Written by Lisa Allen, MD
HCA or hydroxycitric acid is touted as the most useful ingredient that is derived from the Garcinia Cambogia plant. But what on earth is it and what are its benefits and risks to your health?
What is Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA)?
Hydro Citric Acid is a version of citric acid that is found in different proportions in a variety of tropical plants. It occurs in different isomers. The isomer found in Garcinia Cambogia is scientifically known as 2S,3R-HCA. In a past study that involved Zucker rats, this HCA was found to lead to significant suppression of epidymal fat accumulation.
The study also established that 2S,3R-HCA has the capacity to inhibit pancreatic alpha-amylase and intestinal alpha-glucosidase resulting in an overall reduction in carbohydrate metabolism.
Another study (published by The American Journal of Physiology) showed HCA helps reduce insulin output therefore delaying intestinal glucose absorption in rats. The study further showed a much slower rise in blood sugar levels. The amount of sugar that normally takes 20 minutes (or less) to get absorbed into the body took more than 2 hours in the presence of HCA.
Hydroxycitric Acid Benefits To Your Health
Hydroxyl citric acid works in five different ways to prevent further accumulation of fats and induce a healthy fat loss process.
- Appetite Suppressant
There is immense scientific evidence how this acid can help curb hunger pangs. One proven theory claims that HCA may reduce the rate at which food is absorbed in the intestines; this therefore keeps the person using the supplement feeling full for long.
It is also true that high contents of this acid in the body are related to the production of certain neuro-chemical agents that “fool” your brain into believing that you’re full. You therefore are at great ease controlling your appetite with Garcinia Cambogia supplements.
- Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
High levels of this acid in the bloodstream tend to lower the overall blood sugar levels. This is directly linked to the fact that HCA inhibits the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose in the liver.
- Prevents Further Production Of Fat
As it was confirmed in the study involving in Zucker rats (mentioned above), hydroxyl citric acid may lead to a significant reduction in epididymal fat. Experts are in agreement that this feat is as a result of inhibition of a fat favoring hormone called citric lyase.
- Initiates A Fat-Burning Process
The philosophy behind the functioning of HCA to initiate fat burning is very straight-forward. By reducing the rate of glucose processing in the liver, you cause a significant drop in glucose levels in the body – as you probably know, glucose in the main source of energy in the body. Once the body is deprived of enough glucose, it is forced to turn to obtain energy from alternative sources – by burning fats.
- Improves your moods
Good news for those struggling with binge eating is that HCA may help improve your moods. Most studies show that the version of hydroxyl citric acid in Garcinia Cambogia favors production of serotonin – serotonin is one of those hormones responsible for a ‘feel good feeling.’ You’re therefore 95% safe from emotional eating by using a Garcinia-based product.