Hoodia and Weight Loss
Many dieters look to pills or supplements to help them lose weight. One supplement that has become very popular among dieters is Hoodia gordonii.
Hoodia comes from the plant family Apocynaceae. It is a bitter tasting succulant plant that resembles a cactus. The Kalahari Bushmen in Africa have used Hoodia gordonii for centuries to curb their appetite while on long desert trips.
Hoodia supplements come in liquid form, capsules, or teas. You'll usually find Hoodia supplements for sale at most health food stores.
How Hoodia Works
Hoodia works by suppressing the appetite. It contains a molecule that scientists have named P57. Ingesting this molecule causes a person to feel full. Researchers have been studying the effects of Hoodia on weight loss in both humans and other animals. In one study, scientists found that when rats were given Hoodia they ate fewer calories and lost more weight compared to a control group. The results of Hoodia on weight loss look so promising that some pharmaceutical companies have been researching how to isolate the P57 molecule so that they can put it in pill form.
Sounds too good to be true? Well, it probably is. First of all, keep in mind that the only effect Hoodia has on weight loss is that it suppresses appetite. It doesn't speed up your metabolism. The only way Hoodia will help you to lose weight is if you are overweight because you feel hungry more often than is normal.
Keep in mind that you can still overeat while taking Hoodia. Most overweight people often eat when they aren't hungry. Taking Hoodia isn't going to change that.
The other problem is that nutritional supplements aren't regulated by federal agencies. Because of this, you don't know for certain that what you are taking is truly Hoodia gordonii, or how much of it is present in the supplement.
Another problem is added ingredients to Hoodia supplements. Often, companies that manufacture weight loss supplements add stimulants to their supplements. If you decide to take Hoodia you should read the label to make sure that you are taking Hoodia without stimulants or other unwanted ingredients.
Another problem is that the long-term effects of taking Hoodia on a daily basis isn't yet known. The African Bushman only ingested Hoodia occasionally and so we still don't know what the effects of taking it on a regular basis might be. Just because it is all natural doesn't necessarily mean that it is harmless. However, there don't appear to be any immediate side effects.
Also, even if you do lose a little weight while taking Hoodia, what is going to happen once you stop taking it? You may gain it back once your appetite is back to normal.
In my opinion, the best way to lose weight isn't through taking diet pills and supplements. The best way to lose weight and keep it off is through eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise. Dietary supplements may seem like the easiest way to lose weight, but they not be the most effective or the healthiest.