for having passed the same testing. A product similar to one that passed testing is also listed.

Products included in the report are:

  • Absolute Garcinia Cambogia,
  • Bio Nutrition Garcinia Cambogia,
  • Futurebiotics Garcinia Cambogia Extract,
  • Garcinia Cambogia Select,
  • Genesis Today Garcinia Cambogia,
  • Healthy Clip Pure Garcinia Rapid,
  • Labrada Nutrition Garcinia Cambogia,
  • Molecular Research Labs Pure Garcinia Cambogia,
  • Nature’s Plus Citrimax,
  • Nutritional Sciences Garcinia Lean,
  • Pure Health Garcinia Cambogia,
  • Puritan’s Pride Super Citrimax,
  • Vitamin Shoppe Garcinia Cambogia Extract, and
  • Vitamin World Super Citrimax.

The report identifies which products passed or failed testing, provides product comparisons on ingredients, quality, and price, and includes information about Garcinia’s effects, dosage, potential side-effects, and drug interactions.

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