|Hydroxycitric acid, a rare organic acid, is a naturally-ocurring substance found chiefly in fruits of the species of Garcinia (Garcinia cambogia, Garcinia indica and Garcinia atroviridis). The first two species grow abundantly in India and the third occurs mostly in
South East Asian countries. Hydroxycitric acid has been known to be beneficial for the control and reduction of body weight.
Hydroxycitric acid is thought to decrease the formation of fatty acids from glucose thereby stimulating the storage of glycogen in the liver and inducing an appetite reducing effect. Ayurveda, the traditional herbal medicinal system, considers Garcinia as one of the herbs that is beneficial to heart. Also known as "Kokum", the extracts of the fruit have been used as a tart flavoring in meat and seafood dishes, turned into a refreshing beverage that serves as a unique flavor enhancer, gourmet spice and a digestive after a heavy meal.
Hydroxycitric acid has been investigated extensively in regard to their ability to inhibit the production of fatty acids from carbohydrates, to suppress appetite, and to inhibit weight gain. Hydroxycitric acid reduces the conversion of carbohydrate calories into fats. It does this by inhibiting the actions of ATP-citrate lyase, the enzyme which converts citrate into fatty acids and cholesterol in the primary pathway of fat synthesis in the body. The actions of HCA increase the production and storage of glycogen while reducing both appetite and weight gain. Hydroxycitric acid also causes calories to be burned in an energy cycle similar to thermogenesis.
HCA not only reduces glucocorticoid levels, but also improves the signs of wound healing and immunomodulation/immunoregulation, which is to say that HCA can improve depressed immune function and also reduce excessive immune activity, especially that which involves humoral immunity. HCA improves melatonin metabolism with its concomitant effects upon growth hormone release through non-serotogenic mechanisms.