Desert Plant -- Hoodia Gordonii-- May Be an Effective Aid in Weight Loss
Kalahari Bushmen Used Plant for Centuries to Curb Appetite and Eliminate Hunger
by Mary Shomon
If you haven't heard about the supplement hoodia gordonii,
there's no doubt you will very soon. Hoodia, a natural appetite suppressant,
is earning attention as a potentially powerful weapon in the war against
obesity and the American focus on losing weight. Hoodia supplements were introduced to the U.S. market
only in early 2004.
What is Hoodia Gordonii?
Hoodia gordonii, a plant that, while it looks like a
cactus, is actually a "succulent" that grows in the high deserts of
the Kalahari Desert region of South Africa. The San people of the
Kalahari -- a tribe of hunter-gatherers with a 27,000-year-old culture
and history in using native plants for medicinal purposes -- have
been using the hoodia plant for centuries to help ward off pain, hunger
and thirst when the Bushmen made long trips in the desert.
In an interview with ABC News, Andries Steenkamp, a
spokesman for the San people, said: "I learned how to eat it from
my forefathers. It is my food, my water and also a medicine for me.
Said Steenkamp: "We San use the plant during hunting to fight off
the pain of hunger and thirst."
Hoodia gordonii is entirely natural -- it is not a drug,
and has no stimulant properties. There is interest, however, from
various pharmaceutical companies, including the company Phytopharm,
who are trying to synthesize the appetite-suppressing component, P57,
in order to create a patentable drug in the future.
How Does Hoodia Work?
There are various species of hoodia, but the Gordonii
variation is the only one that contains the all-natural appetite suppressant.
Tbis type of hoodia contains a molecule that has similar effects on
nerve cells as glucose, and tricks the brain into the sensation of
fullness. Results of human clinical trials in Britain suggest that
hoodia may reduce the appetite by hundreds of calories a day or more.
In a BBC interview, Phytopharm's Dr. Richard Dixey explained
how P57 works:
There is a part of your brain, the hypothalamus. Within
that mid-brain there are nerve cells that sense glucose sugar. When
you eat, blood sugar goes up because of the food, these cells start
firing and now you are full. What the Hoodia seems to contain is a
molecule that is about 10,000 times as active as glucose. It goes
to the mid-brain and actually makes those nerve cells fire as if you
were full. But you have not eaten. Nor do you want to.
How Quickly Will Hoodia Work?
|Which Hoodia Does Mary Shomon Recommend? |
The only brand of hoodia that I recommend and have used is Hoodia from Paradise Herbs. I've found this product effective, and of good quality. You can easily order Paradise Herbs Hoodia from reputable online retailer Iherb.com, and it's available at the lowest prices on the Internet for this popular product.
Order Paradise Herbs Hoodia from Iherb.com
Some people report that hoodia works for them immediately,
suppressing appetite within 20 to 30 minutes after taking the capsules.
Generally, though, people typically need up to two weeks of regularly
taking hoodia before they begin to notice the effects of hoodia, which
Does Hoodia Have Side Effects?
- A reduced interest in food
- A delay in the time after eating before hunger sets in
- Feeling full more quickly
- General feeling of well-being
Hoodia gordonii is not a stimulant, and has no known
side effects. Of course, there is always someone who has a reaction
to even the safest supplement, so your own experience -- in conjunction
with the advice of your practitioner -- should guide you.
How to Take Hoodia?
Prescription drugs containing hoodia or its synthetic
P57 derivative are years away from being on the market. But natural
hoodia supplements are currently available.
You need to be particularly careful that you take a
hoodia that contains the actual plant -- some brands out there claim
to contain hoodia, and have been tested to show they have no hoodia
whatsoever. My favorite brand is Hoodia Slim from Paradise Herbs.
Another quality brand is the Canadian-based MHSCI Hoodia.
Some people start by using 1-2 capsules an hour before
lunch and 1-2 capsules an hour before dinner daily for the first two
weeks. As the appetite suppressant effect kicks in, some people drop
back to 1 or 2 capsules per day. Always follow the directions of your
qualified healthcare professional.
My Own Experience With Hoodia
I'm not promising you that hoodia is some sort of miracle
diet pill. You can't just pop a few hoodia every day, eat all you
want, and lose weight. It just doesn't work like that, and I would
be misleading you if I suggested it.
The reality is that for many people -- but for most
thyroid patient in particular -- in order to lose weight, you have
to cut some calories, focus on eating enough good fats (but limit
the saturated fats), eat enough healthy protein, eat good carbs (high
fiber vegetables and some fruits), avoid the high-glycemic simple
carbohydrates (like sugar, flour, and rice), drink sufficient water,
and ensure that you are doing things -- like aerobic and weight bearing
exercise, and various supplements -- to safely raise metabolism.
a healthy -- but surprisingly effective -- approach I've described
in great detail in my book The Thyroid Diet, a New York Times bestseller, Quills Award nominee, and Amazon.com Top Ten Health Book of 2004!
I've been using hoodia, because I have found that it helps me with that
critical issue -- limiting calories. As I describe in The Thyroid
Diet, I am not one of those people who can follow the "eat-all-
you-want-as-long-as-it-doesn't-have-carbohydrates" Atkins-style approach
because I have a good appetite, and it is not suppressed enough by
eating low-carb to substantially cut calories and result in weight
loss. But hoodia gives me that extra bit of willpower, and that feeling
of well-being, and makes it easier to avoid snacking, and that keeps
me feeling full for longer periods of time.
Sticking Out Our
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Shomon, 1997-2007. All rights reserved. Mary
information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a
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