Hoodia Gordonii report

According to CBS (Correspondent Lesley Stahl – November 2004) people spend more than $40 billion each year on products designed to help them lose weight. Many of these products did not live up to expectations, but a lot of research is underway into solutions for this ever present problem. By all accounts Hoodia Gordonii may finally be the answer.

Hoodia is a natural substance that reduces your appetite. It functions differently from other appetite suppressants and diet stimulants such as Ephedra and Phenfen, that are now banned because of the dangerous side effects. Hoodia doesn’t stimulate at all. Scientists say it fools the brain by making you think you’re full, even if you’ve eaten very little.

Studies showed the diet of the South African bushmen (the San people), legendary for their ability to survive in a very barren environment with very little food available, naturally contains hoodia as a key ingredient since the beginning of human memory. The natural habitat of the bushmen is the Kalahari Desert in South Africa, which also happens to be the only place in the world where hoodia grows wild.

Nigel Crawhall, a linguist and interpreter, hired an experienced tracker named Toppies Kruiper, a local aboriginal Bushman, to help find hoodia. While Kruiper led the 60 Minutes crew out into the desert, Lesley Stahl asked him if he ate hoodia. “I really like to eat them when the new rains have come,” says Kruiper, speaking through the interpreter. “Then they’re really quite delicious.”

When the team located the plant, Kruiper cut off a piece that looked like a small spiky pickle, and proceeded to remove the sharp spines. In the interest of science, Stahl ate it. She described the taste as cucumber-like in texture, but not bad.”

So did it work? Stahl reported that she had no after effects – no funny taste in her mouth, no queasy stomach, and no racing heart. She went on to say that she wasn’t hungry for the remainder of the day, even when she would normally have expected to be around mealtimes. And, she also had no desire to eat or drink the entire day.

The first scientific investigation of the plant was conducted at South Africa’s national laboratory. Because Bushmen were known to eat hoodia, it was included in a study of indigenous foods. “What they found was when they fed it to animals, the animals ate it and lost weight,” says Dr. Richard Dixey, who heads an English pharmaceutical company called Phytopharm.

Because hoodia’s application as a potential appetite suppressant was not immediately obvious, it took the South African national laboratory 30 years to isolate and identify the specific appetite-suppressing ingredient in hoodia. When they found it, they applied for a patent and licensed it to Phytopharm.

Phytopharm has spent more than $20 million on research, including clinical trials with obese volunteers that have produced promising results. Volunteers given hoodia ended up eating about 1,000 calories a day less than those in the control group. This fact is remarkable when it is considered that the average American man consumes about 2,600 calories a day; a woman about 1,900.

This certainly appears to be a remarkable product, and from what we can see to date all indications are that considerable progress have been made in making the product available commercially by a number of companies. Time and experience will tell if it lives up to expectations. From our side investigations continue…

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2 Responses to “Hoodia Gordonii report”

  • Health is always a great concern for most people.

  • I find Hoodia Gordonii absolutely marvelous. I am consistently losing weight at a rate of 1.5 to 2 lbs per week. I have dropped a dress size, and I can certainly feel it! I am able to manage my food intake a lot better and actually have to be careful not to skip a meal. Out of all the slimming products I have taken (and I have tried a lot!) this one certainly is the most effective! I did not experience any side effect and can recommend this product honestly to anyone! I still have a long way to go (still 20 lbs off my starting weight), but I’ve already lost 12, and feel very confident that I will be able to do it this time.

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