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Hoodia Gordonii - a succulent for appetite suppression
For thousands of years the Bushmen of Southern Africa (also called "the San") have hunted, lived off the land and traveled across the Kalahari Desert. The Bushmen frequently go out on long hunting trips and chew on a local plant to reduce hunger and increase energy. The plant is Hoodia Gordonii - a succulent from South Africa. Incredibly, by chewing on Hoodia Gordonii, the San have been able to go days without eating and still remain strong and energetic.
While the Bushmen knew all about the powers of Hoodia, it was not until the mid 60's that the first research was done on Hoodia as an appetite suppressant. Even then, it took another 30 years for South African laboratories to isolate the specific appetite suppressing ingredient in Hoodia. This ingredient was called P57 and licensed to the British pharmaceutical company - Phytopharm.
In 2001 Phytopharm completed a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study in overweight, but otherwise healthy volunteers using the P57 extract from Hoodia gordonii. The participants were split into two groups, one group received the P57 and the other received a placebo. Both groups were told to continue their normal diet and exercise. On average the P57 group (hoodia) ate about 1,000 calories a day less than those in the control group. To put that in perspective, the average American man consumes about 2,600 calories a day; a woman about 1,900.
While Phytopharm is currently working with Unilever to deliver weight loss products with Hoodia in 2008, journalist have already started to visit South Africa to learn more about Hoodia directly from the Bushmen.
"Now along comes hoodia. Never heard of it? Soon it'll be tripping off your tongue, because hoodia is a natural substance that literally takes your appetite away.
It's very different from diet stimulants like Ephedra and Phenfen that are now banned because of dangerous side effects. Hoodia doesn't stimulate at all. Scientists say it fools the brain by making you think you're full, even if you've eaten just a morsel. Correspondent Lesley Stahl reports.
So how did it work? Stahl says she had no after effects - no funny taste in her mouth, no queasy stomach, and no racing heart. She also wasn't hungry all day, even when she would normally have a pang around mealtime. And, she also had no desire to eat or drink the entire day. "I'd have to say it did work," says Stahl. "
-As reported by Leslie Stahl on CBS News 60 Minutes - 11/21/2004
While Phytopharm has a patent on the P57 extract from Hoodia, other companies can sell Hoodia as a dietary supplement. Today there are hundreds of companies claiming to have pure Hoodia supplements that will suppress appetite. Research done by Hoodia Advice, LLC suggests that most companies are overstating their claims.
"After the 60 Minutes piece, it seemed like companies were coming out of the woodwork claiming to have authentic hoodia supplements. Our research found that 85% of the companies selling hoodia supplements are not being completely honest with their labels," says Dan Nessel, head researcher at Hoodia-Advice.Org. "The majority of companies overstate the hoodia content in their capsules or do not use hoodia gordonii from South Africa. Numerous studies have shown that only hoodia gordonii grown on the Kalahari desert has the appetite suppressant properties."
In order to help consumers find a high quality Hoodia Supplement that will work as an appetite suppressant, Hoodia-Advice.Org has developed a checklist of features to look for in any Hoodia Supplement:
- Only purchase Pure Hoodia Gordonii from government run farms in the Kalahari Desert
Numerous studies have shown that only Hoodia Gordonii that is grown in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa has an appetite suppressant effect.
- Buy a supplement that only uses the heart of the Hoodia Gordonii plant
Cheaper hoodia supplements will grind up the skin and spines of the hoodia plant, but these has no appetite suppressant effect. It is more expensive, but you want to make sure the Hoodia you are buying is made from the heart of the hoodia plant.
- Make sure the supplement company pays a royalty to the San Bushmen
The only legal way to harvest Hoodia Gordonii from the Kalahari Desert is to use government run farms. A deal is in place to pay the San Bushmen a royalty for any Hoodia sold. If your supplement company is not paying the San Bushmen a royalty, they are not getting their Hoodia from the Kalahari desert.
- Make sure you get Hoodia Gordonii
There are 20 species of the Hoodia plant. Only the Hoodia Gordonii species has been shown to decrease appetite.
- Demand a lab assay
Any company selling Hoodia Gordonii should be willing to provide a lab assay with each order.
- Look for Hoodia produced in a FDA registered facility
Quality control is very important when making a Hoodia supplement. Look for a supplement company that uses an FDA approved lab and meets or exceeds GMP guidelines.
- Demand a 100% Money Back Guarantee
Any legitimate hoodia supplement should come with a no questions asked money back guarantee.
In the end, Hoodia Gordonii has amazing potential as an all natural appetite suppressant that works without side effects. Hoodia-Advice.Org has been working to document the science and applications of hoodia gordonii. With obesity reaching worldwide epidemic levels, we all could use a little help in controlling our appetite. It may be that part of the solution to our weight problems lies in a funny cactus like plant that has been growing in the desert of South Africa for over 100,000 years.
To learn more please visit Hoodia Advice, LLC.
Hoodia-Advice.Org provides clinical studies, information and recommendations on using hoodia gordonii as an appetite suppressant.