Here we go again. I have to admit, I feel very sorry for this poor little “superfruit” that seems to be the victim of so very many scams. The guy who runs the nutrition shop at my gym told me one of his contacts said it’s because producing this particular supplement is super-cheap—so it’s easy to just slap a brand on it and get to the proper business of sucking money out of unsuspecting customer’s wallets.
Garcinia Cambogia ZT is yet another brand of Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA) capsules. Remarkably, NutraPure and its various nicknames aren’t behind this one. This time it’s Hawksburry Group Inc. out of Fountain Valley, California. It came as no surprise that Hawksburry has no profile on the Better Business Bureau; it’s quite likely it’s a subsidiary of yet another company. But the fine print of this “free” trial is the same:
By placing your order you will be receiving a 14 day evaluation for the price of $2.97! You will also be enrolling into our convenient auto ship program once your evaluation expires. You understand that you are subscribing to a monthly shipment program and you will be charged $89.97 per month starting 14 days from today and every 30 days thereafter unless canceleld . You also understand that you can cancel at any time without further obligation by calling 800-637-1092 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week. Your transaction will appear on your credit card statement as “GARCINIA 800-637-1092”. Please allow 4-6 business days for all deliveries. All orders ship with 24-48 hours of a successful transaction. (emphasis and note added)
Company Contact Information: Garcinia Cambogia ZT, Hawksburry Group Inc., PO Box 20800, Fountain Valley, CA 92728. Email: [email protected] Phone: 800-637-1092.
Garcinia Cambogia ZT Claims
“The most talked about natural weight loss is finally here! A pumpkin-shaped fruit that grows in Southeast Asia and India, Miracle Garcinia ZT is a revolutionary breakthrough! …This is mother nature’s answer to weight loss!”
What’s really interesting about this one is it’s sneaky; if you’ve done any scientific reading on G. cambogia at all, you know there’s at least a little truth to all that hype. Just not nearly as much as they’d like you to believe.
And two of those claims are patently false: HCA isn’t going to burn fat without diet or exercise. Nothing will. Like it or not, we have to eat healthy and get moving, or the fat is going to snuggle right down where it is and stay there. And while G. cambogia might suppress your appetite, it’s not going to reduce your calorie intake on its own—you have to do that as a conscious, voluntary choice.
Garcinia Cambogia ZT Ingredients
They tell you on the web-mercial page you’re getting 800 mg of 60 percent HCA per dose—that’s actually better than some of the other scams, who say 60 percent HCA but don’t tell you how much of it you’re getting (there is a recommended safe dosage from scientific sources; we’ll look at it momentarily). But what they don’t tell you is what else is in it. Most G. cambogia supplements—though not all—have other active ingredients. The most common is either potassium or a potassium-calcium-chromium mix, but I’ve seen magnesium, green tea extract, and green coffee extract as well. And the multi-ingredient ones generally have the highest instances of side effects.
The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind Garcinia Cambogia ZT
From a scientific standpoint, G. cambogia isn’t a miracle pill. It’s not a fat melter. It’s not speed for your metabolism. But it’s not entirely useless, either. Garcinia Cambogia ZT gives no science to back up their claims, but there is science out there for a couple of specific issues.
What G. cambogia does seem to be is a mild-to-moderate appetite suppressant, as a result of HCA’s ability to stimulate production and release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in our brains usually associated with “feeling good.” Serotonin can also send messages to our brains that we’re “full.”
A meta-study (review of all current literature for the purpose of a summary) published in the 2011 Journal of Obesity states,
HCA is usually marketed as a weight loss supplement either alone or in combination with other supplements. Some authors have suggested that HCA causes weight loss by competitively inhibiting the enzyme adenosine triphosphates-citrate-lyase. HCA has also been reported to increase the release or availability of serotonin in the brain, thereby leading to appetite suppression.
What many of the studies compiling this meta-review also found is a short-term effect for appetite suppression and some help with weight loss—though more as result of appetite suppression and not so much as a fat burner in its own right.
It might be called a fat inhibitor, though. In several studies HCA has been shown to inhibit an enzyme—ATP citrate lyase—whose primary purpose is to convert carbohydrates into fat. If I understand the science correctly, this is the result: by inhibiting this enzyme, the carbs apparently stay carbs and get burned before any stored fat gets burned (the body always burns carbs first). So while that does nothing for weight loss—you still have to reach the point where the body has no carbs left to burn before it starts burning fat—it might help in preventing further weight gain.
But even this conclusion has a few issues left to resolve.
None of have shown whether these effects persist beyond 12 weeks of intervention. Therefore, there is still little evidence to support the potential effectiveness and long-term benefits of G. Cambogia extracts. (emphasis added)
G. cambogia did come under fire in 2009 when the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified the consumption ofan HCA-containing supplement as a possible cause of liver damage. But several studies have indicated that HCA itself, and thus G. cambogia, may not be the culprit. Dr. Sidney J. Stohs, Pharmacy PhD from the University of Nebraska, and colleagues reported that while some cases of toxicity and specifically liver damage had been associated to the consumption of this brand of products, it was premature to blame HCA for that damage; mainly because some of the products tested did not contain HCA, but did contain up to 20 other ingredients. So while HCA might be involved, there was no conclusive evidence of such.
Other studies, by Dr. Stohs and others, suggest that a moderate dosage of G. cambogia (HCA) by itself—with no other added ingredients—is safe, barring other pre-existing health problems: the maximum daily safe dosage was determined as 2800 mg/day (I assume 60% concentration, the most common concentration used in supplements, but the abstract didn’t specify). Of course, research is ongoing.
Word On The Street About Garcinia Cambogia ZT
Since there are no reviews on the web-merical, I ended up going to the comments section of another review on Garcinia Cambogia ZT. It wasn’t pretty.
“Beatrice” (2016) said, “Do not order any ‘free’ trials. Once they have your credit card information they won’t let go!!! Even though I cancelled and got cancellation confirmation after very unpleasant conversation with their representative they still managed to post charges on my credit card few days later!!!”
“DSA” (2016) voiced similar frustrations:
This is a total scam!!!! First I was NOT told that I would be charged $88 for the Green Coffee bottle and then $89 for the Garcinia ZT. It was supposed to be 1 month FREE trial with paying only $4.99 shipping! I received NO paperwork explaining that I was enrolled in a monthly club. I received NO instructions whatsoever! NO PAPERWORK AT ALL! I called the only number I could find and 3 people refused to refund my money! The ad online now says that you receive only 14 days for free and you have to contact them back within those 14 days to get a refund! I was not told that when I ordered! To add insult to injury the stuff made me sick on my stomach! Beware of this company! I tried calling 3 times! They refused a refund, they refused to let me speak with a supervisor, and refused to give me the name of the President of the company or CEO! TOTAL SCAM!
There were 72 comments like this on just this one review site. As there are literally hundreds of product review sites for diet supplements, one can imagine the extent of the uproar.
The Bottom Line: Is Garcinia Cambogia ZT Worth A Try?
Definitely, DEFINITELY not. Run. Just run. As fast as your feet will carry you. G. cambogia is quite likely the number one scam-prone supplement on the market, in part because it’s insanely cheap to produce. And while there does seem to be some health benefit to it, never ever buy it from one of these “Trial offer! Melt fat while you binge Law & Order!” web-mercials. Seriously… take a walk over to your friendly neighborhood drugstore or supermarket and check out the “diet” aisle. They should have several G. cambogia supplements available for under $20. Just keep in mind that your safest bet is to find one with only G. cambogia in it. There are a few. Then walk home feeling proud of yourself; you’ve already lapped everybody who stayed on the couch.