1,2-Dihydroxypropane-1,2,3-tricarboxylic acid, HCA, Hydroxycitrate.
Hydroxycitric acid is a chemical that is found in fruit rinds of Garcinia cambogia, Garcinia indica, and Garcinia atroviridis. It can also be found in parts of the flowers of Hibiscus subdariffa and Hibiscus rosa-sinensis plants. It is similar to the chemical citric acid.
Hydroxycitric acid is used to improve exercise performance and weight loss.
How does it work?
Hydroxycitric acid might improve weight loss by preventing fat storage and controlling appetite. It might improve exercise performance by limiting the use of stored energy in the muscles, which seems to prevent fatigue.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Exercise performance. Taking hydroxycitric acid (HCA) for up to 5 days might increase how long untrained women or elite athletes are able to exercise.
- Weight loss. The effect of hydroxycitric acid on weight loss is not clear. Some research shows that taking hydroxycitric acid for 8 weeks might improve weight loss. However, other research suggests that it doesn't decrease fat breakdown or energy expenditure in overweight people when taken for only 2 weeks.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Bleeding disorders: There is concern that hydroxycitric acid might slow blood clotting. This might increase the risk of bleeding or bruising in people with bleeding disorders.
Diabetes: Hydroxycitric acid might reduce blood sugar. Monitor blood sugar levels closely. Doses of conventional antidiabetes medications may need to be adjusted.
Surgery: Hydroxycitric acid might affect blood sugar levels and slow blood clotting. This might make it more difficult to control blood sugar and bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking hydroxycitric acid at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Hydroxycitric acid might slow blood clotting. Taking hydroxycitric acid along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Medications used for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Hydroxycitric acid might lower blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking hydroxycitric acid along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
The appropriate dose of hydroxycitric acid depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time, there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for hydroxycitric acid. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Asghar M, Monjok E, Kouamou G, et al. Super CitriMax (HCA-SX) attenuates increases in oxidative stress, inflammation, insulin resistance, and body weight in developing obese Zucker rats. Mol Cell Biochem 2007;304(1-2):93-99. View abstract.
Brandt K, Langhans W, Geary N, Leonhardt M. Beneficial and deleterious effects of hydroxycitrate in rats fed a high-fructose diet. Nutrition 2006;22(9):905-912. View abstract.
Da-Costa-Rocha I, Bonnlaender B, Sievers H, Pischel I, Heinrich M. Hibiscus sabdariffa L. - a phytochemical and pharmacological review. Food Chem 2014;165:424-43. View abstract.
Ishihara K, Oyaizu S, Onuki K, Lim K, et al. Chronic (-)-hydroxycitrate administration spares carbohydrate utilization and promotes lipid oxidation during exercise in mice. J Nutr 2000;130:2990-5. View abstract.
Kovacs EM, Westerterp-Plantenga MS, de Vries M, Brouns F, Saris WH. Effects of 2-week ingestion of (-)-hydroxycitrate and (-)-hydroxycitrate combined with medium-chain triglycerides on satiety and food intake. Physiol Behav 2001;74(4-5):543-549. View abstract.
Kovacs EM, Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Saris WH. The effects of 2-week ingestion of (--)-hydroxycitrate and (--)-hydroxycitrate combined with medium-chain triglycerides on satiety, fat oxidation, energy expenditure and body weight. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2001;25:1087-94. View abstract.
Kovacs EM, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Effects of (-)-hydroxycitrate on net fat synthesis as de novo lipogenesis. Physiol Behav 2006;88(4-5):371-381. View abstract.
Lee KH, Lee BM. Evaluation of the genotoxicity of (-)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA-SX) isolated from Garcinia cambogia. J Toxicol Environ Health A 2007;70(5):388-392. View abstract.
Leonhardt M, Balkan B, Langhans W. Effect of hydroxycitrate on respiratory quotient, energy expenditure, and glucose tolerance in male rats after a period of restrictive feeding. Nutrition 2004;20(10):911-915. View abstract.
Lewis YS, Neelakantan S, Murthy C. Acids in Garcinia cambogia. Curr Sci 1964;33:82-83.
Lim K, Ryu S, Nho HS, et al. (-)-Hydroxycitric acid ingestion increases fat utilization during exercise in untrained women. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) 2003;49:163-167. View abstract.
Lim K, Ryu S, Ohishi Y, et al. Short-term (-)-hydroxycitrate ingestion increases fat oxidation during exercise in athletes. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) 2002;48(2):128-133. View abstract.
Loe YC, Bergeron N, Rodriguez N, Schwarz JM. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry method to quantify blood hydroxycitrate concentration. Anal Biochem 2001;292(1):148-154. View abstract.
Lowenstein, J.M. Effect of (-)-hydroxycitrate on fatty acid synthesis by rat liver in vivo. J Biol Chem 1971;246:629-632. View abstract.
Michno A, Skibowska A, Raszeja-Specht A, Cwikowska J, Szutowicz A. The role of adenosine triphosphate citrate lyase in the metabolism of acetyl coenzyme a and function of blood platelets in diabetes mellitus. Metabolism 2004;53(1):66-72. View abstract.
Preuss HG, Bagchi D, Bagchi M, et al. Effects of a natural extract of (-)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA-SX) and a combination of HCA-SX plus niacin-bound chromium and Gymnema sylvestre extract on weight loss. Diabetes Obes Metab 2004;6:171-180. View abstract.
Roy S, Rink C, Khanna S, et al. Body weight and abdominal fat gene expression profile in response to a novel hydroxycitric acid-based dietary supplement. Gene Expr 2004;11(5-6):251-262. View abstract.
Roy S, Shah H, Rink C, et al. Transcriptome of primary adipocytes from obese women in response to a novel hydroxycitric acid-based dietary supplement. DNA Cell Biol 2007;26(9):627-639. View abstract.
Soni MG, Burdock GA, Preuss HG, et al. Safety assessment of (-)-hydroxycitric acid and Super CitriMax, a novel calcium/potassium salt. Food Chem Toxicol 2004;42:1513-29. View abstract.
Tomita K, Okuhara Y, Shigematsu N, Suh H, Lim, K. (-)-hydroxycitrate ingestion increases fat oxidation during moderate intensity exercise in untrained men. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 2003;67(9):1999-2001. View abstract.
Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Kovacs EMR. The effect of (-)-hydroxycitrate on energy intake and satiety in overweight humans. Int J Obesity 2002;26:870-2. View abstract.
Wielinga PY, Wachters-Hagedoorn RE, Bouter B, et al. Hydroxycitric acid delays intestinal glucose absorption in rats. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 2005;288(6):G1144-G1149. View abstract.
Yamada T, Hida H, Yamada Y. Chemistry, physiological properties, and microbial production of hydroxycitric acid. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 2007;75(5):977-82. View abstract.