Hoodia: does it really completely curb your appetite?

There are all these claims out there about diet pills with Hoodia that stop your appetite and make you never feel hungry in a natural healthy way, so you lose weight.  A couple of things are wrong with this claim: A) Not eating is the WORST way to lose weight B) There is nothing healthy about diet pills!  But, I did want to explain further about hoodia gordonii because it has been used by the San Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert for years to prevent hunger and thirst during long hunting journeys, so that they could travel and hunt for food, water, etc without the physical/emotional pains of hunger and thirst to weaken them. And, people seem to be taking this supplement like crazy to try and lose weight. But, is that the same stuff that is in the diet pills?

What is Hoodia gordonii?
It is called a cactiform plant (i.e. a cactus like plant) that is technically a succulent plant that has large purple flowers that grows in desert like areas in Angola and South Africa.  It is also a plant that is on the list of plants at risk for endangerment/extinction if they are over farmed, and are being watched by international conservation groups.  Hoodia gordonii is the only plant in its group to contain the glycoside p57 which is thought to prevent the hunger/thirst drive.


What forms is it sold in?
Hoodia is sold in liquid, pills, and powder forms by numerous diet pill companies.

Is it worth the hype?
Well, here’s the deal, when eaten in nature, it does stave off hunger and thirst, it has been shown time and time again, even on 60 Minutes Leslie Stahl tried it when in Africa, and she said that she didn’t feel hungry or thirsty the rest of the day, but it has also been studied since the 1930’s by various scientists worldwide.  And Phytofarm, a pharmaceutical company, did a clinical trial involving 18 people showing that they eat took in over 1000 less calories a day when using their product BUT it was never published so there is no way to look at any side effects or why the study was limited to so few people before being stopped…but it isn’t a good sign, if it was all positive that study would be published everywhere.  Also, there have been plenty of reviews from consumers of various hoodia products saying that they have had none of those effects.

Side Effects:
It truly has not been studied enough, but there are preliminary reports that the p57 has some harsh effects on the liver, that were not a problem for the San Bushmen but it won’t be approved by the FDA for that reason!!

Buyer beware:
It has been estimated by News Target that around 80% of hoodia products on the market are either fake or contaminated!  They are not FDA regulated, and seeing as the actualy plant is a scarce resource currently, and heavily regulated, the chances of all these hundred of companies selling “100% Pure Hoodia” is highly unlikely.  I guess the old adage holds true that if it seems to good to be true, it is.

My best advice is to save your money, and do it the old fashioned way….watch what you eat, and if you want an appetite suppressant, eat and apple with a glass of water- the pectin will fill you up and stave off hunger pains!!

Yours in Good Health

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