The San Bushmen natives of South Africa have used a native succulent plant called Hoodia Gordonii for many generations to suppress appetite and control thirst during long hunting trips. So what’s the hype about hoodia now? It’s all about weight loss.
Losing weight is dependent on one thing, calories in versus calories out. While the concept is simple, most people aren’t able to stick to a diet. This is what makes hoodia extracts so appealing.
An independent study was performed at Brown University Medical School in Rhode Island that concluded hoodia gordonii affects nerve cells in the hypothalamus, which monitor blood glucose levels and helps regulate appetite. It is this affect on the hypothalamus that makes your brain think you’re full when not.
When we don’t eat while dieting, the hypothalamus sends an appetite signal as our glucose levels fall. Hoodia is thought to work by releasing a chemical compound similar to glucose, but one that appears to be 100 times stronger. The brain receives this as a signal of being satiated and decreases our appetite.
Further research into the effect of hoodia for weight loss to be more conclusive, but some studies have been performed on the hoodia gordinii extract showing there is some evidence for its effect. One 28 day study looked at overweight participants taking a gram of hoodia gordonii a day. Participants were instructed to eat a balanced breakfast and take a multivitamin in addition to the hoodia, but keep other eating and exercise habits unchanged.
Most of the participants reported their caloric intake dropped to less than half within a few days after starting hoodia, and they didn’t report side effects such as jitteriness or insomnia. They lost, on average, 3.3 percent of their body weight due, which amounted to a median loss of 10 pounds. Other studies have also shown daily caloric intake drops by about 1000 after two weeks.
So if you are having trouble sticking to a diet, hoodia gordonii may just be the trick you need. It is a natural product with generations of use, but it is best to check with your physician before starting a new diet and taking a new supplement.