Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Hoodia Facts

The hoodia facts are not largely disputed. The only controversy that has arisen concerns claims made by some manufacturers of hoodia gordonii appetite suppressants. Here we look at the accepted hoodia facts and list hoodia reference information for those interested in doing more research.

Hoodia facts: The hoodia gordonii is only one species of hoodia plant that grows in areas of southern Africa. The hoodia gordonii species is the only species of hoodia that is believed to contain a natural appetite suppressant. A good hoodia reference for those interested in learning more about historical uses of hoodia plants, as well as the distribution of different hoodia species throughout Africa, including countries with wild stands of hoodia gordonii This site lists known hoodia facts, permitting policies for cultivation and sites to visit for further information.

Hoodia facts: The research cited by many health supplement companies concerning how hoodia works to suppress the appetite was performed by D.B. MacLean and L.G. Luo at the Division of Endocrinology of Brown Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island. This research was performed on laboratory rats and involved injecting the purified p57 molecule obtained from the hoodia gordonii plant directly into the brains of the rats. This research is largely used as hoodia reference material. The complete abstract can be viewed at PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Hoodia facts: Many hoodia reference materials state that the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research began studying hoodia gordonii in the 1960’s, but the exact date has been hard to find. Most sources agree that sometime in 1995 or 1996, the active molecule in hoodia gordonii was isolated and identified. National Geographic did a complete story about the possible economic success that a poor society in southern Africa known as the San or Bushmen could achieve if all went well with the development of the molecule. The article titled “Africa’s Bushmen May Get Rich from Diet-Drug Secret” and appearing in the April 2003 issue of National Geographic News provides interesting hoodia facts and a snapshot into the lives of these ancient people.

Hoodia facts: All of the known hoodia gordonii clinical research has been performed by a company called Phytopharm or its partners. There have been informal clinical observations by American doctors, but all hoodia reference initially comes from Phytopharm. Phytopharm is currently partnered with Unilever, makers of Slim Fast and other food products, and announced in April of 2006 that they were moving on to the second phase of a five phase clinical research program into hoodia gordonii’s use as an appetite suppressant. Clinical research is research that involves human volunteers rather than laboratory animals. Phytopharm’s website provides answers to frequently asked questions about hoodia gordonii and their main website publishes past and present press releases. This is a good hoodia reference source for those interested in hoodia history.

Hoodia facts: The benefit of hoodia gordonii is that it is believed to suppress appetite (see CSIR, Phytopharm and MacLean studies). There is some evidence that it may increase metabolism (see Phytopharm and MacLean study). The acceptable dosage of hoodia gordonii to achieve desired results is unknown at this time. It is not known how manufacturers of supplements arrive at their recommendations. Some have based recommendations on the amount of the raw plant that one needs to eat to suppress the appetite. There is no hoodia reference guide for dosages and knowledge of hoodia facts is so limited that some professionals do not recommend hoodia gordonii for anyone. All reputable supplement companies recommend that dieters check with their own doctors before they begin to take hoodia gordonii.