We see hydroxycitric acid as an ingredient in may products sold over the counter. Here is a recent study regarding it:
Herbal preparations are unregulated and widely used because of public
perception of being “harmless” and “natural.” Hydroxycitric acid, an
extract from the herb garcinia cambogia, is a popular weight-loss
supplement used for centuries in Asia. Its effect on weight loss,
although being demonstrated in animal studies, may be effective on
humans, but with harmful consequences. This is the first report of acute
kidney injury caused by an herbal product containing hydroxycitric
A 38-year-old obese woman presented to the emergency department for
treatment of abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting of 3 days duration.
Her medical history was significant for gastroesophageal reflux. The
patient said she generally took no medication, but she had begun taking
ranitidine 150 mg/d a few days previously and used an “occasional”
hydrocodone/acetaminophen 5/500 tablet to ameliorate her abdominal pain.
She denied use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and did not
initially disclose her hydroxycitric acid herbal supplement use (500
mg/d 5 days per week for 1 year) until directly questioned by the
The patient's positive findings were a hypertensive state of 145/76 mm
Hg, an elevated creatinine level of 5.8 mg/dL (compared with a baseline
of 0.79 mg/dL), and a fractional excretion of sodium greater than 4.
Negative laboratory results were anti-nuclear and anti-neutrophil cell
antibodies, C3, C4, and serum protein electrophoresis. Renal artery
ultrasound was normal.
After the supplement was discontinued, her creatinine increased to 6.2
mg/dL (glomerular filtration rate of 8 mL/min) over the next day,
necessitating nephrology to institute hemodialysis. Consequently, her
renal function sufficiently improved, so no renal biopsy was performed.
She was discharged on day 7 with a creatinine level of 1.6 mg/dL and
glomerular filtration rate of 38 mL/min.
The temporal relationship of her symptoms, the prolonged use of
hydroxycitric acid, the absence of other nephrotoxic agents except
ranitidine, and the improvement of renal function after cessation of
hydroxycitric acid support the impression of acute renal failure
secondary to herbal nephropathy.