Garcinia cambogia extract is hitting headlines throughout the western world as a natural weight loss supplement. Several studies have shown that it does help people to lose weight and although as always there are other studies that are less conclusive, it can be an effective weight loss supplement for many people. Garcinia cambogia is the name of a small tropical fruit that grows in India and Africa. It is one of the citrus family like oranges and lemons. It is too sour to eat but the rind is used as a spice in Indian cooking. The correct name for the substance that is extracted from the fruit as a weight loss supplement is hydroxycitric acid. Hydroxycitric acid is not a stimulant (like caffeine) or an appetite suppressant, both of which work directly on the nerve centers of the brain and can have undesired side effects, including causing food binges any time you stop taking them. Instead, HCA satisfies the body's need for energy and improves the signaling system that the body uses to tell the brain when it has eaten enough. This response is often delayed in overweight people, causing them to continue to eat more than they need. Garcinia cambogia extract (HCA) seems to work best in combination with chromium, which helps to regulate the body's blood sugar levels. Chromium is a mineral that is often lacking in our diets as we get older and a chromium deficit can contribute to weight gain and possibly diabetes. However if you have diabetes already, you should see your doctor before taking any products containing chromium. As with most supplements, it is best to be cautious and do not take HCA if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Consult a doctor before giving it to children. You may also want to avoid HCA if you suffer from migraine or arthritis which can be worsened by citrus fruits. HCA seems to work best for people who overeat when they are anxious or stressed, as it will give the same calming effect that they get from food. Generally you do not need to eat any special foods when you are taking HCA, and there are no 'forbidden foods'. Choose healthy foods and you should find that you lose weight and fat slowly but steadily without really trying. You can take slightly smaller portions if you wish and choose fruit instead of sugary snacks but you should not need to go hungry. This is a very natural way to lose weight. Unlike many other weight loss products, HCA has been extensively tested in research laboratories on both human and animal subjects and no side effects have been found. This natural weight loss supplement is available from many sources online and may be labeled either hydroxycitric acid or garcinia cambogia extract.