Wednesday, December 12, 2012



Hoodia advertisements on the Internet are ubiquitous, many in the form of pop-ups that claim to melt away fat within days. With this type of glitzy advertising, one might consider the product worth a try.
Unfortunately, legitimate scientific litera- ture does not indicate if hoodia actually suppresses appetite and what kind of loss one can expect.
Hoodia is an ingredient found naturally in a cactus-like plant, Hoodia gordonii, which grows in the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. Hoodia is one of the most popular over- the-counter  diet pills today, but it has actually been used for decades. A Dutch anthropologist who observed the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert first noted hoodias supposed appetite- suppressing qualities in the early 1900s. The anthropologist noted that these nomadic people ate the stem of the hoodia plant to control their hunger while on long hunting trips where there was little vegetation to eat. According to Jan Vander Wes- thuitzen, a South African Bushman tracker, a sip of hoodias bitter liquid gave people enough energy to walk all day.A British pharmaceutical company, Phytopharm, researched the ingredients in hoodia and isolated the appetite- suppressing aspect of the plant to a molecule referred to as P57. The scientists from Phytopharm believe that P57 acts on the appetite center of the brain, making it think the body is full.

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