Whether you have just had a baby and you want to lose the last remaining pounds, or you are overweight and want to be able to chase your kids around, you may have considered hoodia. Billed as a natural weight loss formula, the University of California at Berkeley Wellness Guide reports that scientific research by the national laboratory in South Africa supports an appetite-suppressing ingredient in the plant, but there are some things to consider before ordering hoodia weight loss pills.
Weight Loss Products Including Hoodia
As reported by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), there are several names for Hoodia, including Kalahari cactus, Xhoba and Hoodia Gordonii. Weight loss products claiming to include hoodia are Pure Hoodia, TrimSpa X32 and Desert Burn, according to the Diet Chanel website. These weight loss supplements contained powdered hoodia, made from drying the plant, as of 2010.
Expert Insight on Hoodia
Dr. Richard Dixey, a researcher who has studied hoodia as the CEO of Phytopharm, said research began on the supplement in the 1960s as a part of study at the national laboratory in South Africa. The study included hoodia as part of the bushmen’s indigenous diet. According to Dixey, the lab discovered hoodia caused rats to lose weight after they ate the raw form of the plant. After 30 years of research, the lab isolated the plants appetite-suppressing ingredient, known as P57.
Hoodia in the News
CBS’ “60 Minutes” news magazine featured Hoodia in 2004. As a correspondent for the show, Lesley Stahl traveled to Africa to sample wild hoodia. After eating the product, Stahl said she felt that the product worked for weight loss. According to her report, taking the hoodia kept her from feeling hungry for the day and caused no negative side effects, like nausea or a racing heart.
While some research confirms hoodia can help suppress your appetite, you should not grab the first bottle you see. Resources like the University of California Berkeley Wellness Guide caution that supplements with hoodia do not contain P57. That means products labeled as 100 percent hoodia may not help you lose weight.
While experts like Dixey and television news correspondents advocate the weight loss properties of hoodia, some sources disagree. In 2007, the NCCAM reported that the scientific evidence to support hoodia was not reliable. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are also no studies on the safety of using hoodia for weight loss. Adding to these concerns is Dixey’s affiliation with Phytopharm, a company conducting research with the intent of selling hoodia as a weight loss supplement. While Dixey resigned as the CEO of the company in 2007, as of 2010, he still owned a considerable portion of the company’s stock.
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