If you’ve ever browsed the web for the best way to lose weight, then chances are good that you’ve seen the word “hoodia” on more than one occasion. People around the world – including celebrities – are using hoodia gordonii to keep their appetites in check while they shed pounds. What is hoodia gordonii and how does it work? You can find out here.
The Hoodia Gordonii Plant
Hoodia gordonii, despite popular belief, is not a cactus, but it is closely related. It’s actually a succulent plant much like aloe vera that grows only in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa. For generations, tribes native to that part of South Africa have used the hoodia plant as an appetite suppressant. They simply chew the leaves or extract the liquid from them before a long hunting trip, which allows them to focus less on their growling stomachs and more on the task at hand – finding food to feed their villages.
The Active Ingredient
In the last few years, scientists have focused more and more on the possible benefits of hoodia gordonii. They’ve found a very specific set of chemicals called P57 that they believe causes the appetite suppression commonly associated with the plant. They have injected it into laboratory rats and found that the rats ate significantly less, but did not experience any other side effects. Later, they determined that hoodia is likely to affect the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that controls hunger and thirst.
Human studies on the effects of hoodia gordonii are quite limited. Only a handful have been conducted, and none have been large enough to be an actual clinical trial. However, the vast majority of those studies were very promising and showed that most people who used the product were able to eat less without feeling deprived of food or hungry in any way. In fact, many were also able to eat less at main meals to feel the same level of satisfaction. That’s why so many people turn to hoodia gordonii when they want to lose weight naturally, but cutting calories leads to excessive hunger.
Are there any Concerns?
Because hoodia is labeled as a dietary supplement, it is not regulated by the FDA. This means that individuals in the US who choose to purchase the product put themselves at some risk. For example, the products may not contain the exact ingredients on the label, and the concentrations of those ingredients may vary. It’s important to find a trusted manufacturer from which to order hoodia in order to get the best possible results. What’s more, there are no studies on the long-term effects of using hoodia gordonii, and people who are diabetic or who have heart conditions should not use it except under the close supervision of a doctor.
Hoodia gordonii is rapidly growing in popularity, and for good reason. It’s an all-natural product that does a great job of suppressing the appetite, but without the same harsh side effects of stimulant pills. It’s readily available online, too, and the preliminary studies have all been promising.