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Consumer Reports Warns Against Taking Garcinia Cambogia

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Garcinia cambogia may increase brain serotonin to dangerous levels

Are you taking Garcinia cambogia for weight loss and find yourself talking faster than normal, sleeping less and feeling irritable? If so, then you will want to hear what Consumer Reports found and why they warn against taking Garcinia cambogia.


A recent warning on the Consumer Reports website tells readers that there’s a new reason why current and potential users of Garcinia cambogia should avoid this popular weight loss supplement―it could trigger manic episodes in people with a history of bipolar disorder or those who are at risk for bipolar disorder but have never experienced symptoms.

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According to Consumer Reports, an article published in the journal Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorder, reports that Garcinia cambogia has been linked to mania, a condition marked by euphoria, delusions, and overexcitement in at least three patients who experienced manic episodes, “…after taking unspecified amounts of Garcinia cambogia for a month or longer.”

Consumer Reports contributing writer Lauren Cooper describes the three medical cases―as told to her by one of the authors of the study―with the following summary:

“Two of the patients, a 50-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman, had previously been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a condition that causes unusual shifts in mood, though in both cases the condition had been under control prior to their most recent episodes. The other patient, a 25-year-old man, had no history of psychiatric illness. And in each case, the patients recovered from their manic episodes when they stopped taking the supplements and were treated with prescription drugs such as lorazepam and olanzapine, which are commonly used to treat mania.”

So how could Garcinia cambogia be causing this effect in some users? One theory—based on past studies―is that Garcinia cambogia could be increasing the amount of a mood-regulating chemical called serotonin in the brain to levels excessive enough to trigger mania in the user.

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“It’s possible that mania is a very rare but important side effect of Garcinia cambogia and we’re just seeing it in susceptible people now that the supplement is so widely used,” says Stephen Heymsfield, M.D., a professor at Louisiana State University's Pennington Biomedical Research Center and an expert on Garcinia cambogia.

“In this case the authors have congregated a few cases, but it could just be the tip of the iceberg and it will take further study to really investigate if, in fact, this is a serious adverse event,” Heymsfield added.

The view of consumer Reports is that lacking any proof of Garcinia cambogia working effectively toward weight loss (and a Freedom of Information Act request which revealed nearly 100 users of supplements containing Garcinia cambogia having experienced adverse reactions), that taking Garcinia cambogia is just not worth the risk for consumers.

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“These few cases don't prove that Garcinia cambogia causes mania, but it does suggest that some so-called dietary supplements can exert powerful pharmacological effects,” says Consumer Reports’ chief medical adviser Marvin M. Lipman, M.D. “This makes them not worth the risks, proven or unproven.”

For more Garcinia cambogia-related news, here is one that tells readers to not fall for this Tricky Weight Loss Scam.

Reference: Consumer Reports “Troubling New Potential Garcinia Cambogia Side Effect