The dietary supplement garcinia cambogia has established a substantial following recently thanks in part to an aggressive advertising campaign pitching it as a basic method to lose weight and burn fat. One issue: There’s little if any evidence it actually has those effects. And now there’s news that present and prospective users might have another reason to prevent the supplement: Garcinia cambogia has been connected to mania, a condition marked by bliss, deceptions, and overexcitement.
The new issue originates from 3 cases detailed in the journal Medical care Buddy for CNS Disorders, which were reported by Brian Hendrickson, M.D., a psychiatrist at New York-Presbyterian Healthcare facility at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, and his coworkers.
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All three of the patients experienced manic episodes after taking unspecified amounts of garcinia cambogia for a month or longer, Hendrickson says. “They all showed timeless symptoms of mania such as pressured, very quickly speech, a reduced need for sleep, and irritation,” he says.
Two of the patients, a 50-year-old male and a 34-year-old female, had actually formerly been identified with bipolar disorder, a condition that causes uncommon shifts in state of mind, though in both cases the condition had actually been under control prior to their newest episodes. The other patient, a 25-year-old male, had no history of psychiatric illness. And in each case, the patients recuperated from their manic episodes when they stopped taking the supplements and were treated with prescription drugs such as lorazepam and olanzapine, which are commonly used to treat mania, Hendrickson states.
While far from conclusively proving that garcinia cambogia causes mania, the cases do raise concerns, Hendrickson says.
He thinks that garcinia cambogia may set off manic episodes in individuals with a history of bipolar illness, and “unmask” the condition in individuals who are at threat for bipolar illness but have never experienced symptoms. For example, the 25-year-old male pointed out in the recent journal short article might have been at an increased danger for developing the disorder and the supplement then may have sparked his preliminary episode.
An earlier study, in the Journal of Medical Toxicology, suggests that garcinia cambogia might have this impact by increasing the quantity of serotonin in the brain, a chemical that helps regulate state of mind. Flooding the brain with excess serotonin could potentially produce “substance caused” manic episodes. Other compounds known to set off mania include antidepressants and anabolic steroids. In those cases, the mania disappears when the offending substance is stopped.
“It’s possible that mania is a really rare but essential adverse effects of garcinia cambogia and we’re simply seeing it in prone individuals now that the supplement is so commonly used,” states Stephen Heymsfield, M.D., a teacher at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Proving ground and a specialist on garcinia cambogia, who was not involved in the current study.
“In this case the authors have gathered together a few cases, however it could just be the pointer of the iceberg and it will take further research study to really examine if, in reality, this is a major adverse occasion,” Heymsfield states.