Is Simply Garcinia A Scam?

Last updated December 1st 2014

At first sight, Simply Garcinia appears to be a safe, possibly effective product, however claims made on the website are misleading and the product is sold using a ‘free trial scam’.

Simply Garcinia contains just a few ingredients, the main one of which is Garcinia cambogia. Whilst the ingredients and aims of the product are made clear on the website, a number of misleading claims are made. It is stated for example, that the product will help you to lose weight without you making any changes to your diet or lifestyle; in fact, it even states that you can stop spending so much time in the gym and save money by not purchasing healthy food and diet products! Moreover, this product is sold using a ‘free trial scam’, meaning that the bottle is only free if you cancel within 14 days.

What is Simply Garcinia?

Simply Garcinia is advertised as a weight loss supplement that contains only a few natural ingredients. It is claimed that the product prevents the formation of fats, suppresses the appetite, and even ‘makes you feel happier’ and improves mood. A number of exaggerated and misleading claims are found on the official product website, for example, it is hinted that the product will work to help you to lose weight even if you exercise less and stop eating healthily. A number of ‘clinical studies’ are also mentioned on the website, but links to these studies are not provided; it seems likely that the trial results have been made up by the company.

On the positive side, Simply Garcinia purportedly only contains a few, straightforward ingredients; these include Garcinia cambogia extract, calcium, and potassium. Although dose dependent, none of these ingredients are renowned for being dangerous for consumption in small quantities. Whilst it seems unlikely that these ingredients will cause any dangerous side effects (but do be sure to read the section on side effects below), the evidence that these ingredients will result in any significant changes to weight in humans is lacking. For more information on the product, see our Simply Garcinia review article.

Is Simply Garcinia Likely to Work?

It is claimed on the official product website that Simply Garcinia targets three of the five key areas of weight loss; these are fat burning/ binding, metabolism boosting, and appetite suppression. These claims are bold when you consider that the product contains just three ingredients, and only one of these is believed to have any effect on weight loss in humans. Of these ingredients, Garcinia cambogia and its component hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is the only substance that holds any claim to weight loss. The other ingredients are potassium and calcium, both of which naturally occur in the body and although they are important for bodily functions, an increased consumption of the minerals is unlikely to have any effect on weight loss.

Garcinia cambogia extract is obtained from the fruit of a plant called Garcinia cambogia that resembles a small, green pumpkin, and is native to Indonesia. Garcinia cambogia has been used for cooking in the past, and is often found in Indian curry recipes. In recent years the substance has gained a lot of attention as a weight loss supplement; it also featured on the US health show ‘Dr Oz Show’, where the host described the substance as ‘the most exciting breakthrough in natural weight loss to date’ which unsurprisingly boosted its popularity substantially. Interestingly, most websites selling the supplement claim that it works as a fat binder, but the Simply Garcinia website does not mention fat binding, focussing instead on fat burning.

Fat binding ingredients usually purport to work by attaching to the fat molecules ingested in the diet in the gastro-intestinal tract, forming a complex that is too large to pass through the lining of the small intestine in to the body. Fat burning ingredients on the other hand, tend to work once the fat molecules have been absorbed by the body. These substances purport to increase the speed at which fat molecules are broken down by increasing the activity of enzymes involved in the process. This is supposedly achieved through the process of thermogenesis, which involves increasing the internal body temperature. For more information on the different methods of weight loss targeted by diet pills, see our article here.

Clinical Studies on Simply Garcinia

No clinical studies have been performed on Simply Garcinia as a whole product, however a few studies can be found on its main ingredient, Garcinia cambogia. Despite its common occurrence in weight loss supplements, and the vast claims made on the websites selling these products, Garcinia cambogia has not been the subject of many scientific studies and cannot be said to have been ‘proven’ to aid weight loss in humans.

A literature review reveals very few scientific studies performed on human subjects. One of these studies was published in 1998 and attempted to determine the effectiveness of Garcinia cambogia for weight loss. This study involved 135 overweight male and female subjects who were randomly assigned to either a group that received an herbal compound containing 1500mg HCA, or a placebo per day. All subjects were allocated a high fibre, low energy diet to follow for the 12 weeks that the trial continued for. The results of this study suggested that the consumption of Garcinia cambogia had no significant impact on weight loss or fat loss.

A second study on humans can be found here. This study considered the impact of Garcinia cambogia extract and Glycine max leaves extract on weight loss in overweight subjects. 86 male and female subjects were randomly divided in to three groups. Individuals in the first group consumed Glycine max leaves extract (2g) per day, the second received Garcinia cambogia extract (2g) and the third received a placebo for a period of 10 weeks. The results of this trial indicated that neither the supplementation of Glycine max leaves extract nor Garcinia cambogia had any impact on weight or fat loss when compared to placebo.

Other studies on the ingredient have been performed on small mammals. One such study investigated the effectiveness and safety of HCA consumption for weight loss in rats. Here a 90 day trial was performed on Sprague-Dawley rats. The results implied that the substance was safe for consumption by rats, and did not incur any adverse side effects. It also appeared to aid a reduction in body weight. A second study on rats considered the impact of Garcinia cambogia extract with HCA on body fat accumulation and its safety in high doses. Here the rats were divided in to groups that consumed differing amount of HCA (0, 10, 51, 102, and 153 mmol/kg diet). The results suggested that the highest dose (154 mmol HCA/kg diet) did appear to suppress epididymal fat accumulation, but these rats also suffered from testicular atrophy and toxicity.

Overall, results of the scientific studies performed on Garcinia cambogia are varied. Some indicate that the substance may have some potential as a weight loss agent, whilst others saw no difference in weight loss between those consuming the substance and those consuming a placebo. It appears therefore that whilst the ingredient may aid the weight loss regimes of some people, it may have no noticeable effect for others.

Are there are Side Effects Associated with Simply Garcinia?

No side effects are mentioned on the official Simply Garcinia website, and it is claimed that the product contains ‘no additives or substitutes that can damage your health’. As with all weight loss supplements, there are some potential side effects associated with Simply Garcinia, most of which are related to the Garcinia cambogia content. The minor side effects that have been recorded for Garcinia cambogia include gastro-intestinal discomfort, stomach cramps, nausea, and headaches. The long term side effects of the ingredient are not yet known due to a lack of long term scientific studies on the ingredient. More seriously, there have been claims that the substance can cause liver toxicity, kidney damage, and rhadomyolysis (the breakdown of muscular tissue).

Due to the lack of studies, it is recommended that you avoid the product if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or under the age of 18. It is also best to consult a doctor before consuming the product if you suffer from any pre-existing medical condition or are consuming any medications. Take particular care if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, dementia, or high blood pressure. Whilst consuming the ingredient, you should take particular note of any changes to your health and report them to a doctor. It is possible that not all of the side effects associated with the ingredient have been identified.

It is also possible to consume too much calcium and potassium, and incur side effects as a consequence. Too much calcium can cause, for example, constipation, stomach pain, nausea, flatulence, bloating, diarrhoea, and loose stools. Too much potassium on the other hand can result in an overdose. Symptoms of a potassium overdose include an irregular heartbeat, reduced blood pressure, muscle weakness, tingling in the limbs, confusion, and even coma. If you experience any of these side effects then the product should be stopped immediately and you should consult a doctor. Too much potassium should be avoided if you are taking medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease.

Sources: Web MD, Healthline, Drugs.com, Medicine Net, NHS

Who Makes Simply Garcinia?

Simply Garcinia appears to be made by an independent company, although they do appear to make one other product called ‘Simply Green Coffee Bean’. The company is based in Vancouver, Canada, and full contact details are provided (including a telephone number, email address, and postal address). The presence of these details implies that the company is reliable, however, customer reviews of the company are largely negative, and revolve around the ‘free trial scam’ on the products that are offered by the company.

Is Simply Garcinia a Scam?

Simply Garcinia is only available to buy through the official website itself, and will not be found on the shelves of any high street stores in the United Kingdom, or on any other reliable supplement retailers. On the official website, it is not possible to purchase the product in any way other than by signing up for a ‘free trial’. In order to do this, the customer must enter their contact and payment details, and will be sent a bottle of Simply Garcinia in the post. For more information, read our article on the Simply Garcinia free trial.

Although not made clear on the main websites, it is described in the terms and conditions that this trial is in fact only free if the customer cancels their subscription within 14 days of purchase and returns the bottle to the company (no matter how many tablets are left in the bottle). In this case, the customer will have paid for the product to be shipped to them in the first place, and will also be liable to pay for the return shipment.

If the subscription is not cancelled within 14 days of purchase, then a further £84.74 will be automatically taken from your bank account to pay for the ‘free trial’ product. 45 days after the original purchase of the ‘free trial’, another bottle of the product will be sent to the customer, and the payment will automatically be taken from their account. This will be repeated every 30 days thereafter without any further notification until the customer contacts the company to cancel their subscription.

This method of sale is known as a ‘free trial scam’, and these are relatively common to products in the online weight loss supplement market. In order to avoid getting caught in diet pill scams, and understand more about the different forms of scam that are run by diet pill companies, read our article on how to avoid diet pill scams.

Conclusion

Simply Garcinia is a product that claims to target several areas of weight loss, despite it only containing one ingredient that may have the potential to aid weight loss in humans. Unfortunately clinical studies on the product are non-existent, and those on the main ingredient in the product are inconclusive. Contact details are provided for the company, but Simply Garcinia is only sold through the website on a ‘free trial’ basis. This ‘free trial’ is only free if cancelled within 14 days; if not then the customer will be liable to pay for the product and another bottle every month thereafter. Payments will be taken from the customers account without further notice.

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