It seems that every week we hear about a new miracle drug or herbal supplement that promises to help us lose weight without having to starve ourselves or do massive amount of sit-ups. Hoodia is one of the latest of these types of supplements. But what is it, and can it really help us lose weight, or is it merely a hindrance? Read on to find out whether you should consider adding hoodia to your arsenal of weapons in the battle against the bulge.
What Is Hoodia?
Hoodia, sometimes referred to by its scientific name of Hoodia gordonii, is a natural appetite suppressant that is native to Southern Africa. In Southern Africa, it is a desert plant that grows and looks much like common varieties of North American cacti. In truth, however Hoodia is actually a succulent.
Hoodia has long been revered in the Kalahari Desert by African Bushmen who used it to stave off hunger during their grueling cross-desert voyages. As such, Hoodia is indeed what it claims to be: an all-natural appetite suppressant that has been long-used in Southern Africa. The natural taste of the Hoodia gordonii plant is bitter, and much of the research surrounding the plant has focused on developing a more palatable version of the plant.
There are many varieties of Hoodia, but Hoodia gordonii is the only variety that contains the natural appetite suppressant complex.
Is It Safe?
Hoodia gordonii is all natural, and no dangerous side effects have been noted. Unlike other appetite suppressants, Hoodia is not a stimulant. Still, many people have been known to suffer from adverse reactions from even the safest supplements. Like any supplement or drug, it should not be without first consulting a medical professional.
Since every body is different, you should always take any supplement with caution, and carefully note any side effects you may experience.
How Do I Choose a Hoodia Supplement? How Do I Take Hoodia?
Choosing a good Hoodia supplement can be more difficult than it would seem. Many companies have tried to capitalize on the supplements popularity by churning out cheap imitation supplements. Some supplements that contain claim to contain natural Hoodia have been tested, and found to have very small or no traces of Hoodia. Buy from a reputable dealer or natural food supermarket to make sure your Hoodia supplement contains the real thing.
Drug companies are busy trying to figure out how to prepare a prescription drug version of Hoodia, but it seems that this option is still years away. The component of Hoodia that is responsible for its natural appetite suppressant abilities, known as P57, has proved difficult to isolate.
For now, the only viable option is to consume Hoodia as a natural supplement. Once you have located a Hoodia supplement manufactured by a reputable company, follow the manufacturers guidelines. In most cases, you will need to take one to two capsules a day, about an hour before lunch and dinner.
What Can I Expect From Taking Hoodia?
Do not expect to pop a pill and automatically lose weight. For maximum effectiveness, Hoodia should be used as part of a whole weight loss program that includes healthy eating and some form of regular exercise.
That said, once Hoodia has taken effect (for some people this can be a couple of days, while others can expect to note results in a couple of weeks), you might expect a natural-feeling decline in appetite. Your interest in food may become diminished, and you may feel full more quickly than you did before. Some users even report a experiencing a feeling of overall well being.
Although many users have had positive experiences with Hoodia, it should also be said that some individuals do not report a change in their eating habits or appetite.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that the true efficacy of Hoodia gordonii as an appetite suppressant has not yet been determined. Anecdotal evidence abounds, and this natural supplement appears very promising for those of us who have trouble cutting down on our daily caloric intake.
However, it is not a miracle drug, and should not be treated as such. You should definitely consult your doctor before consuming Hoodia gordonii, and it should be used as part of a healthy diet and exercise regime.