One of the latest products on the market today, popular in the weight-loss craze, is Hoodia. It is not a lifestyle plan or a dietary regiment that you follow. It is sold in the US as a dietary supplement to help suppress the user’s appetite.

The Premise: Hoodia, as we see it on the market today, is derived from the South African plant, Hoodia Gordonii, that is most frequently found in the Kalahari Desert. It is not a cactus, but a leafless, spiny, flowering, succulent plant. Surprisingly, its flowers are pollinated by flies instead of bees, and they are said to smell unpleasant, like rotting meat.

The Diet: A Hoodia diet does not require users to restrict their diet nor does it include a physical exercise regiment. It is a dietary supplement sold in tablets, capsules, or milk chocolate chews. You will take one supplement, twice a day, to help reduce and control your appetite. Weight-loss is a result of personal portion control and simply a reduction in the amount of calories you consume each day. By suppressing your typical hunger sensations, Hoodia is designed to make you eat less, and thereby lose weight.

What to get excited about: For participants that struggle with meal plans, menus, exercise programs, and complicated weight-loss programs, Hoodia offers an opportunity for users to gain control of their appetite and lose weight without as much difficulty. Because of its current popularity, Hoodia pills are readily available over the counter, in many stores, and over the Internet. Therefore, you won’t have difficulty finding the product or purchasing monthly supplies. While studies on the success of Hoodia weight-loss are few and limited, many people claim good personal results with no side effects.

Things to consider: Because Hoodia is sold as a dietary supplement that does not require a prescription, there is no FDA restrictions or studies to prove either its safety or effectiveness. Although the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research isolated the P57 ingredient in Hoodia that was responsible for appetite suppression in 1977 and patented it in 1996, companies attempting to replicate it in a synthetic form have not been able to prove its effectiveness in their products. In addition, a lack of government restrictions on the product also means there is a real danger of fakes on the market. Only reputable supplement companies with high product purity standards can be counted on to produce the “real thing.”

The Verdict:  While some people have achieved success with Hoodia, according to scientific standards, there is no proof it actually works. If you’re one of those people who has tried many things unsuccessfully, mainly because of a lack of simplicity and consistency, Hoodia may be worth a try. Currently, there are no reports of side effects or harmful results. It is a simple plan to start, and it can be easily stopped if you do not achieve the desired results. Unfortunately, it does not encourage overall healthy living and provides no long-term mechanisms to help you keep the weight off. Therefore, if you choose to try the product, it can only supplement a weight-loss program that will provide long-term health and appearance benefits. 

Remember, regardless of what diet program your interested in, it is always important that you consult your personal physician before beginning a new diet program.


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