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Is Hoodia Safe for Slimming?

Apr 16, 2008
As Hoodia grows in popularity, more and more people are asking, "What are the side-effects of Hoodia?" or "Is it safe to take Hoodia for slimming?"

Hoodia has only been added to the weight loss marketplace fairly recently. Although it's been available as an appetite suppressant since 1997, it wasn't until 2004, when it was highlighted on the Oprah Winfrey TV show, that it grew dramatically in popularity.

In all that time, there have been no widely-reported negative side-effects. The San Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert have used the Hoodia plant for thousands of years to ward off hunger pangs during long hunting treks in the desert. And even relied on Hoodia as a staple part of their diet in times of famine.

So it would seem that Hoodia is safe to take as an appetite suppressant... if we take it the same way the San bushmen have done for countless centuries.

They've used it the whole plant, either fresh or dried, but leaving out the flowers or roots. It's worked for them like that - it would make sense if we did the same. So you need to buy Pure Hoodia. Adding anything to the plant may change its natural balance, and so lessen its ability as a good appetite suppressant.

On the same note, just because the whole plant is considered safe, (with all its ingredients in place) doesn't mean a drug extracted from the Hoodia plant is necessarily safe. 'P57' is the active constituent in Hoodia; but to remove that one molecule and use it on its own is probably not a great idea.

Regarding whether Hoodia is safe to take - we found 3 areas we want to highlight. These should be seen as general precautions, not necessarily side-effects:

1. Occasionally, Hoodia may reduce the thirst signals in some people, as well as the hunger signals. Now, if Hoodia had 'switched off' the thirst signal, you wouldn't realise you were thirsty. So it would be wise to make sure you're drinking plenty of fluids thoughout the day.

Adults should drink 2 litres of water each day. When you're dieting, you need to drink more than that, to help detox your body. So it might be a good idea to pour yourself a 2 liter bottle of water each morning, and make sure you sip it throughout the day.

2. Point number 2 is still being debated. Dr. Steelman - a weight loss specialist, said he was concerned that the P57 molecule in Hoodia was processed by the liver, since obese people often have liver problems that could exacerbate any potential side-effects. Yet Dr. MacLean - a leading endocrinologist at Brown Medical School, found that P57 was easily broken down by the liver.

Two seeming differences of opinion. MacLean saying P57 was broken down 'easily' by the liver; Dr. Steelman saying that many obese people suffer from liver problems. It does make sense then, if you are significantly overweight and/or have liver problems, to seek medical advice before taking a course of Hoodia supplements.

3. People with diabetes should be careful when using Hoodia. Diabetics need help with regulating their blood sugar levels. If Hoodia 'tricks' their brain into thinking their blood sugar levels are higher than they actually are, it could cause a problem if they don't eat when they're supposed to, and their blood sugar level drops too low.

Let's place these precautions into some sort of context:

Being overweight is associated with high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and insulin resistance. This combination of risk factors has been called Metabolic Syndrome X, which affects 70 million Americans and is a common cause of premature death and/or disability.

In this light, Hoodia could be an important factor, along with exercise and lifestyle changes, to combat metabolic syndrome, and reduce the risk factors associated with any or all of the above conditions.

Overall, pregnant or nursing women; young children; and people with liver disease should avoid taking Hoodia for weight loss. Anyone taking Hoodia supplements needs to make sure they drink plenty of water during the day, and eat adequately for their needs.

In summary, "Is Hoodia safe to take?" Yes, it does seem safe to take Hoodia - if it's pure Hoodia that hasn't been changed or adulterated in any way
About the Author
Author: Jo Johannson is a keen health & nutrition expert, who reviews many health and weight loss products. To discover why he only recommends the best Hoodia slimming pills, please visit www.HoodiaGuide.co.uk.
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