Currently one of the most publicized forms of natural weight loss products in America, the hoodia diet has been hailed by some as a miracle weight loss program. With features on major news networks such as CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, and BBC it has become one of the most talked about new diet programs. Even Oprah has shown support on her “O” Magazine. For the most part it has received positive reviews and is now in higher demand than ever before.
What is Hoodia?
Hoodia gordonii, also known as hoodia, xhooba, khoba, Ghaap, South African desert cactus, is a rare botanical that grows exclusively in the semi-deserts of South Africa. A cactus like plant, it grows in clumps of upright stems is considered a succulent and not a cactus. It can take approximately 5 years before the plant produces its pale-purple flowers and is ready for harvest. While there are over 20 types of hoodia, only the hoodia gordonii variety is believed to have appetite-suppressing properties.
How Does It Work?
Used by the San Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert for numerous years to ward of hunger and thirst during hunting trips, hoodia has only recently been recognized in the United States and Europe as an effective dietary supplement.
Scientists have found several compounds in the plant that helps with appetite suppression. It contains a steroidal glycoside molecule known as P57 that is 10,000 times as active as glucose, resulting in the nerve cells in the mid-brain trigging the feeling of fullness. Simply put, the compounds in the plant trick your body into believing it is full.
Hoodia in the Marketplace
A mainstay of all hoodia diet programs, Hoodia supplements can be purchased in various forms including pills and liquid extracts. These supplements may be noted as having pure hoodia or the hoodia may be only part of the complete makeup of the supplement. These supplements can be purchased from representatives of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) certified manufacturers. Check your local drug store or check out hoodia products available on the Internet.
Keeping it Real
Due to the rarity of the plant and its limited growing area, fakes and counterfeits as well as diluted hoodia products are running rampant in the marketplace. Real hoodia is very rare, controlled and expensive. The South African government has strictly regulated exportation of hoodia to the rest of the world. Hoodia is a CITES – an international agreement between countries to protect and regulate international trade of animals and plants – making it impossible for all the products advertising themselves as a hoodia supplement to be, in fact, real. Studies have shown that as many as 50% of hoodia products contain little or no hoodia at all.
Is Hoodia For You?
If you want a low to no risk dietary supplement the hoodia diet could be for you. But due to strict guidelines and growing restrictions, hoodia is not as available as it seems and can be quite expensive. And be sure to keep in mind that what you see may not be always be what you get – just because it says hoodia that does not mean that it is hoodia. Shop for reputation as well as product to help guarantee you are getting what you paid for.