Is C. fimbriata natures ultimate weight loss aid

by John Diaz

If you watch Dr. Oz, The View, or any of a zillion different websites you have likely heard of Caralluma Fimbriata along with all the claims about its amazing weight loss properties.  Caralluma Fimbriata is a succulent plant (type of cactus) that grows in India and Sri Lanka and into North Africa. It has been eaten for centuries in these countries. The buzz around this plant stems from the historical use of it by hunters and tribesmen to control hunger and thirst while on the hunt. The effects are claimed to last an entire day and all with increased endurance.

Based on these claims it’s easy to see why someone would get excited about it. The problem is that these and similar claims have been made before about Hoodia, Garcinia Cambogia, Pyruvate, etc. with little results to show for it. As you could imagine as a personal trainer in Hollywood, CA I get inundated with offers to carry or rep all kind of magical fitness and weight loss products. Seldom is there science to back them.  So, that being said, let’s take a look at C Fimbriata.

 C. Fimbriata Weight loss aid - Ultimate Health Personal Training Center

The Claims

The product claim is that Caralluma is a powerful appetite suppressor and fat burner leading to dramatic weight loss all while enhancing your energy levels.  Some claim that it also helps control blood pressure and cholesterol. The directions of use recommend taking one 500mg capsule of plants extract standardized to a 10:1 ratio twice a day. That means 10 lbs. of the plant makes 1 lb. of product. Depending on brand the price per month may be between $20 to $40, not bad if it works. If being the keyword.

When you search for C Fimbriata online you will find dozens of website claiming its efficacy and some even have reviews which may or may not be trust worthy. Even on Amazon.com you will find reviews, though most are positive they are still only anecdotal with many saying they think it helps.

The Studies

 In 2007 a human study was conducted at St. John’s National Academy of Health in Bangalore India.  Fifty men and women were broken into two groups, an experimental group and a placebo group.  The experimental group was given 1000mg of Caralluma extract daily. All participants were given standard diet and exercise advice. At the end of a two month period the test subjects were assessed for blood glucose, lipids, appetite, and body measurements. The experimental group exhibited a significant reduction in appetite as well as in waist circumference over the placebo group. However, body weight, body fat and overall body mass were not significantly different between the groups.

A second study was conducted at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia in Jun 2013. This was a double blind study with a placebo control group and a group receiving the Caralluma extract.  The dose was 500mg twice a day for 12 weeks. As before the participants were given basic diet and exercise advice.  Again as in the previous study there was a significant reduction in waist circumference in the experimental group 2.55 inches lost versus the control group 1 inch lost. Both groups, however, exhibited statistically similar total weight and fat loss.

Safety

C Fimbriata is characterized by the FDA as generally known as safe. Known side-effects are gas, intestinal discomfort and constipation though usually clearing up after a week of use or so. Though C Fimbriata has been consumed for centuries, extracts are new and have not been use long enough to guarantee safe prolonged use. Its use is not recommended during pregnancy and you should consult with your physician before use especially if you take prescription medication.

Assessment

More studies on the efficacy of Caralluma Fimbriata are warranted. Since diet and exercise were not monitored it is impossible to characterize how much this influenced the results. Still the waist measurement reductions are noteworthy. If abdominal fat is your burden then C Fimbriata might be worth a try as an adjunct to diet and exercise and it might very well help you stay the course, just don’t expect a miracle cure. Are you game? 

 

References:

PubMed.gov: The Effect of Caralluma Fimbriata Extract on Appetite

PubMed.gov: Investigating The Effects of Caralluma Fimbriata extract on the risks of Metabolic Syndrome

Studies In Natural Products Chemistry, Volume 40

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