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Old 11-23-2004, 10:30 AM   #9
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Silicon Valley, California
Posts: 5,020


Originally Posted by jansan
I had not heard of the weight loss potential of Hoodia before seeing these articles. Thanks for sending them. Very interesting stuff, but I doubt it will be a reasonable affordable solution in our life-times especially if Pfizer gave up on it. I can also see lots of potential for exploitation. Hoodia is a genus of about 20 species. Apparently only Hoodia gordonii has the appetite suppressing characteristics. So all Hoodias are not created equal. So you can buy all the Hoodia you want, and may not get the right one.

Several species of Hoodia are grown in the US as ornamental succulents - my Mom had one or two, but probably not gordonii. They are slow growing, interesting looking, but cannot be grown everywhere. They are in the same plant family as milkweed, vinca, and oleandar. Some members of this family are poisonous. If you want to see what the hoodia plant looks like, go here:

Jan, who thinks 'eat less, exercise more' will be around for a long time to come.
CBS has a photo of the actual hoodia gordonii on its website:

I have no doubt that the products that have come out that claim to contain hoodia (TrimSpa, Lipodrene, various teas, etc) might be using the other varieties of hoodia, which would be MUCH easier to obtain than the 'real thing' - if you watched the 60 Minutes segment, you'll see that the wild plant isn't exactly easy to find - they had to use an experienced San tracker to find a small plant. The weight-loss supplement industry isn't exactly known for being honest and above board, and I wouldn't be surprised if they were using another variety of hoodia (which apparently do not contain the active key ingredient) in their products.

In fact, if you read my initial post in this thread, you'll find that the genesis of this very thread was due to some members here buying products which claim to contain hoodia. If you google 'hoodia' you'll get a TON of websites that are selling diet pills and other products. As is typical for these types of companies, they have been taking a grain of truth and using it to sell overpriced, overhyped crapola. I wanted to gather the FACTS, the REAL facts, about this plant here in Buyer Beware, so folks wouldn't get taken in by some scammy diet pill company.

According to the 60 Minutes segment, Pfizer dropped out when it was acertained that there was no feasible way of making a pill using the active ingredient. Doesn't mean the plant doesn't have possibilities - IMO Pfizer felt that if a pill or medication that would be easy to manufacture and ship in mass quantities wasn't going to happen, then it wouldn't be worth their while to pursue it further. Remember - bottom line, Pfizer has to answer to their shareholders and return a profit.

In addition, Phytopharm is the only company who can actually manufacture and market the Hoodia plant, not only as stated in the first article on this forum, but also from the FAQ on their website:

There are some other products that claim to contain Hoodia. Are they the same as Phytopharm's product?
Only Phytopharm's patented Hoodia gordonii product is botanically verified to contain pure Hoodia gordonii and has quantified levels of the chemical constituents that produce the anti-obesity effects. Importantly, only Phytopharm's Hoodia gordonii product has had extensive safety studies performed and been clinically proven to reduce calorie intake and body fat. The benefit sharing to the CSIR and the San people is only generated by Phytopharm's patented Hoodia gordonii product.

Do all Hoodia species reduce appetite?
Only Phytopharm's Hoodia gordonii extract has been proven to decrease calorie intake in human volunteers.

Is Hoodia gordonii patented?
The CSIR has submitted patents in territories all over the world relating to Hoodia gordonii. Phytopharm has an exclusive licence for these patents.

Hoodia gordonii is rare, is the source sustainable?
Hoodia gordonii is very rare and is protected by national conservation laws in South Africa and Namibia. It can only be collected or grown with a permit. Wild stocks are also extremely limited so Phytopharm has established plantations over the past 5 years to grow sustainable quantities of Hoodia gordonii exclusively for Phytopharm's product. There is a continuing development programme by Phytopharm to ensure sustainable supplies for Phytopharm's product in the future.
And OH YES...I do agree with you that to lose weight permanent lifestyle changes in diet and exercise are ESSENTIAL. As I stated in the thread about Acomplia - the proponents of both Acomplia and Hoodia aren't saying that you just ingest the product and burn fat while you lie around like a sow, eating McDonald's extra value meals - what they're targeted to DO is take away the 'head hunger' which is really the KILLER for most people - even folks who have had weight-loss surgery and can only eat an ounce or two of food at one time still have to deal with head hunger, which can be far worse than physical stomach hunger in my experience. If a safe and effective drug or product is developed that can assist people in STICKING TO THEIR DIET AND EXERCISE PLAN, then I'm all for it (especially if, as in Acomplia, it also can help people combat other deadly addictions such as tobacco and drug abuse).
Mrs. Jim
Highest weight: 265 pounds, size 24/26 (May 1990)
May 1991: 174 pounds (-91 lbs)
September 1996: 155 pounds (-110 lbs)
*LIVING at: 145-149 pounds, size 4/6 (-116/120 lbs)

*Maintenance = LIVING.
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