Hoodia Gordonii: The Miracle Plant

On November 21, 2004, CBS aired a program about a cactus deep in the Kalahari desert that could suppress the appetite. For millions of overweight Americans it seemed like a miracle pill that would rid them of their excess pounds. Now it’s the latest diet pill but the question is does it really work?

Hoodia Gordonii is a cactus of the “succulent” cactus family. Indigenous bushmen in the Kalahari desert eat the cactus to compensate for their hunger on long hunting trips. Recent studies by African scientist have discovered that there are molecules in the plant, called “P57” that could suppress the appetite. When you eat, your blood sugar level rises and signals the brain or more specifically the hypothalamus, that you are full. It is believed that the “P57” molecule mimics the effect of glucose and essentially tricks the hypothalamus that you are already full.

The first human clinic for the drug was conducted in the UK. An obese group of people were placed in a contained structure for an entire day. Half the subjects were given Hoodia, the other half were given a placebo. Fifteen days later the Hoodia group had reduced their calorie intake by 1000 calories a day.

Hoodia pills are different from other countless diet pills out in the market today because they simply decreases your appetite. You don’t feel hungry and it keeps you healthy and energetic at the same time. A pure Gordonii has no stimulants and harmful side effects.

Hence it has been established as a food and not a medicine in South Africa. The only side effect that Hoodia Gordonii has will cause your brain to believe that you are full even without the sufficient amount of food ingested. This could be a problem if you need the energy and power to do some arduous activities.

The great concern associated with Hoodia is if it is ill treated by individuals with eating disorders for want of rapid weight lose depriving the body of the necessary nutrients. A suggested warning that comes with Hoodia Gordonii product as a dietary supplement would be Not to be used in childhood, pregnancy, or lactating mothers – not to be used by individuals with eating disorder – or those who are underweight or within a normal weight range.

Of course buying any diet pill is strictly up to the consumer’s own peril. You should always read the labels closely and talk with your doctor or pharmacist about any dietary supplements you are thinking of taking. One way to tell if a Hoodia pill is real is to look for a document called the C.I.T.E.S Certificate (The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). Since the Hoodia plant is a protected species it can only be sold to an exporter who has this certificate.