Hoodia Gordonii remains one of the most popular weight-loss supplements used to help a person lose weight by reducing their appetite. The hoodia plant is a succulent originally found in Africa’s the Kalahari Desert. It grows in clumps of stems with tan flowers and an unpleasant odor that smells like rotting flesh.
Overharvesting and the plant’s naturally slow growth have caused the hoodia Gordonii plant to become an endangered species. The plant is also cultivated for use as a dietary supplement. Both wild and cultivated hoodia have similar supplementary benefits.
Extracts of this useful plant are available as:
- Hoodia tea
- And other types of diet supplements
Hoodia and Appetite Suppression
Hoodia contains pseudo-glucose and behaves like glucose in the system. Consuming hoodia sends the brain signals that the stomach is full. Therefore the body no longer craves food after consuming hoodia.
Taking hoodia allows a person to eat less without feeling hungry, which allows a person to lose weight. The excess fat in a person’s body is used for fuel, and weight comes off. The patent for hoodia also suggests that it changes gastric secretions as well as works as a treatment for diabetes.
Taking hoodia has the reported benefit of helping people feel full and enabling them to lose weight. If an individual feels full, they won’t have food cravings and the desire to eat. The less a person eats, the more of their fat stores they can burn.
Who Should Not Use Hoodia Supplements?
You should not use hoodia supplements if you:
- Have diabetes or are taking a blood sugar control medication.
- If you take heart prescription or have a heart problem.
- If you are taking a blood clotting medication such as aspirin, warfarin, or heparin.
- If you have any eating disorder.
- If you have high blood pressure.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to purchase hoodia supplements from a trusted supplement dealer for the purest form of the plant.
How does Hoodia Help You Lose Weight?
In 1937 a Dutch anthropologist noticed that the San Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert used Xhoba (hoodia) to keep them from feeling hungry while they were hunting. Scientists began studying the hunger calming effects of the plant.
It is now believed that hoodia contains an active ingredient ofP57, which is now being studied as a weight-loss drug. The theory remains that P57 acts to suppress appetite as does glucose. P57 is not glucose, however. The chemical P57 affects the hypothalamus and inhibits signals of hunger.
If a person doesn’t feel hungry, they probably won’t eat. The body then uses stored fat for energy, causing a person to lose weight. A couple of studies have shown that hoodia can improve your chances of losing weight due to toP57, but testing has not been very limited.
More studies are needed to determine whether or not hoodia does reduce appetite and help people lose weight. In October of 2011, the Federal Drug Administration sent out a notification to consumers that hoodia contained the chemical sibutramine.
Sibutramine causes high blood pressure and a higher pulse rate in some patients and may also cause health problems for people with coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, stroke or congestive heart failure. It may also react negatively with other medications. The FDA recommends that no one use hoodia for any health or supplemental purposes.
Uses and Testing of Hoodia
There is only one published report about Hoodia’s pharmacology and P57. According to this report, male rats were injected with P57. These rats were observed to eat 50 percent to 60 percent less food during a 24 hour period.
The injection of P57 increased ATP levels in the hypothalamus of the brain, as well as the reduction of food intake by the rats. These weight loss and food consumption results were compared with the weight loss and food consumption of rats that were fed a low-fat diet.
The rats on the low-fat diet showed a reduction in ATP levels. So it appears that when ATP levels are higher, there is a lack of hunger in the rats. Adding P57 to a rat’s diet subdued their appetites over a 24 hour period as compared to rats that were given low-fat foods. More studies are needed to accurately determine whether hoodia consumption reliably reduces a person’s appetite.
How Should I Take Hoodia?
Consult with your physician and use the supplement as he or she directs. Or consult with an expert in Chinese medicine and follow their instructions. Always follow the directions on the container, too, and don’t take more hoodia than recommended. No specific amount of hoodia has been approved for use by the FDA at this time.