Garcinia Cambogia During Breastfeeding: Is it Safe?


Garcinia cambogia is a plant species cultivated in Southeast Asia, India, west and central Africa. It is small, yellowish or green in colour and resembles a cross between a pumpkin and a tomato. Also known as Malabar tamarind, it is significantly popular for effective weight loss in humans. The fruit contains an ingredient called hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which aids weight loss, reduces appetite, prevents diabetes and fights cancers. The extract is available in powdered or pill form and is available in most health stores. However, there are certain side effects that you should be aware of while taking Garcinia cambogia.

Garcinia Cambogia During Breastfeeding: Things You Should Know

garcinia cambogia during breastfeeding


What are the side effects of Garcinia cambogia?

Though the fruit has a history as a digestive and a traditional remedy to treat a range of complaints, there are concerns about both the safety and efficacy of HCA. At least 10 cases of liver failure associated with garcinia cambogia supplements, resulting in one death, have been reported. The suggested dosage for Garcinia cambogia is generally 800-1000 mg twice daily when taken orally. The common possible side effects of Garcinia cambogia include nausea, diarrhoea, headache and dizziness, or even euphoria, delusion, overexcitement and reduced sleep.

Garcinia can cause damage to the liver as studies have observed. If you take 240 to 500 mg of hydroxycitric acid daily, you are likely to suffer from liver disease. A certain case study showed a 48 year old woman suffering from irregular heart beat, inflammation of heart muscles and heart failure after intake of Garcinia cambogia. This proves that the fruit may cause heart problems. It has also been observed that Garcinia cambogia may cause pancreas inflammation and serious muscle damage. It has also been associated with influencing the level of sex hormones in the body and also with the degeneration of mental health.

Is Garcinia cambogia safe during breastfeeding?

Though there is no reliable information to suggest any adverse effects of Garcinia cambogia in lactating mothers, it is better to be on the safe side and prevent its intake during breastfeeding. Garcinia and hydroxycitric acid present in it are generally well tolerated in adults. But because there is no published experience with the fruit during breastfeeding, it is generally advised that you should avoid the product.  It has been observed in certain cases that Garcinia reacts negatively with certain medications. If you are taking the extract while lactating, make sure you consult a paediatrician regularly.

Medical studies conducted so far suggest that hydroxycitric acid present in the fruit interferes with the metabolic function of the body and may affect the nutrient supply of the body. This affects the quality of your milk. A good quality of milk is essential for the healthy development of your baby. Also, Garcinia cambodia suppresses your appetite. But eating less is not suggested while you are breastfeeding. You need to eat adequately to produce high quality milk for the suckling baby. You need to produce sufficient quantities of folic acid, calcium, vitamin D and iron to suffice the nutritional needs of your body.


Garcinia’s appetite suppressing properties combined with complications such as postpartum depression may cause you to eat less and this would definitely have an impact on the functioning of your body. In case of effects on the suckling baby, HCA present in Garcinia may pass on to the infant while breastfeeding. It may cause loss of appetite, high metabolic rate, and even affect the blood sugar level of the baby. While there are specific lactation-related issues till date regarding Garcinia cambogia or on the safety of it intake in lactating mothers, for safety reasons, it is advised that you should not take Garcinia cambogia during breastfeeding, or any other weight loss supplement as a matter of fact. If you do wan to take the drug, take it for short periods only and that too, only after consulting a pharmacist or a physician.


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