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How Does Hoodia Gordonii Work?

Aug 17, 2007
The main ingredient in Hoodia Gordonii is a steroidal glycoside dubbed P57. Within the human brain, there is a region called the hypothalamus. Among its many other functions, it also regulates appetite. The mechanism utilized is as clever as it is efficient.

Your cells run on glucose. This is a sugar that is converted to energy by the cells. Similar to gas for your car, without glucose, your cells will not run. Also similar to your car, your body has a "gauge" or device that helps you to know when you need to eat in order to take in more glucose.

As blood passes through the hypothalamus, specialized receptors bind glucose molecules also passing through. These receptors belong to a special group known as G-protein coupled receptors. They work something like a timed lock and key. At the beginning of the cycle, the receptor easily binds to a specific molecule. Like a lock, it requires a key that fits exactly. On the other hand, as will be explained later, some molecules can act like skeleton keys, and thus, look similar enough to bind the receptor.

In the case of a specialized group of receptors found in the hypothalamus, glucose "fits" but a molecule of carbon dioxide will not. Once the receptor is bound by glucose, it causes the cell housing the receptor to send a signal to other cells. This chain of events causes a person to not feel hungry.

After a little bit, situations within the cell cause the receptor to lose its ability to bind the glucose molecule, and it falls away. In completion of the cycle, the receptor again becomes capable of binding glucose. If there is not enough in the blood (i.e. the receptor remains unbound), the signal is sent along that makes you feel hungry.

As with so many other things, the mechanism utilized by P57 is remarkable. Basically, P57 bonds to these glucose receptors. Although it is not glucose, it still fits the receptor. This is also similar to how your USB port works. You can plug in a wide variety of peripheral devices, as long as they match the socket. Each device enables you to do something different; however, the computer's main purpose remains the same. P57 binds more strongly to the glucose receptors in the hypothalamus than the molecule they are designed to bind. Thus, P57 also binds for a longer amount of time than a regular glucose molecule.

While P57 mimics glucose, your brain does not know the difference, and signals that there is sufficient glucose in the blood. Thus, you do not feel hungry, and furthermore, have no interest in eating or taking in fluids. While this can be useful if you need to reduce your food intake, you need to be careful to ensure that your body has enough glucose.

Hoodia Gordonii gained appeal as an appetite suppressant mainly because of media interest. As an example, when Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes went into the desert and ate some of this cactus, not only did she experience significant appetite suppression, she also had no side effects. Likewise, Tom Mangold of the BBC experienced similar appetite suppression without side effects.

Some reports indicate that appetite suppression effects from taking Hoodia Gordonii are immediate. Manufacturers, however, say it can take a day or two to notice any changes. At the current time, there are few reported side effects. However, clinical trials need to be done, including evaluations to determine carcinogenesis, and other long term effects on body systems and tissues.

The main ingredient in Hoodia Gordonii takes advantage of brain chemistry to suppress appetite. Because this herb works so effectively within sound physical principles, it is a very effective tool for individuals seeking to lose weight. Used in conjunction with consultation of a doctor, the formation of a healthy diet, and formation of an exercise program, Hoodia Gordonii can greatly enhance the health and well being of many people.
About the Author
Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Hoodia Gordonii.
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