You may be able to purchase it as a single supplement or it may be included as an ingredient in many slimming pills. Animal studies have shown it can also block the conversion of carbohydrates into fat in the body, turning them into instant energy instead. Human studies using HCA have not had such positive results.Try your local health food shop or sports stores for supplements. HCA stands for hydroxycitric acid which is taken from the rind of the Garcinia cambogia, or tamarind fruit. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association using 135 volunteers showed there was no difference in weight loss between those taking the supplement and those taking a placebo.Lyndel Costain, consultant nutritionist for the Medical Research Council, says, 'The conversion of carbohydrate into fat does not really happen in humans, so taking HCA is not going to help.
HCA is not sold as a separate supplement but is included as an ingredient in other slimming supplements.
Check the ingredients on slimming drinks or toning supplements in your local whole food store.
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Here we continue are look at the new breed of weight loss tablets - slimming supplements - with an investigation into chromium, carnitine and HCA. Chromium is a trace mineral that works with the hormone insulin, helping the body regulate blood-sugar levels. A lack of chromium could cause fluctuating blood-sugar levels triggering sugar cravings. One Austrian study found that a group of moderately overweight volunteers who took chromium in supplement form - chromium picolinate - lost almost twice as much weight as those on a placebo.
Chromium's main function is to help insulin carry sugar into muscle cells where it is stored as energy.
But recent research in the US has found that chromium supplements may have no benefits unless you are deficient in the mineral to begin with.
Brigid Mc Kevith from the British Nutrition Foundation, says, 'Chromium is an important nutrient but the benefits for those trying to lose weight are too inconclusive.'Where can I get it?
Chromium supplements are sold as chromium picolinate because picolinate helps the body to absorb chromium more effectively. Converts claim that the more carnitine you take, the more fat you will break down whilst you are exercising.
The UK Sports Council warns not to take large doses for long periods of time as it can have serious side effects on the body. It helps move fat cells into muscles where they are broken down for energy during exercise. They claim it may also help your endurance levels as you are burning fat more efficiently.
Ask a nutritionist or your doctor for more advice if you want to start taking chromium. This means you can exercise for longer, burning even more fat. A large number of studies show that carnitine has no benefit in improving fat oxidation or increasing weight loss.