Garcinia cambogia is an herbal extract with from southeast Asia with purported properties that speed up metabolism and reduce appetite, making it one of the trendiest weight loss supplements.
As is often the case with herbal supplements, garcinia cambogia extract rocketed to fame after being featured on the Dr. Oz Show.
If you need some extra help losing weight, and you’ve done your homework on the positives and negatives, a garcinia cambogia supplement could be what you need to lose a few more pounds.
First, we’ll review and rank the best garcinia cambogia supplements on the market. Then, we’ll dive into how it works and who should take it.
Last updated: March 29, 2023
Garcinia cambogia supplements considered: 25
Hours of research: 44
Experts reviewed: 10
Scientific papers referenced: 21
1. VitaBalance Garcinia Cambogia Plus
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Garcinia cambogia is 95% hydroxycitric acid, which studies have shown to support weight loss, assist weight control, and prevent fat from forming in the first place. That’s probably why Georgetown University calls it “an exceptionally effective fat buster.”
VitaBalance Garcinia Cambogia Plus gives you 100% pure garcinia cambogia extract. No harmful additives. No impurities. The only other essential trace minerals in this formula are calcium, potassium, and chromium.
Manufactured in an FDA registered facility that adheres to GMP guidelines.
The all-around garcinia cambogia winner of 2023.
2. Garcinia Cambogia Extra
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This Garcinia Cambogia supplement is an excellent choice if you’re looking to burn stored fat, suppress your appetite, and prevent extra body-fat storage.
Powered by both Garcinia Cambogia and Raspberry Ketone, this dual formula is the only one like it on the market.
This product is uniquely powerful for two reasons. Firstly, because it packs in two powerhouse ingredients, and secondly because it contains a massive 1,000mg dosage of Garcinia Cambogia per serving.
If you want tighter abs, a firmer bum, and thinner legs, then this is the supplement you should be taking a look at.
3. BioSchwarts Garcinia Cambogia
This is a great choice for quality and value. Often known as a reliable, high-quality brand, BioSchwartz provides 480 mg of pure HCA per capsule (800 mg of garcinia cambogia per capsule in total), and the only other ingredient is the cellulose-based, vegan-friendly capsule. Hard to argue with this level of purity.
Because of its simple, minimalist approach, Nutrigold Garcinia Cambogia Gold is an excellent choice for purity-conscious consumers.
4. aSquared Garcinia Cambogia
aSquared Nutrition makes a heavy-hitting garcinia cambogia supplement, which packs 800 mg of garcinia cambogia extract (standardized to 50% HCA content) per capsule. For users looking for a simple, high-dose supplement, it’s a great choice.
5. NutriRise Garcinia Cambogia
This garcinia cambogia extract supplement is a high-powered capsule that provides 2000 mg of pure HCA per capsule.
If you are looking for a once-daily solution for garcinia cambogia, this is a good choice, though others may want to opt for a lower dose option if you are looking to follow research protocols that involve spacing out your garcinia cambogia intake into two or three capsules per day.
6. Swanson Super CitriMax
The name “CitriMax” might be confusing—it’s suggestive of citrus fruit, not garcinia cambogia. But CitriMax is really just a proprietary formulation of hydroxycitric acid, the main ingredient in garcinia cambogia extract.
Many garcinia cambogia supplements on the market, including Swanson Super CitriMax, use it to deliver the garcinia cambogia extract in an efficacious way.
Outside of the active ingredients, the other constituents are pretty simple. Just a gelatin based capsule along with cellulose, magnesium stearate, and stearic acid as binders.
7. Nature Wise Garcinia Cambogia
The garcinia cambogia extract supplement offered by Nature Wise combines the standard hydroxycitric acid regimen with a few additional ingredients. Like a number of other garcinia cambogia competitors, Nature Wise chose to include a chromium salt alongside the garcinia cambogia.
Each capsule contains 400 mg of garcinia cambogia, and 60% of this is claimed to be hydroxycitric acid. Independent lab testing found that it actually contains more like 66% HCA.
8. ZenVita Formulas Garcinia Cambogia
ZenVita makes a garcinia cambogia supplement that’s got a moderate dose of garcinia cambogia, alongside a strong dose of chromium in an amino acid chelate.
It’s a solid choice if you want a multi-ingredient supplement, but its purity can’t match the top products on the market.
9. Magix Labs Ultra Extreme Garcinia Cambogia
Magix Labs uses an exceptionally pure HCA extract in their garcinia cambogia supplement. The only downside is dose: at only 500 mg per capsule, it’s left behind by many other products on the market when it comes to dosage.
10. NOW Garcinia
NOW Garcinia is a simple, lower-dose supplement that provides 1000 mg of garcinia cambogia extract per capsule. It’s an okay option if you don’t need the high dose offered by some of its competitors, though it’d be nicer if it had fewer binders and stabilizers in its capsules.
Best garcinia cambogia overall: VitaBalance Garcinia Cambogia Plus
VitaBalance leads the market both in terms of dosage and purity. As a garcinia cambogia supplement for weight loss, it’s impossible to beat.
Best garcinia cambogia for burning fat: VitaBalance Garcinia Cambogia Plus
VitaBalance makes a garcinia cambogia supplement that’s perfect for ramping up your body’s fat oxidation thanks to its inclusion of raspberry ketones alongside garcinia cambogia. These two fat oxidizers make a big difference if you are looking to burn off fat.
Best garcinia cambogia for weight loss: VitaBalance Garcinia Cambogia Plus
With a powerful dose of 1400 mg of pure HCA extract, the ultra-pure garcinia cambogia in VitaBalance is exceptionally well-suited for a weight loss regimen. In addition to the dosage, you don’t have to worry about any binders, fillers, or synthetic ingredients.
Best garcinia cambogia for mental health: BioSchwarts Garcinia Cambogia
There’s emerging interest in using garcinia cambogia to treat depression and other mental health conditions, thanks to the link between HCA and serotonin levels. Give BioSchwarts Garcinia Cambogia a shot—it’s super simple and has a moderate 800 mg dose of garcinia cambogia, making it better-suited for regular use.
Best garcinia cambogia for women: VitaBalance Garcinia Cambogia Plus
Women can take advantage of the dual-ingredient power of Vitabalance: since women have naturally lower levels of testosterone, it can be hard for them to keep their fat oxidation levels high. The raspberry ketones and garcinia in VitaBalance could make up for that difference.
Best garcinia cambogia for losing weight fast: Garcinia Cambogia Extra
Need to shed pounds in a hurry? Garcinia Cambogia Extra is the right call. It has a super high dose of garcinia cambogia, and provides raspberry ketones on top as an extra fat burner.
Who should buy garcinia cambogia?
Garcinia cambogia has been tested in clinical research as a supplement for weight loss and weight maintenance. So, garcinia cambogia is well-suited for people who fall into one of these categories:
People looking to lose weight. Because garcinia cambogia may accelerate your body’s rate of fat oxidation, it could be a useful addition to your weight loss supplementation stack. Alongside an appetite suppressant, it could contribute to an overall negative energy balance, leading to more rapid weight loss.
People looking to maintain their weight after completing a diet program. One of the hardest parts of losing weight is what comes afterwards: keeping weight loss off is incredibly difficult, and if garcinia cambogia can shift your body’s metabolism to burn a bit more fat, it could be a useful addition to your routine if you’ve successfully lost weight and are looking to maintain your weight loss.
In both cases, garcinia cambogia shouldn’t be expected to work on its own. You should also be keeping a healthy diet and getting regular exercise, whether your goal is to lose weight now or to maintain the weight loss you’ve already achieved.
How we ranked
Since there’s been a lot of research on using garcinia cambogia for weight loss, we geared our rankings towards people who wanted to make a supplementation routine that mimics the most effective clinical research. Here’s how:
Garcinia cambogia as the only active ingredients. We focused only on products whose sole active ingredient was garcinia cambogia—multi-ingredient products are the focus of our weight loss pill rankings, but for garcinia cambogia, we wanted products that came as close as possible to the recommendations from scientific research.
HCA dosage in line with the scientific research. After eliminating multi-ingredient products, we looked at the dose of garcinia cambogia. We specifically focused on the levels of hydroxycitric acid, or HCA—this is thought to be the primary active ingredient in garcinia cambogia that is responsible for its weight loss effects.
Additionally, clinical research often measures out dosage in terms of milligrams of HCA, so the levels per capsule were a primary review criteria. Dosages used in randomized controlled trials ranges from one gram daily to 1.8 grams daily, usually split into two to three equal doses per day (1).
To this end, we looked for garcinia cambogia supplements that provided between 400 and 900 mg of HCA per tablet or capsule.
Independent lab testing for dosage and purity. We relied on data from independent laboratories for data to compare the advertised amount of HCA to the actual amount of HCA per tablet.
Neither too much nor too little HCA is a good thing; too little means you aren’t getting an adequate dose to achieve the results you want, and too much is liable to put you at a higher risk for side effects, which garcinia cambogia is known for.
After applying some final criteria regarding supplement design and purity, we finalized our list of the best garcinia cambogia products out there. These products deliver a pure and high-quality dose, without unnecessary additives or other biologically active ingredients.
Q: What is garcinia cambogia?
A: Garcinia cambogia comes from the fruit of a plant native to Indonesia. It’s an extract of the flesh or rind of this fruit, and is thought to work as a weight loss supplement thanks to its inclusion of the compound hydroxycitric acid, or HCA.
HCA is a popular but controversial molecule, due to some reports showing that it causes liver toxicity, and other reports showing that it’s a safe and effective weight loss supplement.
Q: Does garcinia cambogia really work?
A: Garcinia cambogia does appear to generate modest amounts of weight loss in randomized trials when compared to a placebo supplement.
Unlike in the marketing claims that you’ll see from some manufacturers of weight loss supplements, the amount of weight lost is pretty modest, and is typically less than ten pounds across an eight or 12 week period, compared to placebo.
However, it’s important to note that these studies all examine garcinia cambogia in isolation, not alongside dietary improvements and exercise.
Q: How does garcinia cambogia create weight loss?
A: According to a scientific overview published in 2015, garcinia cambogia is able to create weight loss through three primary mechanisms (2).
The first is an increase in satiety (fullness) which leads to a decreased desire to eat more food. The actual mechanism of this change appears to have something to do with regulating serotonin levels, which are linked to your body’s appetite. So, in other words, garcinia cambogia acts as an appetite suppressant.
The second mechanism at play is an ability of garcinia cambogia to increase the oxidation of fat for energy, which means that this supplement shifts your body’s metabolism to a more beneficial set-point for fat loss.
Finally, garcinia cambogia decreases the rate of something called de novo lipogenesis, which literally means ‘new fat synthesis.’ Your body initiates this process when you eat a meal that’s rich in carbohydrates or sugar, and manufactures lipids (fat) to store in fat cells. Since garcinia cambogia reduces this process, it can help prevent additional weight gain as well.
Q: Does garcinia cambogia work well with apple cider vinegar for weight loss?
A: It’s difficult to say whether garcinia cambogia would combine well with apple cider vinegar: while these two supplements are both commonly used for weight loss, they have not been studied together in a scientific study.
Further, the actual mechanism behind how apple cider vinegar might produce weight loss is not known, so it’s difficult to infer whether it could be beneficial or detrimental to combine with garcinia cambogia.
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Garcinia cambogia might not be a miracle drug, but some evidence suggests that it could have a small but significant effect on weight loss. Compared to other natural supplements for weight loss, this evidence is not as strong, and there’s been some debate on whether it has a good safety profile given animal studies showing the possibility of liver damage.
If you do want to incorporate garcinia cambogia into your weight loss supplementation routine, lower doses appear to be just as effective as higher doses, so there’s no reason to aim for a super-high dosage.
For BodyNutrition‘s #1 garcinia cambogia recommendation, click here.