Although hoodia is marketed as an appetite suppressant to aid weight loss, there’s no solid evidence that hoodia is effective.Hoodia — whose scientific name is Hoodia gordonii — is a succulent plant native to Africa. Interest in its use for appetite control and weight loss arose because of reports that native Africans use hoodia to reduce hunger during long hunts.
However, there’s no evidence from scientifically sound clinical trials that hoodia aids weight loss. Evidence about the safety of hoodia also is lacking.
Still, some dietary supplement manufacturers market hoodia products as a way to suppress appetite and aid in weight loss. The Federal Trade Commission has warned manufacturers to stop making these unsubstantiated and misleading claims about hoodia and weight loss.
In addition, the quality of hoodia products varies widely. In some cases, hoodia products have been found to contain unidentified ingredients that could be harmful.
Remember, just because an herbal supplement may be natural doesn’t mean it is safe. Steer clear of products that make unproven claims. And always check with your doctor before taking supplements.It’s taken years for overweight Americans to discover what the South African bush people knew innately — or so the story goes. For eons, the bush people have nibbled a native succulent plant called Hoodiagordonii — and stayed slim. No fretting (apparently) about fitting into “skinny jeans” or advancing a belt notch.
Now, the plant native to the Kalahari Desert is being imported in heaps to slim down hefty Americans. Media reports and word-of-mouth is fueling this latest weight loss craze, not to mention thousands of email spams.
Widely sold over the Internet and in health food and discount stores, Hoodia gordonii is typically offered in capsules or tablets, but is also available in milk chocolate chews. A 30-day supply often costs $35 and up.