Short-term (-)-hydroxycitrate ingestion increases fat oxidation during exercise in athletes

J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2002 Apr;48(2):128-33. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.48.128.


(-)-Hydroxycitrate (HCA) is known to inhibit increasing malonyl CoA concentration during endurance exercise. Furthermore, a short-term administration of HCA enhances endurance exercise performance in mice. Therefore we investigated the short-term administration of HCA on the exercise performance of athletes. Subjects were administered 250 mg of HCA or placebo as a control (CON) for 5 d, after each time performing cycle ergometer exercise at 60% VO2max for 60 min followed by 80% VO2max until exhaustion. Blood was collected and expired gas samples analyzed at rest and every 15 min. The respiratory exchange ratio was significantly lower in the HCA trial than in the CON trial (p < 0.05). Fat oxidation was significantly increased by short-term administration of HCA, and carbohydrate oxidation was significantly decreased (p < 0.05) during exercise, presumably resulting in increasing the cycle ergometer exercise time to exhaustion after 1 h of 60% VO2max exercise (p < 0.05). These results suggest that a short-term administration of HCA enhances endurance performance with increasing fat oxidation, which spares glycogen utilization during moderate intensity exercise in athletes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Adult
  • Bicycling
  • Blood Gas Analysis
  • Citrates / administration & dosage
  • Citrates / pharmacology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Humans
  • Lipolysis / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxygen Consumption / drug effects
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects*
  • Respiration / drug effects


  • Citrates
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • hydroxycitric acid