I thought that everyone knew by now that if something is a supplement that is supposed to help you lose weight by gulping down a pill, it is going to turn out to be a lie. One of the first things they teach you in debating is that your weakest argument is an appeal to authority. Everyone who follows Dr. Oz has noticed that his recommendations seem to “flip-flop.” Perhaps individual supplements come to him with some inducement to publicize them? Whatever. This stuff does not work terribly well. Garcinia cambogia is also tamarind, often used in different cultures to aid with weight loss. It is a wildly fibrous fruit, so it fills people up. This seems to be responsible for at least some of the alleged weight loss properties. It may be one reason that despite the use of this fruit in Mexico, it does not seem to have ever really caught on with American tastes. The other principle here that may be related to weight loss is hydroxycitric acid. I first started checking this out when a patient told me about Xango, which was supposed to be made from the juice of the “mangosteen,” which I originally thought was a Jewish mango being cited by someone who could not spell Jewish names. Garcinia mangostana does have hydroxycitric acid. The article cited by Dr. Oz is concerned with the bioavailability of the compound than the efficacy. With diet, exercise, and this supplement as described, it is estimated (by Dr. Oz from this unavailable article) that an average person can lose 4 pounds per month. Nauseatingly painful mainstream websites for weight loss through diet and exercise suggest a loss of one to two pounds a week is what can usually be expected. This can be as much as twice as much as the projected amounts described with hydroxycitric acid. There is now a rash of supplements from green (unroasted) coffee beans that are supposed to be weight loss aids. They do not “boost metabolism;” they do have some hydroxycitric acid which seems to block citrate lyase, which is important in fat synthesis. It helps carbohydrates to get stored as fat. Remember “fat blockers?” The rage for a while, they suddenly disappeared. That seems to be the general idea here. I think it must have been very long ago indeed, for I think in high school or something I briefly took one—I cannot even remember what it was, chemically, and surprise, surprise, absolutely nothing happened. It is really hard for me to get data on this. The FDA does not evaluate nutraceuticals. Safety and efficacy studies seem to have been done by Iovate, a company that makes several supplements with hydroxycitric acid. They are thus “proprietary,” which means private and not published in medical journals, which means I am even less likely to believe them than I am anything that is published in a medical journal. According to these folks, in 2009, Iovate voluntarily pulled these products from the shelves because of liver problems, seizures, and rhabdomyolysis. Here is a more complete report of the recall. It does not seem to work, at least not very much, and it might be harmful, and Dr. Oz recommends it. I say, save your money. Avoid the processed foods that are keeping you overweight, and food manufacturers wealthy. The answer is simple; simple foods,with little or no processing, that are consistent with your ethnicity. Of course, you can read more about my personal journey from illness and obesity to naturally healthy in my book, This Is NOT A Diet Book. Or just keep reading this blog – I have lots of good advice for those who are serious about making positive changes in their lives and health.

Author's Bio: 

Estelle Toby Goldstein, MD is a board-certified psychiatrist in private practice in San Diego, CA.

Practicing Medicine Since 1981

In her medical career, she has studied in Europe and Canada as well as the USA. She has attended specialty training beyond medical school in the fields of general surgery, neurology and neurosurgery and psychiatry (specializing in psychopharmacology).

Experienced In Many Situations

She has worked in a variety of positions, including:

Medical school professor
General and Orthopedic surgeon
Brain surgeon
Army Medical Corps psychiatrist
Prison psychiatrist
Community Mental Health Center staff
Consultant to a major transplant hospital
Drug researcher
“Whatever It Takes!”

She currently has her own indepenent clinic in San Diego where she is concentrating on what she calls Mind/Body medicine — or Integrative Medicine. Her practice is cash-only, doesn’t accept insurance or government payments, and she operates on the concierge, or “private doctor” practice model to give her patients the absolute best quality of care and the highest level of confidentiality.

Dr. Goldstein’s philosophy is “Whatever It Takes!” Her goal is to do everything possible to solve whatever problem she is presented. This includes seeing patients as quickly as possible — not making them wait weeks for an appointment. This includes making appointments days, nights, weekends or holidays. This includes making house-calls. And it includes using the best, most innovative treatments available — most of which are unknown to standard, mainstream doctors.

Her focus is on transitioning patients away from prescription drugs and onto natural substances. She is also a master practitioner of Emotional Freedom Technique, a powerful and dynamic form of energy psychology that usually brings quicker results than traditional psychotherapy.