In Part I of our series, we explored the seemingly overnight appearance of Garcinia Cambogia, and its role as the newest weight loss “miracle” supplement. We also answered some important questions, including what it is, what it’s claimed to do, why it’s claimed to do it, and whether or not these claims have any merit.
During our research, we’ve learned a lot about different garcinia cambogia manufacturers, processing practices, and—perhaps most importantly—about what to look for when purchasing it. Because HighYa is here to help you make informed decisions about popular products, we thought we’d look more closely at a specific topic here in Part II: How to buy Garcinia Cambogia. While we touched on this briefly earlier, let’s take a closer look at what it takes for a supplement to make the grade, and what advice you should follow before making a purchase.
Tip #1: Understand That You May Not Experience Any Benefits
Admittedly, this may come off as a little harsh. But let us explain:
The cold, hard truth is that—like nearly any other supplement or medication on the market—you may not experience any benefits from garcinia cambogia. This can be attributed to numerous factors (e.g. body makeup, caloric intake, fitness level, etc.), but suffice it to say, not everyone will lose weight, even when using the supplement as directed.
Also, when you’re shopping around, you’ll probably lose track of how many supplements claim to be “clinically proven.” Some of the more astute manufacturers will typically link to one or two studies on their websites, so you could be excused for thinking these documents represent solid proof that garcinia cambogia (or more specifically 60% HCA), works as advertised. However, the truth is that for every study that appears to show a strong correlation between HCA and weight loss, there are many more that do not.
We highlighted this link in our previous article, but it’s important to reiterate it again: As you can see here on the National Institutes of Health website, of the 92 studies related to garcinia cambogia, the clear majority show inconclusive or negative results.
Tip #2: Look for Quality, Not Quantity
Ok, so maybe you’re not impressed with all this science stuff. You look around at the popularity of garcinia cambogia and all the people who claimed to have benefitted from it, and you want in on the action. Alright, fair enough. But if you’re dead-set on purchasing the supplement, you first need to find out as much about the product—and the manufacturer—as you can.
Regarding the supplement itself, remember that less is more. In other words, other than the 60% HCA, you want as few additional ingredients as possible. Some supplement manufacturers will often add potassium in order to aid in how well your body absorbs it (more about this below), but steer clear of any fillers or artificial ingredients.
With this in mind, around one-third of the garcinia cambogia supplements you find will list calcium as an added ingredient, which will often be called “Garcinia Cambogia Plus” or something along those lines. Interestingly, many of these manufacturers will also tell you about their “scientifically tested” ingredients and their focus on quality and effectiveness, while not understanding that calcium has actually been shown to decrease the effectiveness of HCA. According to this report, HCA must be “bioactive” in order to provide any benefit to your body—and in order to become bioactive, it must first be converted into a salt, which is best achieved using potassium. This is because “[Calcium] (Ca) is the usual salt form, but unfortunately, when the extract is entirely (Ca), it becomes poorly bioavailable and requires extremely high doses to make it even somewhat effective.”
Bottom line? You don’t want calcium in your garcinia cambogia supplement. Potassium only.
But hold on; there’s one last thing we should mention about the supplement. Because the scientific data surrounding garcinia cambogia is so thin, proper dosage has not been officially established. As a result, you’ll find popular personalities such as Dr. Oz who recommend 50% HCA and 3,000mg daily doses, while others will recommend 60% HCA and 500mg doses. Based on our research, it seems the general consensus hovers around a 3,000mg daily intake (1,500mg per dose) with 60% HCA.
Now that we’ve tackled the garcinia cambogia supplement itself, let’s pay closer attention to what we should look for when it comes to the supplement’s manufacturer. Here’s a quick and easy list of questions you should be asking:
Is the company Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) certified?
Is their garcinia cambogia supplement made in the U.S.? If so, is it processed in an FDA-approved facility?
How long have they been on the market? If the company came into existence after November 2012 (when Dr. Oz aired the results of his garcinia cambogia study), it may be a strong indication that they’re simply jumping on the bandwagon in order to make a quick buck off the craze.
Are the company and their product submitted for third-party monitoring and testing? Supplement manufacturers have a notorious reputation for dosing levels that are inaccurate or purposely misrepresented.
Do they offer a money back guarantee? Quality supplement manufacturers who operate legitimate businesses actually care about what their customers think because they know they’re the lifeblood of their business. If you’re not satisfied, you need to know that the company stands behind their product with a 100% money back guarantee.
During our research, we’ve also found that many of the “less than reputable” supplement websites will include vague information about where their product is manufactured, and/or under what conditions. A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t easily find a product label or list of ingredients on the product’s website, move on to the competition (after all, there are plenty available).
Tip #3: Avoid Autoship Programs
It’s exceedingly rare that you’ll find us making sweeping generalizations about anything we review here at HighYa—and truth be told, we had more than a little hesitation about making one in this article. But the fact of the matter is this: During our extensive research, we’ve found that the overwhelming majority of high-quality garcinia cambogia supplement manufacturers will enroll you in an autoship program.
What in the world is an autoship program? Instead of trying to explain what it is, let’s instead use the following example:
Imagine that you’ve purchased a 30-day supply of garcinia cambogia extract directly from the manufacturer, and you paid an introductory price of $29.99. What you didn’t realize is that somewhere on the product’s checkout page, you missed a disclaimer (usually in very small print) advising you that all new orders are automatically signed up for the company’s autoship program. But what is that?
An autoship program is just a fancy way of saying that—to continue with the above example—you’ll continue receiving a 30-day supply of garcinia cambogia extract once every month, and your credit card (the one you originally used on the website) will be charged another $34.99, plus $6.99 shipping and handling.
Now you’re probably asking yourself, “Why is the price more expensive? What’s going on with that high shipping fee?” Often times when you sign up for an autoship program, the supplement manufacturer will offer you a discounted price on your original order, or sometimes even free shipping. However, subsequent orders fulfilled through autoship programs might carry higher costs and/or excessive shipping and handling fees.
Sounds convenient! Why would I want to avoid an autoship program? When it comes down to it, if your company offers a quality product at a reasonable price, customers will naturally want to keep purchasing it, thus providing no need for an autoship program in the first place. In other words, the presence of an autoship program can be a big indication of how the company views their product.
Also, while most supplement manufacturers claim that their autoship programs can be cancelled at any time, some of the biggest manufacturers in the business have a well-earned reputation for seeming to make the cancellation process as laborious as possible. And though we’ve certainly mentioned it before, we’ve read countless reports of customers racking up hundreds of dollars in automatic shipments over a few short months, and even of customers having to cancel their credit cards in order to put a stop the recurring charges.
Final Thoughts on Buying Garcinia Cambogia
Here’s the bottom line: Until the current garcinia cambogia craze settles down, you’re likely to find a new supplement manufacturer selling it every other day. And when you find yourself trying to figure what’s legit—and what’s not—make sure to use the three tips above, and you’ll be able to easily separate the good supplements and manufacturers from the bad ones.