Here at Full Circle, the new weight-loss flavour of the month (last month actually) is clearly Garcinia Cambogia; a tropical fruit heralded as the new weight loss marvel by none other than our favourite television doctor. If our experience as a small independent natural health business is indicative of larger trends, over the last two weeks, not a day has gone by without the words “garcinia cambogia” being uttered in a health food store somewhere in North America.

Today’s blog is going to be short and sweet and I’m hoping to let history speak for itself. When Shelly and I first started in the natural health industry in the late 90’s garcinia cambogia was among perhaps a dozen or so common “weight-loss ingredients” that shared a modest amount of retail space alongside green tea extracts, chitosan, ephedra (and ephedra combos), chromium, and guarana among others. Garcinia cambogia was often found in its trademarked format called “Citrimax” which was often standardized to ~50% hydroxycitric acid, the active ingredient said to contribute to weight-loss effects.

By my observations, the vast majority of Canadian manufacturers had stopped manufacturing garcinia cambogia products due to lackluster sales about 6 years ago. It wasn’t until the recent internet and media explosion here in the year 2013 that a significant number of brands sourcing garcinia cambogia have come out of the woodwork, with virtually all of them ignoring Health Canada’s regulatory framework hoping to make their lofty and quick fortunes among a fury of advertising hype before the storm subsides, reality sets in, and business goes sour.  

My question to you is this. If garcinia cambogia really was a miracle weight-loss product (or even a competent one) would product sales have been so underwhelming that the majority of manufacturers would have voluntarily stopped making it years ago? As is quite clear, my inner-scientist clearly trumps my inner-salesman much to the dismay of our business bank account and even some of our business partners (sorry folks). While we could just get in line and capitalize on the hype Dr.Oz has created, our scientific integrity and the well-being of our customers (including financially) is more valuable to us.  Garcinia Cambogia isn't an utterly complete flop, but there are better avenues to spend your hard earned dollars on weight loss.

In our thirst as consumers for something new, something exciting, something innovative and something groundbreaking we have to keep in mind that those cravings are the catalysts for marketers. Dr. Oz needs to keep his show fresh and exciting, and sadly when there truly is nothing earth-shattering to report, his viewers demand that there should be.