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Questioning The Benefits Of Hoodia

Aug 17, 2007
With the percentage of overweight adults on the rise, quick fixes and weight loss aids are also increasing in popularity. Gaining weight is mindlessly easy, while losing weight takes conscious and dedicated effort. Thus, despite the best intentions, many dieters frequently cheat or give up on a weight loss program before any true health benefits can be realized.

Then, any lost pounds quickly reappear and are often accompanied by additional gains. So, when someone advertises an all-natural weight loss aid specifically formulated to curb hunger, potential dieters are purchasing the product as fast as it can be manufactured for sale. Hoodia is one such example. However, like many other diet aids, the product is not as closely regulated as a prescription drug, and many people are taking Hoodia without questioning its safety or long-term benefits.

First, many consumers are actually taking Hoodia without really understanding the health significance, or checking with a physician. Sadly, many people are like sheep. A sheep may accidentally walk off a cliff to his death; however, instead of stopping to access the situation, the other sheep will blindly follow the first to similar demises.

Many Hoodia consumers buy the product simply because the airways are inundated with commercials touting it as a natural weight loss aid to curb hunger. Since dieters are usually hungry, Hoodia sounds wonderful. Since the product is all-natural, it must not contain substances harmful to an individual, like many other former weight loss products ultimately pulled from the shelves. Nevertheless, blind faith can be harmful, similar to the scenario of the sheep. Surely he will stop before coming to harm. Not necessarily.

According to a report by Leslie Stahl, of CBS' 60 Minutes, African aborigines have used Hoodia for centuries, to stave off hunger and thirst during less than ideal circumstances. The natives simply cut off a stalk of the succulent plant, scrape off the spines, and Hoodia is eaten like a fresh vegetable picked from the garden.

Sampling Hoodia in its natural environment, Ms. Stahl admits Hoodia really seems to work. She was not thirst or hungry, even during a customary mealtime. However, her report also questions the Hoodia being marketed to consumers as having the same all-natural properties.

Hoodia did not suddenly appear on the Internet and consumer shelves in 2004. The process to isolate its weight loss properties started decades ago in Africa."It took the South African national laboratory 30 years to isolate and identify the specific appetite-suppressing ingredient in Hoodia. When they found it, they applied for a patent and licensed it to Phytopharm" (Stahl). The implications of the last two sentences is astounding, to say the least. Why?

A license and a patent mean Phytopharm has exclusive rights to the formula proposed as an aid to struggling dieters. However, many other manufacturers are marketing Hoodia. The problem means, the other manufacturers are thieves of the original formula, or marketing a less than all-natural form of Hoodia:

"This is just straightforward theft. That's what it is. People are stealing data, which they haven't done, they've got no proper understanding of, and sticking on the bottle," says Dixey. "When we have assayed these materials, they contain between 0.1 and 0.01 percent of the active ingredient claimed. But they use the term Hoodia on the bottle, of course, so they -- does nothing at all" (Stahl).

Thus, many consumers are buying products label Hoodia, with a minuscule amount of the actual substance. The big question is: What is in the other 90-99% of the supplement? Besides being a high-priced placebo, the consumer is actually ingesting unknown ingredients, which may/may not be all-natural, and may/may not be harmful in the long-term. Once again, many diet products are on the market, with only pirated research from another company for evidence, and a stolen formula, or a fake, being sold as the real Hoodia taken by African natives for centuries.

In summary, individuals are hoping for a miracle, and many are spending hard-earned money on the equivalent of a sugar pill, or an appetite suppressant which may/may not be safe to ingest. Unfortunately, in a quest to profit off of the Hoodia craze, many unscrupulous people are marketing knock-off products of Phytopharm's trial tested formula.

If not fakes, then the formula has been pirated. Once again, the unwary consumer believes the expensive, all-natural, and supposedly safe daily supplement is going to help him/her stick to a healthy weight loss plan. The lesson to learn: before subscribing to a new diet fad, personally research the product. Then, READ the label. Make sure the product is the real tried and tested Hoodia, and not a crook's attempt to profit off uneducated need.
About the Author
Erol Orderland writes about various health and fitness topics including Hoodia. Have a look at this Hoodia weight loss site or Hoodia Diet Pills for more information. Hoodia is a Natural Weight Loss supplement.
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