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Hoodia Gordonii And Weight Loss: Fact or Fiction?

Aug 7, 2008
Are you trying to shed stubborn pounds but unable to lose weight with diet and exercise alone? Several weight loss supplements on the market today claim they will help you slim down, but quite a bit of evidence proves that hoodia gordonii will deliver you results.

Hoodia gordonii is an exotic plant found in South Africa and Namibia. It is a leafy succulent plant with foul smelling flowers that are often compared in odor to rotten meat. Its blooms are pollinated mostly by flies.

South African tribes have long used the plant for its medicinal purposes. While it is sometimes used to treat infections and digestive ailments, it is mainly ingested to suppress appetite during long hunting trips made by tribesmen across the Kalahari Desert.

Once weight loss supplement companies found out about the appetite suppressing power of the hoodia gordonii plant, the demand for the ingredient skyrocketed. The South African government realized the scientific and economic potential of the plant. A group called the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research isolated the active compound in the plant, called P57, and patented it in 1996.

US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer worked with the South African government and another UK pharmaceutical company to attempt to bring hoodia gordonii to the American people in the form of a prescription weight loss aid.

In 2002, Pfizer released the rights to the supplement. They determined that synthesizing the P57 was too difficult and that damaging effects on the liver from the chemical outweighed the benefits of the drug. A company spokesperson said the substance was a long way away from meeting the strict standards for safety set by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Also in 2002, the South African government gave the royalties for the plant back to the San tribe, allowing them a percentage of the profits. Very few companies were ever granted the rights to harvest the plant, yet the plant faces extinction.

The government has kept strict control over its use. Because of this strictness, several knockoff products appeared on the market. Beware of inauthentic hoodia gordonii when you shop for a diet supplement.

No definitive published study has been released on humans to determine its effectiveness. CBS News did a story on the supplement in 2004 on the show 60 Minutes. On the show, Lesley Stahl went to the South African desert and found a wild hoodia gordonii plant with the help of local experts.

Stahl said the plant tasted a bit like a cucumber. She reported no adverse side effects, and she stated that she didn't feel hungry for the rest of the day.

The episode warns dieters who are interested in purchasing the supplement that not all marketers are legitimate. Look for a trusted company that isn't stealing the research of other pharmaceutical companies and passing it off as their own.

Discover the age old secret of African tribes. Try using supplements with hoodia gordonii in them and see if your own appetite decreases. Fewer calories in your daily diet will lead to eventual weight loss as your body burns up fat while it uses stored calories.

Whether hoodia will work for you is yet to be determined. Try to obtain the best quality of hoodia possible and decide for yourself if it is the right diet solution for you.
About the Author
Susan Chadwick writes for Global Health News, covering topics in all areas of health, from weight loss to internal cleansing.

A Hoodia Gordonii product tested by Alkemist Labs is sold under the brand name Hoodia Prime and can be found at www.HoodiaPrime.com; or Hoodia Prime by Nature's Biology
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