Hoodia gordonii Scams

Hoodia gordonii Scams

Deep in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa grows a cactus-like plant called Hoodia gordonii. It thrives in extremely high temperatures, and takes years to mature. Hoodia gordonii has long been used by the indigenous populations of Southern Africa as an appetite suppressant. In 1977 the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) isolated the compound (coded P57) in Hoodia, which produces the appetite-suppressant effect, and patented it. Hoodia gordonii is a protected plant which may only be wild-harvested by individuals and the few companies who have been granted a license by CSIR.

Today there are hundred of diet products claiming to contain Hoodia gordonii that are being sold worldwide. A review of Hoodia products by Alkemists Pharmaceuticals found that at least half of them did not incorporate Hoodia gordonii. Both animal and human studies indicate that Hoodia gordonii can function as an effective appetite suppressant if used appropriately. The problem is finding a product that contains pure Hoodia gordonii in sufficient concentration to be effective.

Media coverage of Hoodia gordonii
Hoodia is one of the most publicized natural weight loss products in the world. Hoodia has been featured on CBS 60 Minutes, ABC, NBC Today, CNN, in Oprah’s “O” Magazine, the BBC and in other major media. The media exposure of Hoodia has led to high demand.

Studies on Hoodia gordonii
Animal research using the active ingredient (P57) in Hoodia gordonii has indicated that it can indeed suppress appetite, resulting in significant weight loss.  A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study has been carried out by Phytopharm, a UK biotechnology company. In this study overweight, but otherwise healthy male volunteers, were randomly allocated to receive either Hoodia extract (a product not yet on the market), or a placebo twice daily for 15 days. The Hoodia extract group showed a statistically significant reduction in the average daily calorie intake compared with the placebo (p= 0.014). There was also a statistically significant reduction in body fat content compared with the placebo (p=0.035). By day 15 the calorie intake had decreased by approximately 1000 calories per day.

Authentication of Hoodia products
Hoodia gordonii is a species that could come under threat if supplies are not closely monitored. It is listed under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). It is illegal to export the plant from Africa without a CITES certificate.  In the USA, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and United States Customs and Border Protection regulate the importation and re-exportation of species such as Hoodia gordonii. Current U.S. laws stipulate that not only must a CITES certificate accompany shipments of Hoodia gordonii, but that the importers must possess a permit issued by the USDA to import Terrestrial Plants. In addition to CITES and USDA certificates a consumer should look for a report from an independent testing laboratory verifying the presence of Hoodia gordonii.

How Hoodia works
The hypothalamus, which is located in the midbrain, has nerve cells that detect glucose. When food is eaten blood glucose levels rise, and these nerve cells are activated informing the brain that the stomach is full. The P57 molecule contained in Hoodia is about 10,000 times as active as glucose in stimulating these nerve cells. The overall effect is to fool the brain into thinking that the stomach is full, thus suppressing the appetite.

Adding anything to the Hoodia plant may disturb its natural balance, and therefore reduce its effectiveness as an appetite suppressant.  Some published report show a daily dose of over 2000mg may be required to achieve result with hoodia gordonii.  As a general guide one Hoodia tablet can be taken three times a day – about one hour before each meal. As much as 2 to 3 grams of Hoodia per day may be necessary.

How long can Hoodia gordonii be taken for?
Hoodia can taken for as long as required. It is a non addictive substance that has no known adverse side effects in its natural form – fresh or powdered.

Hoodia gordonii scams
Unfortunately, due to the limited supply of Hoodia gordonii available from Africa, there are many fake and diluted Hoodia weight loss products on the market. Bogus Hoodia products include; liquids, gels, sprays, coffee, tea, lollipops, candy, bites and diet patches. 

Are there any credible Hoodia gordonii products currently on the market?  At present only fresh or dried Hoodia in the form of a pill or capsule, is likely to have any real potential to promote weight loss. Like all supplements, the amount of Hoodia in the weight loss product is an essential part of its potency and potential benefits. There appear to be relatively few authentic Hoodia products on the market. Do not buy from websites that do not display an email contact and preferably a toll free phone number. Avoid Hoodia products from websites using spam emails. Likewise avoid free trials. It is highly unlikely that Hoodia would be provided free. Hoodia costs over $300/Kilo.

Phytopharm and Hoodia gordonii
As wild stocks are extremely limited Phytopharm has established plantations over the past 5 years to grow sustainable quantities of Hoodia gordonii. In December 2004, Phytopharm announced that it had granted an exclusive global license for the Hoodia extract to Unilever plc. Under the terms of the agreement, Phytopharm and Unilever are collaborating on a five-stage research, development and launch program of safety and efficacy studies with a view to bringing Hoodia weight management products to the market.

Common misspellings:  Hoodai, Hoodea, Hudia, Hoodya, Hooida, Hodia

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