What is Hoodia?
- Hoodia is a a spikey, cactus-like bush found in Namibia and South Africa. In addition to using it to keep hunger at bay, the African Bushmen also use it to help ease indigestion and even to prevent infection in minor wounds. Closer to home, Hoodia is the main ingredient in many weight loss supplements.
Does Hoodia Work?
- Though parts of the Hoodia plant are available in pill form, it's important to note they don't contain the part of the plant that suppresses the appetite. Scientists are able to isolate and identify the active ingredient in Hoodia that alleviates hunger, called "P57," but they haven't found a way to use this to curb hunger in humans. Moreover, early tests on Hoodia show P57 to be damaging to the liver. Because a lot more research and testing is needed before it's safe for human consumption, as of August 2009 P57 isn't approved for use in the U.S.
Even if the P57 in Hoodia was available for us to use, it's illegal to export these plants from Africa, or even grow them at home, as they are now an endangered species. Without the active ingredient, it's debatable as to whether the Hoodia supplements on the market actually work.
When Should You Take Hoodia?
- Keep in mind there are no official published reports, tests or case studies attesting to Hoodia's success. As of this writing, no one has been able to prove Hoodia suppresses the human appetite at all. If you would still like to try Hoodia, use as directed. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the label. It should be noted however, that the best weight loss aid doesn't come in a bottle. The most effective form of losing weight is a healthy diet and plenty of exercise...and don't forget to check with a physician before undergoing any weight loss program.