Hoodia: The All Natural Appetite Suppressant


No one knows how long the San Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert have been using the stem of the hoodia gordonii plant to ward off hunger. Hoodia grows wild in Africa. A Dutch anthropologist was the first European to describe the plant. In 1937, he was studying the habits of nomadic hunters and noted that they often ate the plant when food and water were scarce. He mentioned that the hoodia gordonii plant was not particularly tasty, but it had the desirable effect of reducing appetite and thirst.

It was not until 1963 that an organized study of hoodia gordonii was performed. Scientists at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa reported that laboratory animals which were fed the hoodia plant lost weight. Research was slow, as is common in the scientific community, and expensive. Sometime in the 1990’s the scientists in South Africa were able to attract the interest of a British pharmaceutical company, Phytopharm. Eventually, through a joint effort, they were able to isolate and identify the active molecule in hoodia gordonii and named it p57. Though a naturally occurring molecule can not be patented, an isolated form of that same molecule can be patented. In 1995, Phytopharm licensed and patented p57.

Phytopharm reportedly spent more than $20 million dollars researching the effects of the p57 molecule found in the hoodia gordonii plant before they sub-licensed the rights to Pfizer in 1998. Pfizer invested another $21 million in research and development. One of the major production problems is the limited availability of hoodia gordonii. The plant requires extremely high temperatures to flourish and four to five years to mature. Phytopharm is now working with Unilever and has established hoodia gordonii plantations in South Africa.

Hoodia received national attention recently when Lesley Stahl, a reporter for 60 minutes traveled to Africa to investigate the plant for herself. With the help of a San Bushman, she was able to locate and eat a piece of the hoodia gordonii plant. She reported that she experienced no hunger for the rest of the day. For many viewers, this report was enough to send them searching for their own pieces of hoodia gordonii.

The scientific explanation for Lesley’s lack of appetite relates to the body’s production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Research at Brown Medical School in Providence Rhode Island concluded that p57, isolated from hoodia gordonii, led to increased production of ATP. ATP is an energy source for the cells of the human body. It is one of those things which the body needs but cannot store. Any increase in production of ATP will lead to a decrease in hunger, an increase in energy and metabolism. According to this study, the p57 found in hoodia gordonii led to a 50-150% increase in ATP. More impressive may be the clinical studies by Phytopharm in which participants were able to reduce their caloric intake by 1000 calories or more without feeling any hunger. This study noted a significant reduction in body fat content after only two weeks among overweight individuals that were given extracts of hoodia gordonii.

Experts make the following recommendations for overweight people interested in trying hoodia gordonii supplements. The length of time to experience the appetite suppressing effects may occur quickly, even following the first dose, but some people do not notice a significant difference until after taking the supplement for several weeks. In addition, the recommended dosage may need to be adjusted up or down depending on the individual. There are no adverse side effects associated with hoodia gordonii and none have been reported by individuals who need to take a higher dosage in order to achieve the desired effect of appetite suppression.

Patsy Hamilton is one of the editors of the hoodia info blog, for more information about hoodia or hoodia gordonii visit our resource http://hoodiainfo.blogspot.com

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!

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