12 July, 2014



Everybody is talking about weight loss. Doctor’s advice weight loss to their patients whether it is Diabetes, Hypertension, Arthritis, Thyroid, Polycystic ovarian syndrome and the list is endless.....

Media on its part keeps playing ads for weight loss. Nowadays every third ad in TV is some or the other weight loss products. Some Say use XYZ equipment, some say wear ZYX to hide your tummy, some say Apply ABC oil and what not....

One group has started promoting food products as dietary supplements. If you read the food label it is mostly our everyday products with fibre put in an attractive packing with a hefty price tag along with a discount offer! (THIS OLD TRICK NEVER DIES)

The recent one to hit the market is something called GARCINIA CAMBOGIA.

Being a Diabetologist I started to develop some interest in this product to know what exactly it is.

So First We will start with the source and about the plant....

It grows in Southeast Asia, West and Central Africa.

In India it grows in Coastal Karnataka and Kerala. (Basically needs a moist climate)

It looks like a small pumpkin which can be Green,Yellow or reddish in colour.

These turn brown to black on drying.

It is also called Malabar Tamarind / Goraka/ Kattcha puli.

The other names for this GARCINIA CAMBOGIA are

Acid Hydroxycitrique,
Brindal Berry,
Brindle Berry,
Cambogia gummi-guta,
Garcinia Cambogi,
Garcinia cambogia,
Garcinia gummi-guta,
Garcinia quaesita,
Hydroxycitric Acid,
Mangostana cambogia,

Known uses of this product till 2012 are

Cooking – condiment

Ayurveda – Sour flavour is supposed to activate digestion

Found a beautiful description of processing of GARCINIA CAMBOGIA (KUDAMPULI) click here!


What happened in 2012?

United States television personality, Dr. Oz, promoted garcinia cambogia extract as "an exciting breakthrough in natural weight loss" Dr. Oz's previous endorsements have often led to a substantial increase in consumer interest in the promoted products.

There is a lack of scientific evidence and clinical trials do not support claims that Garcinia cambogia is an effective weight loss aid.  A meta-analysis of several clinical trials found no compelling evidence for short-term weight loss. Further, side- effects  namely hepatotoxicity (chemical-driven liver damage) — led to one preparation being withdrawn from the market.

A 1998 randomized controlled trial looked at the effects of hydroxycitric acid, the purported active component in Garcinia gummi-gutta, as a potential antiobesity agent in 135 people. The conclusion from this trial was that "Garcinia cambogia failed to produce significant weight loss and fat mass loss beyond that observed with placebo".

 Having read this i turned to see if any reliable sites had any literature on the subject. 

First and foremost was WebMD. This website just mentions possible for weight loss, side effects unknown, interactions unknown.

Next best option was to search for some scholarly articles on the subject. Many articles were discussing the subject based on experiments done in rats.

These two articles caught my eye.

High dose of Garcinia cambogia is effective in suppressing fat accumulation in developing male Zucker obese rats, but highly toxic to the testis

Lipid-lowering and antiobesity effect of (−)hydroxycitric acid

Albino rats of Wistar strain were fed lipogenic diet with and without the addition of (−)hydroxycitrate for a period of 15 days. It was observed that inclusion of (−)hydroxycitrate in the diet resulted in significant reduction in food intake, body weight, epididymal fat and serum triglyceride in the animals and also decrease in the feed efficiency ratio. The decrease in food intake, body weight gain and feed efficiency ratio brought about by (−)hydroxycitrate was dependent on the content of this compound in the diet.

The search for more human studies lead me to an article titled "  Garcinia cambogia (Hydroxycitric Acid) as a Potential Antiobesity Agent - ARandomized Controlled Trial"  published in the prestigious  JAMA

As per this article 135 overweight individuals were divided into two groups and one group was given GARCINIA CAMBOGIA and the other group was given placebo pills.

Both groups were on high fiber , low calorie diet

Final results Suggested that weight loss was better in the placebo group. 

There were some more studies showing no effect to minimal weight losing effects.


We will have to wait for more concrete large population studies. But for those who are interested YES you can go ahead because its a natural food. Has had a place in our kitchens as well as Ayurveda. So GARCINIA CAMBOGIA might not harm. Only thing I can tell you is to set a target for yourselves. The ideal weight loss target would be losing 5-10% of current body weight in first six months. Start exercising, Concentrate on potion sizes. Read food labels to find out the number of calories and fat content. 

Do not take it for granted that every product advertised on T.V is good!

Dr.Riyaz Sheriff.


07 July, 2014


I am extremely happy to share with you the opening of our clinic (R.S CLINIC) at Vettuvankeni, ECR, Chennai.

Me and my wife , Dr.Sheena M.B.B.S., M.D will be working together in this clinic.

Hopefully with God's grace our tiny effort succeeds.

Dr.Riyaz Sheriff M.B.B.S., M.D., PGDHS (Diabetes).,

General Physician & Diabetologist
Consulting hours – 7 P.M to 9 P.M

Dr.A.Sheena. M.B.B.S., M.D.

General Physician

Consulting hours – 9 A.M to 12 Noon