Physico-chemical properties of a novel (-)-hydroxycitric acid extract and its effect on body weight, selected organ weights, hepatic lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation, hematology and clinical chemistry, and histopathological changes over a period of 90 days

Mol Cell Biochem. 2004 May;260(1-2):171-86. doi: 10.1023/b:mcbi.0000026069.53960.75.


Garcinia cambogia-derived (-)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is a popular and natural supplement for weight management. HCA is a competitive inhibitor of the enzyme ATP citrate lyase, which catalyzes the conversion of citrate and coenzyme A to oxaloacetate and acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl CoA) in the cytosol. Acetyl CoA is used in the synthesis of fatty acids, cholesterol and triglycerides, and in the synthesis of acetylcholine in the central nervous system. Studies have demonstrated the efficacy of a novel 60% calcium-potassium salt of HCA derived from Garcinia cambogia (HCA-SX, Super CitriMax) in weight management. Results have shown that HCA-SX promotes fat oxidation, enhances serotonin release and availability in the brain cortex, normalizes lipid profiles, and lowers serum leptin levels in obese subjects. Acute oral, acute dermal, primary dermal irritation and primary eye irritation toxicity, as well as Ames bacterial reverse mutation studies and mouse lymphoma tests have demonstrated the safety of HCA-SX. However, no detailed long-term safety of HCA-SX or any other HCA extract has been previously assessed. We evaluated the dose- and time-dependent effects of HCA-SX in Sprague-Dawley rats on body weight, selected organ weights, hepatic lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation, hematology and clinical chemistry over a period of 90 days. Furthermore, a 90-day histopathological evaluation was conducted. The animals were treated with 0, 0.2, 2.0 and 5.0% HCA-SX of feed intake and were sacrificed on 30, 60 or 90 days of treatment. The body weight and selected organ weights were assessed and correlated as a % of body weight and brain weight at 90 days of treatment. A significant reduction in body weight was observed in treated rats as compared to control animals. An advancing age-induced marginal increase in hepatic lipid peroxidation was observed in both male and female rats, while no such difference in hepatic DNA fragmentation was observed as compared to the control animals. Furthermore, selected organ weights individually and as a % of body weight and brain weight at 90 days of treatment exhibited no significant difference between the groups. No difference was observed in hematology and clinical chemistry or the histopathological evaluation. Taken together, these results show that 90 day treatment of HCA-SX results in a reduction in body weight, and does not cause any changes in major organs or in hematology, clinical chemistry, and histopathology.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Blood Proteins / drug effects
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism
  • Body Weight / drug effects*
  • Brain Diseases / chemically induced
  • Brain Diseases / pathology
  • Citrates / chemistry
  • Citrates / pharmacology*
  • Citrates / toxicity
  • DNA Fragmentation / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Garcinia cambogia / chemistry
  • Heart Diseases / chemically induced
  • Heart Diseases / pathology
  • Hematologic Tests
  • Kidney Diseases / chemically induced
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Lung Diseases / chemically induced
  • Lung Diseases / pathology
  • Male
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Time Factors


  • Blood Proteins
  • Citrates
  • Lipids
  • Plant Extracts
  • hydroxycitric acid