\nIf you’ve ever tried Indian cooking, you may have come across an ingredient called tamarind. Garcinia gambogia, a green, acidic fruit native to India and Thailand, is used in curries much like tamarind, hence it’s common name, Malabar tamarind. The fruits are about the size of an orange and also known by the common name brindleberry. A relative of mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), the rind has been used in traditional medicine for diarrhea.\nWhat brought this plant to the attention of the West was the discovery of a compound called (-)-hydroxycitric acid or HCA. A study done in India reported that “inclusion of (-)hydroxycitrate in the diet resulted in significant reduction in food intake, body weight, epididymal fat and serum triglyceride in the animals.” [Nutrition Research Vol. 8, pp. 209-212, 1988, Lipid-Lowering and Anti-obesity Effect of (-)hydroxycitric acid by R. Nageswara Rao and K. K. Sakariah, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, India.]\nWhat research does suggest is that HCA inhibits and enzyme that produces acetyl-co-A which is used in the synthesis of fatty acids, cholesterol and triglycerides. In a very small study, overweight women who took garcinia cambogia extract had their triglyceride levels reduce by almost one-third, as opposed to the placebo. [https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pubmed\/24133059]\nGarcinia does appear to be very safe and might be helpful as part of an overall weight loss program to reduce appetite and fat deposition.