I have been seeing a lot of ads and products lately containing Hoodia gordonii that acts as an appetite suppressant. Thought I should post what I have found out about Hoodia gordoni so far. Hoodia is a cactus from Africa that is somewhat endangered, mostly because of the excitement over selling a product that helps people lose here in the west. The cactus has been used by bushman in Africa for centuries as an appetite suppressant during long walks through the deserts.
A few years back Pfizer, the makers of Viagra were looking at the properties of the hoodia cactus to see if the rumors that it could be used as an appetite suppressant were in fact true, Pfizer decided that there was nothing to it and released the rights to the product, looks like a strike against hoodia. Next Unilver who makes soaps and consumer products picked up the hoodia mantle and have been using it in diet shakes which has in turn spurned a mini hoodia rush in the loss industry.
One of the trends that we always see in supplements is that all products try to include the newest popular product. One of the problems these days is that no one really knows what a good dose of hoodia is and in some products that say they have hoodia as one of the ingredients in fact contain no or almost no hoodia.
Does hoodia gordonii work as an appetite suppressant? Leslie Stahl of 60 minutes tried it during an assignment on the product and thought it worked although one person is only anecdotal evidence not real scientific evidence. As far as science is concerned there have been no studies on people and only one study on animals that proved inconclusive.
If you are interested in hoodia after reading this it is probably best to go to a health food store and try to get some almost pure product to try for yourself to see if YOU think that it helps and at least at this point avoid buying products that do two or three things as the confusion will stop you from being able to test the Hoodia gordonii on it’s own merits.