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The Dangers and Side Effects of Hoodia

Oct 9, 2007
When it comes to the dangers of hoodia, there is really no need for alarm as hoodia remains a relatively safe product with no dangerous side effects. Hoodia is a natural product that derives from a cactus plant in Africa and is not tainted with chemicals or heart/brain stimulating pharmaceuticals. While there have been no horror stories that have derived from hoodia usage, there are still those individuals who feel somewhat worried about the potential dangers of the product. This fear of the dangers of hoodia is somewhat well founded considering that there have been some serious consequences resulting from diet products that had been sold on the market in previous years.

The Dangers of Hoodia vs. The Dangers of Ma Huang

One of the benefits of hoodia is the fact that it is a natural product. Often, people will assume that because a product is natural that is will not contain harmful side effects. If anything, the previous generation of dieters learned that natural and safe do not go hand in hand as evidenced by the severe consequences of abuse Ma Huang. For those not familiar with Ma Huang, it is the natural version of ephedrine and it was a common component in weight loss products. Ma Huang would curb appetite, increase heart rate and raise body temperature. The end result of these effects was increased metabolism and weight loss. In addition to weight loss, Ma Huang was responsible for fatal heart attacks and strokes and it was ultimately banned in weight loss supplements. Again, Ma Huang was a natural product that had an extremely negative affect on consumers. Needless to say, it is understandable that some people would be worrisome about the dangers of hoodia.

When it comes to comparing the potential dangers of hoodia vs the real dangers of Ma Huang, one must understand the Ma Huang is primarily a stimulant that rapidly affects the heart. Additionally, Ma Huang also affects the brain and can lead to feelings of euphoria. (Keep in mind, ephedrine is a major ingredient in amphetamines) Hoodia does not have anywhere near these types of stimulant properties so the dangers of hoodia in comparison to Ma Huang are almost incomparable.

While hoodia may not be a perfect product it is certainly not the disastrous product that Ma Huang was. Granted, hoodia is also only a fraction of the potency of Ma Huang, but it also lacks the extreme danger of that stimulant. In that regard, hoodia is a much safer product than what was once offered on diet supplement shelves.

Are There Any Hoodia Side Effects?

Even though hoodia is a natural supplement taken from an African cactus and many people take it, it is important to know about any possible hoodia side effects that may affect you.

Hoodia side effects are not widely researched and still more studies must be done in order to build a greater understanding of any hoodia side effects. What is nice about hoodia is that it does not cause side effects that can be found with other diet pills such as a racing heart, trembling, dizziness and over-stimulation.

Possible Side Effects From Hoodia

Some people may experience an upset stomach when they first start taking hoodia supplements. This side effect has not been studied and until more information is made available, it can only be said that some people have reported an upset stomach when first taking the natural supplement.

A former Hoodia researcher at Pfizer, named Jasjit Bindra, told the press that there were some indications that Hoodia might produce some negative effects to the liver from the active ingredient p5 that is contained in the hoodia and in response to this, some physicians believe that if Hoodia does affect liver function, then it is possible that it may interact with some prescribed medications. No studies have been done to confirm this claim.

The way that hoodia works is that it leads the brain into thinking that there is enough blood sugar in the body and for a diabetic person, this could be harmful if their blood sugar levels dropped too far while taking the hoodia. A diabetic person would not be able to respond to their body's hunger signals because the hoodia suppresses hunger signs.

Since Hoodia suppresses signs of thirst, a person may not drink enough water even though their body needs the water and other fluids. This would be dangerous for diabetics since they need to drink plenty of fluids for their health. While taking the hoodia, the best thing to do would be to continue a healthy intake of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty.

Your metabolism will slow down if your body is not getting enough calories, which means that you will burn calories off slowly. Hoodia could cause your metabolism to slow down if you take too much hoodia. You want to keep a faster metabolism so you can drop the weight easier so always take the hoodia according to the manufacturer's directions.

Pregnant and nursing women should not take hoodia because the side effects for women in these conditions are unknown so it is better to be on the safe side in these situations.

If you are healthy and just want to lose weight, your choice to take hoodia could help you reach your diet goals without any unwanted hoodia side effects. When you are informed about any possible hoodia side effects, you can determine if hoodia is right for you.
About the Author
Cindy Heller is a professional writer. Visit dangers of hoodia to find out how does hoodia really work and related hoodia side effects.
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