Hoodia Gordonii contains a molecule that is predicted to be up as potent as glucose in sending signals to the brain that the body is in a state of satiety, or tells the brain that it is not hungry. Manufacturers stress that Hoodia has ‘proven so promising as the Millennium weight loss miracle drug, with its natural appetite suppressant properties’.
The plant’s active compound in Hoodia is called “the P57”, and its main effect is it makes you feel full. P57 works by mimicking the effect glucose has on the nerve cells in the brain, which in effect tells you that you are not hungry, effectively curbing your appetite.
The reported key effects of Hoodia Gordonii include a reduced interest in food, delay in feeling the need to eat again, a feeling of fullness, and a general feeling of well-being. Hoodia is not a stimulant. There are no known side effects of using Hoodia. The use of this appetite suppressant began in early 2004 and the results have proven promising and were found to be of tremendous help to the overall approach to weight loss.
While there are presently no known hoodia side effects, daily use of hoodia diet pills may prove to be dangerous in the long term as we learn more about them and their effects on dieters. If one could recall, when ephedra was first introduced it was considered completely safe until adverse side effects were discovered and it was ultimately banned. Granted, however, hoodia is much different from ephedra since ephedra is a stimulant. The point is that it could prove to be harmful in the future. However, this fear would still seem unlikely today, but hoodia supplements haven’t been around long enough to say that they are completely safe for long-term use.
Hoodia’s negative effects on women who are pregnant or nursing have not yet been fully established. If you are pregnant or nursing, you should probably avoid ingesting any products that contain it. However, if you insist on trying any hoodia products, you should exercise extreme caution and preferably should consult a physician first.
At present, there are only two known potential hoodia side effects this time, which would be the loss of money and loss of appetite. Authentic Hoodia Gordonii diet pills cost around $60 per bottle and last two to three weeks if taken regularly. One could readily spend up to $120 for a one-month supply, and prices are unlikely to come down anytime soon.
It is also important to keep in mind that some medical weight loss experts remain unsure and would not recommend Hoodia Gordonii to obese or overweight patients. According to Adrienne Youdim, MD, medical director of the Comprehensive Weight Loss Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Michael Steelman, MD, chairman of the board of trustees for the American Society of Bariatric Physicians, they infer that there is no published scientific data to support its use.
In light of a number of reports of the proliferation of fake or sub-standard Hoodia products, consumers should also look for a certified copy of a CITES and USDA permit from manufacturers and distributors of Hoodia products, or they could also ask for a report from an independent testing lab which has conducted scientific analysis on the product, to attest that they have been able to authenticate the presence of Hoodia Gordonii.
Currently, there are four independent labs that are conducting tests to verify Hoodia Gordonii levels in consumer products. The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is also formulating a Hoodia Standard, which is in response to further scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission of the Hoodia industry and complaints by customers of fake Hoodia products being sold in the market.