Garcinia Cambogia and Apple Cider Vinegar Diet: Study and Results
Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV has been a popular health remedy for years. It exploded onto the health scene a few years ago as a weight loss regimen when combined with garcinia cambogia, an exotic fruit extract. Unlike the noni fruit and pomegranates, this medicinal extract has a strong track record in improving the user’s health and helping people manage their weight. But what is garcinia cambogia, and why is it being used in conjunction with ACV?
What Is Garcinia Cambogia?
Garcinia cambogia comes from the tamarind, a tropical fruit most often grown in Indonesia, India, and Malaysia. Garcinia cambogia is also known as the brindle berry, Malabar tamarind, red mango, and kokum butter oil tree. The fruit resembles a multi-lobed pumpkin, and it can be found in green, red and orange. The seeds can be used as a substitute for clarified butter, a common ingredient in Indian food, hence the nickname kokum butter oil tree.
The fruit extract contains hydroxycitric acid or HCA, something touted as reducing appetite and preventing new fat from forming. This compound is actually found in many tropical plants. You don’t see people eating the fruit itself because it is so sour. Instead, it is pickled and used as a condiment or dried with the extract used for medicinal purposes. When it is sundried and smoked, it is often used in fish curry.
It Can Help You Control Blood Sugar
A 2017 study found that apple cider vinegar helps to control post-meal blood sugar spikes. This may decrease one’s cravings for sugary foods. Vinegar consumption itself helps reduce postprandial insulin response. That insulin response is arguably one of the best predictors of developing type 2 diabetes. A side benefit of consuming vinegar and better regulating blood sugar would be reducing your odds of becoming diabetic. And diabetics struggle to lose weight once they gain it, and they’re prone to piling it on in the middle where it has the worst effect on your health.
Studies in rats found that garcinia cambogia lowered glucose absorption and peak blood sugar in diabetic animals. A 2010 study found that diabetic mice had lower blood sugar both when fasting and after eating. This means garcinia cambogia could be used to lower a diabetic’s blood sugar. Conversely, if you are taking medications to reduce your blood sugar, you need to consult with your doctor before taking garcinia cambogia in any form.
We’re not going to say that consuming garcinia cambogia in any form reduces your odds of developing diabetes. A 2007 study found that diabetic rats taking garcinia cambogia and other HCA supplements didn’t develop insulin resistance, but that may have been due to the general weight loss and reduced caloric intake observed during the study. Human trials are needed before we can say garcinia cambogia can be used to treat diabetes or prevent it.
Summary: Apple cider vinegar and garcinia cambogia are linked to a weaker insulin response after eating and tighter blood sugar control. We won’t say it prevents diabetes, but it is safe to say you’re not going to suffer blood sugar swings and the related cravings.
It Can Reduce Your Appetite
Apple Cider Vinegar supplements help to reduce appetite before meals and increase satiation after meals. Just a single tablespoon of vinegar mixed with a glass of water drunk before the meal was enough to see the benefits. If you aren’t as hungry before a meal, you won’t eat as much. If you’re sated after a meal, you’re less likely to reach for dessert or crave a snack shortly thereafter. This was shown in both a 2005 study and again when repeated in 2013.
The challenge is finding a legitimate apple cider vinegar and garcinia cambogia study that combined the two ingredients while determining how well they help people lose weight.
We did find such a study; it was first done in 2010, and it was incredibly deep. The 2010 meta-study of studies involving HCA and weight loss found a small but statistically significant link between the HCA supplement and weight loss. This was not just a garcinia cambogia study; they looked at dozens of studies that involved consuming hydroxycitric acid in some form. The general theory was that consuming this substance caused the brain to release serotonin or use it more efficiently, reducing appetite and helping people feel full. This rigorous meta-analysis excluded studies that included dietary interventions with secondary supplements so that they could confidently link the weight loss to HCA usage. Nor did they include studies of people who weren’t considered obese. The studies ranged from 1995 to 2004 and took place all over the world. And they found that hydroxycitric acid is linked to modest weight loss.
It is certainly possible that reduced appetite is linked to the fact that vinegar can reduce how good food tastes after you consume it, but these benefits have been documented in people who took relatively tasteless supplements and vinegar mixed with water. If you drink enough vinegar to make you feel nausea, this will reduce your appetite, but that should not be a long-term weight loss strategy. Note that you shouldn’t take garcinia extract and vinegar together to the point of feeling ill, either, though these substances were found to double the odds someone in a study suffered digestive upset.
Summary: Garcinia cambogia and apple cider vinegar are linked to reduced appetite and a greater sense of fullness, resulting in users eating somewhat less as long as they kept it up, helping them to lose weight.
It Is Safe – in Moderation
Garcinia cambogia has been used as a spice for years. In fact, it is combined with tamarind and lemon as a spice in Indonesia and used specifically to make meals more filling. Plants in the garcinia family have been part of the Ayurvedic medical system for thousands of years. Note that Garcinia cambogia is the same thing as Garcinia gummi-gutta, a new name for this ancient herbal remedy.
The Garcinia cambogia fruit extract has been credited as being everything from an anti-inflammatory to antioxidant to anti-obesity food. Garcinia plants containing HCA have been found in studies to reduce oxidative stress, inflammation, and obesity. For example, in a 2007 study in "Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry," Garcinia cambogia decreased the blood levels of inflammatory proteins in rats. A 2013 study found that obesity-prone rats had reduced markers of liver inflammation. This is of particular interest to diabetics since many suffer from the fatty liver disease.
HCA’s success is more in reducing the number of calories people want to take in over “burning fat.” HCA in the lab seems to cause an acceleration of fat oxidation, but in the human body, the reduced food consumption the supplement causes has a more significant impact if sustained over a long period of time.
Ironically, the problem that Garcinia cambogia is often linked to – digestive upset – is exactly why it has been used as a purgative to treat intestinal worms and other internal parasites. That also explains why Garcinia cambogia has often been used as a laxative. However, you should not use a diet supplement with the intention of purging yourself; that isn’t healthy. You’d be better off on a low-calorie juice diet than taking large doses of Garcinia cambogia and vinegar in an attempt to lose a lot of weight fast. Don’t take Garcinia cambogia and vinegar as part of a “cleanse,” either.
The use of Garcinia cambogia as a treatment for rickets, wounds, and malnutrition is understandable; the fruit is high in citric acid and various vitamins.
Summary: Garcinia cambogia and apple cider vinegar have a long track record of being safe as long as you don’t use too much.
The Fat Loss The Combination Can Bring
Vinegar in and of itself has been found to suppress body fat accumulation in animals. A 2009 Japanese study found that vinegar intake was linked to a reduction in body fat mass in the obese. These were obese people by Japanese standards with a BMI of 25-30. This was a top-tier study, a double-blind study involving people of similar weight and BMI. The subjects ingested 30 ml of vinegar or no vinegar at all. Those who consumed the higher level of vinegar had the less visceral fat area, a lower BMI, lower body weight, and even lower triglycerides than those who took less vinegar, and both were superior to those who received the placebo. This study provided conclusive proof that vinegar could reduce high triglycerides and fat in humans, while prior human and animal studies had not always been consistent.
Garcinia was found to be beneficial in reducing weight gain in conjunction with a high-fat diet. However, a high fiber diet reduced how well garcinia worked in the body.
In combination, it is logical to assume vinegar plus garcinia leads to greater fat loss and overall weight loss than would otherwise be seen.
Summary: Vinegar’s ability to fight fat has been demonstrated scientifically, while garcinia’s ability to do this is not as well documented – but both in combination should work well.
A Word of Warning
It is dangerous to take too much hydroxycitric acid or consume a lot of garcinia cambogia. It can cause side effects like headaches, nausea, digestive problems or even liver damage. Do not take garcinia cambogia with other stimulants like sibutramine – this increases your heart rate and blood pressure and can have disastrous consequences. Drinking too much vinegar will erode your tooth enamel, also. Don’t drink a lot of acid straight, either; mix it with water to avoid damaging your body.
If you have liver problems, don’t take extracts containing garcinia cambogia. If you develop jaundice or other liver problems, stop taking supplements containing garcinia cambogia.
Don’t use any supplement containing garcinia cambogia if you have dementia. Garcinia cambogia increases acetylcholine levels, and many with dementia are taking drugs to lower their acetylcholine levels. It can interfere with statin drugs and antidepressants. There are no studies regarding its safety when taken by pregnant and nursing women, so they should avoid garcinia cambogia altogether. However, moderate amounts of apple cider vinegar when pregnant is safe. While unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is touted as good for you due to the probiotic bacteria in it, consult with your doctor if you want to consume this over pasteurized apple cider vinegar. Pasteurized vinegar is safe to take as a remedy for morning sickness, though too much may worsen nausea. You can safely use one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with water to treat heartburn, too.
Summary: If you have diabetes, dementia, liver disease or take maintenance medication, consult with your doctor before trying the garcinia cambogia and apple cider vinegar diet.
What about the CNN News Story Saying Garcinia Cambogia and Vinegar Caused Major Weight Loss?
In 2017, it looked like CNN ran a legitimate news story about a college student losing almost forty pounds on the garcinia cambogia and apple cider vinegar diet. That wasn’t a real CNN story. It was an online ad made to look like a CNN story. The ads claiming to be of Amanda Haughman having lost a lot of weight on the apple cider vinegar diet with garcinia cambogia were actually of a Scottish woman named Seana Forbes. Another red flag regarding the fake ad is that the woman listed is said to attend a half-dozen other universities. The advertiser later stole another ad; that one said he was Ms. Haughman’s friend. That was a real weight loss story, but he didn’t know the fictional Ms. Haughman and didn’t accomplish this feat due to regular use of garcinia cambogia and vinegar. It is because of scams like this that many dismiss garcinia cambogia and apple cider vinegar results as fake news.
We will say that Dr. Mehmet Oz’s show about garcinia cambogia and apple cider vinegar results in 2012 is real. Dr. Oz was hauled in front of Congress in 2014 to answer questions about his claims.
Summary: Apple cider vinegar and garcinia cambogia have been touted by at least one major celebrity as a weight loss wonder, but it wasn’t on CNN.
Vinegar has been promoted as a natural appetite suppressant. When combined with garcinia cambogia, there is significant evidence that it can aid in safe weight loss. Interestingly, it may be of particular benefit to diabetics and those with metabolic syndrome who otherwise find it hard to feel full and lose the weight they desperately need to shed. Garcinia cambogia and apple cider vinegar results are most likely when it is consumed along with a proper diet and exercise.