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Hoodia Gordonii - Weight Loss Miracle or Misrepresented?

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/21/2006 | Fitness
If you want to loose weight you have likely already heard the praise being given to the latest in natural cures - Hoodia Gordonii. So, is it as good as they say? How does it work? And most importantly - will it help you loose weight?

STUDY SHOWED HUNGER PAINS TURNED OFF

The most frequently reported study to promote Hoodia Gordonii as a weight loss supplement was conducted with obese individuals who were given Hoodia Gordonii and left in a room with little to distract them except TV, reading and eating. This group consumed on average 1000 less calories a day than the control group given a placebo.

The active ingredient in Hoodia Gordonii appears to tell the brain that the stomach is full. No hunger pains could mean less eating, which would naturally cause a loss of weight.

AFRICAN BUSHMAN USED HOODIA TO STAVE OFF HUNGER FOR LONG TRIPS

Hoodia Gordonii is an African cactus that grows naturally only in the Kalahari desert. For thousands of years the bushman of this region have eaten Hoodia Gordonii with no apparent ill side effects, like the racing heart experience of Ephedra or other supplements.

In fact, the only known side effect seems to be an overall good feeling. However, the bushman used the Hoodia Gordonii sparingly and further studies are required to examine the possible side effects of regular doses over a long period of time.

WILL THE HOODIA GORDONII HELP YOU LOOSE WEIGHT?

The molecule that has been linked to the appetite suppressing abilities of Hoodia Gordonii, now called P.57, appears to affect both humans and animals. One study showed a decrease in appetite by 30-40%. There are documented personal experiences showing the immediate effects of eating Hoodia Gordonii.

It is important to note that the molecule isolated in Hoodia Gordonii does not necessarily affect the appetite when eating high carbohydrate or sugar diets or when hunger is caused by physical exercise. While P.57 can signal to the brain that the body is full, the sugar drops and physical requirement for nourishment can counteract these effects.

As with any weight loss program it is necessary to adapt diet and lifestyle to experience the most profound changes. Suppressing the appetite should not be a replacement for good nutrition and healthy living. It is also important to note that further testing of the safety and effects of Hoodia Gordonii are sure to continue and not all products that are advertised to contain Hoodia Gordonii are prepared equally. The active ingredient in many products is not enough to produce the desired effects and should be chosen wisely.