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Hoodia & Caralluma: Natural Appetite Suppressants

Mary's Favorite Diet Supplements


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Mary Shomon is the nation's leading thyroid patient advocate, and author of a number of best-selling books on thyroid disease. Mary has also been Guide to the About.com Thyroid Site -- part of the New York Times Company -- for 10+ years. Talk to her now.



 

Hoodia Gordonii and Caralluma Fimbriata: Natural Appetite Suppressants in the News

These two natural supplements are increasingly popular for dieters, and I use them myself.

hoodia supplement for diet and weight loss
Desert Plant -- Hoodia Gordonii-- May Be an Effective Aid in Weight Loss: Kalahari Bushmen Used Plant for Centuries to Curb Appetite and Eliminate Hunger

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?

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 include:
  • A reduced interest in food
  • A delay in the time after eating before hunger sets in again
  • Feeling full more quickly
  • General feeling of well-being
Does Hoodia Have Side Effects?

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.

It's a healthy -- but surprisingly effective -- approach I've described in great detail in my book The Thyroid Diet.

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.

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



Caralluma Fimbriata / Slimaluma for Weight Loss

Caralluma fimbriata is a succulent plant, in the cactus family, that has been used as a natural appetite suppressant in India for centuries. It's another new arrival in the family of various cactii that are being used for their appetite suppressant, blood sugar lowering, and weight loss properties, much like the increasingly popular hoodia gordonii.

Many people in the rural areas of India eat succulent cactus which grow wild over various parts of the country.

Caralluma fimbriata is the most popular edible cactus, and is cooked as a vegetable, used in preserves like chutneys and pickles, or eaten raw. It is used to suppress hunger and appetite, and enhance endurance throughout India. It is also sometimes considered a "famine food," used during periods of famine to suppress appetite.

Ayurvedic (traditional Indian medicine) experts have noted that there are no adverse effects when using Caralluma fimbriata, and the plant has no known toxicity.

Caralluma fimbriata is believed to block the activity of several enzymes, which then blocks the formation of fat, forcing fat reserves to be burned. Caralluma fimbriata is also believed to have an effect on the appetite control mechanism of the brain.

A patented, tested extract of Caralluma fimbriata has been developed and standardized by a company called Gencor. Known as "Slimaluma," the extract delivers the plant in a concentrated form. Several clinical trials show potentially promising results in terms of weight loss and appetite suppressant properties.

The only product available in the U.S. that uses the Slimaluma patented formula is Country Life's GenaSlim supplement, which combines the Caralluma fimbriata extract with EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) from green tea. Together, they have a synergistic effect on appetite control and weight loss. In two independent clinical trials, Slimaluma was shown to be effective in reducing body fat through appetite control.

NOTE FROM MARY: I've been using this a while, and I have to say that I really like it. I am finding that it does add some extra energy, and lowers my appetite to some degree. I take it in conjunction with hoodia, and I think the combination really seems to pack an extra punch as far as suppressing appetite.

How to Order Caralluma Fimbriata (GenaSlim) with Slimaluma

You can get GenaSlim at most health food stores, or order it easily from my favorite online vitamin store, Iherb.com, now, by clicking on the image or clicking here.


GenaSlim also has specialized soy-free Meal Replacement Drinks, in Chocolate Mousse and Vanilla Custard. These include Slimaluma, coconut oil, vitamins, minerals and digestive enzymes.
 
Order Today
order from iherb.com




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