Using a Hoodia dietary supplement is tempting, since the extract obtained from this plant is heavily promoted as an effective appetite suppressant. Besides that, such a supplement is also able to decrease gastric acid production, something you will appreciate if you suffer from gastric acid reflux disease.
What is Hoodia?
Hoodia is a generic name for 13 species of flowering plants from the Apocynaceae family that originate in Namibia and Angola. These are cactiform plants, meaning that they resemble the form of cactuses, despite not being related to them.
Hoodia appears in Appendix II to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which means that even though not endangered, it is at risk because of the uncontrolled trade. Only one of these species, namely Hoodia gordonii, is used as main ingredient for several dietary supplements.
How Does A Hoodia Appetite Suppressant Work?
Hoodia has been used by the natives of the Kalahari Desert for suppressing their appetite during long hunts. This determined others to believe that the Hoodia extract can be used as the main ingredient for weight loss supplements. The appetite suppressant property of Hoodia is provided by an active molecule called P57, the same molecule that regulates the production of gastric acid.
Published scientific proof of its effectiveness in humans lacks, and even the studies on rats showed that injecting P57 into the brain does not lead to the expected results. As the liver decomposes P57 rapidly, it would take greater amounts of Hoodia gordonii extract to ensure the appetite suppression. Because of this fact, many researchers doubt that a Hoodia dietary supplement includes as much P57 as needed. Further studies demonstrated that the liver enzymes are not able to decomposed P57AS3, a steroidal glycoside with anorectic activity derived from P57.
After entering the blood stream and maintaining its relative stability during the metabolic processes that take place in the liver, the active ingredient reaches the brain. Through a coenzyme called adenosine triphosphate, the Hoodia extract suppresses the appetite.
What To Expect From A Hoodia Dietary Supplement?
Studies conducted by Bucks County Clinical Research in Morrisville, Pennsylvania proved that Hoodia is effective as a weight loss remedy. However, the results of these studies have never been published. Despite the lack of hard evidence, many dietary supplement manufacturers started producing Hoodia diet pills. In order to make the Hoodia pills even more appealing, these manufacturers also claim that their products lower blood pressure.
Hoodia gordonii products are available in numerous forms:
- protein shakers
- diet bars
Supplements that are claimed to promote weight loss contain green tea, hoodia, and other extracts, so that their effectiveness increases.
Before taking a Hoodia dietary supplement, be aware that the FDA does not certify any of the dietary aids that contain extracts from this plant. The effectiveness of the product is not officially recognized. People who use hoodia lose weight sometimes, but this does not mean that will work for every individual. Until its efficiency is proved and published, those trying to lose weight people are advised to rely on documented weight loss remedies.