One of the latest trends in the diet craze is to take Hoodia diet pills. Diet pills that fall under this category are made from the succulent Hoodia Gordonii plant that can only be found growing naturally in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa.
Hoodia: The Natural Appetite Suppressant
Considered to be a natural solution to weight loss, hoodia diet pills are believed to work as an appetite suppressant. Therefore, by taking the pills, the theory is that your brain thinks you are full and you do not want to eat. As such, consuming less food can mean ingesting fewer calories and making it easier to stick to a calorie-reduced diet.
Many in South Africa have been eating hoodia for hundreds of years. Historically, it is said that the San Bushmen used hoodia to suppress appetite during long hunts.
That being said, only a certain part of the plant supposedly has appetite suppressing properties. A South African laboratory was finally able to isolate the ingredient in hoodia that suppresses the appetite, a chemical which is known as p57. They patented it and licensed it to Phytopharm, which has spent $20 million on research including clinical trials.
However, whether hoodia is indeed a “wonder” diet pill remains under debate. Many manufacturers of herbal hoodia recommend that you also combine low impact exercise (such as walking) and a healthy diet in conjunction with the hoodia diet pills.To be fair, this recommendation is not exclusive to hoodia products. Combining diet and exercise with any weight management aid is a good idea for maximum results.
How to Use Hoodia Diet Pills
Most hoodia diet pills suggest that you take one capsule a half hour before breakfast and another a half-hour before lunch. With that said, you should know that hoodia is not recommended for everyone. Individuals who should avoid this herbal supplement include:
- Pregnant or breast-feeding women
- Anyone under the age of 18
- Individuals with a history of high blood pressure or any heart problems
Essentially, you should talk to a doctor before taking these pills to make sure it is safe for you, especially if you have any existing medical condition or you are currently taking medications to treat a health condition.
Because hoodia is an herb, you do not need a prescription to take it. These products can be bought in local retail stores or online. Some claim that hoodia diet pills produce effects similar to phentermine, adipex, and didrex. However, these are unsubstantiated claims as it is not known what effects hoodia has when used in people. Moreover, the Food and Drug Administration has not publicly stated that hoodia is safe or effective for weight loss.
What Science Says About Hoodia
Hoodia Gordonii, which although popular, has no published randomized controlled trials in humans to show that it is safe or effective in pill form.
One study published in the September 2004 issue of Brain Research found that injections of p57 (The Active ingredient in Raw, Fresh Cut Hoodia, not dried) into the appetite center of rat brains resulted in altered levels of ATP, an energy molecule that may affect hunger.
The animals receiving the P57 injections also ate less than rats that received placebo injections. However, this was an animal study and injections in the brain are very different from oral consumption, so this study cannot be used to show that oral hoodia can suppress appetite in humans.
The trouble with many hoodia diet pills sold is that they do not contain certified hoodia and/or they contain very little, if any, of the active ingredient P57 needed to suppress hunger.
Real Hoodia is very rare and is even an endangered plant. Most importantly, Hoodia has reportedly only demonstrated appetite suppressant effects when in it is fresh and raw. The effectiveness of powdered Hoodia has yet to be seen and may actually increase hunger.
The main use of powdered Hoodia is as a cheap alternative to the more expensive weight loss herbs, which are the only alternative left after the banning of ephedra. Most supplement manufacturers cannot use the more expensive weight loss herbs because it will result in a product that would be too expensive to compete with other more popular inexpensive diet supplements.
In other words, when it all comes down to it, there is zero scientific proof that Hoodia diet supplements can suppress appetite or that they are safe or effective in helping people lose weight.
Diet Pills Containing Hoodia
There are literally hundreds of different non-prescription diet pills that contain hoodia as it is one of the most popular and recognized diet pill ingredients. However, if you are wanting to try hoodia just on its own, it is available for purchase as well.
Still, it’s a good idea to conduct a background check on the product you are interested in buying to verify that it contains certified hoodia. This can usually be found on the website of the company in the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) report.
You may also find it useful to read the reviews that our site visitors have made about individual hoodia products either in the Hoodia Diet Pills Reviews or Non-Prescription Diet Pills Reviews categories.
That being said, remember that it is always a good idea to play it safe and inform your doctor if you plan on taking any hoodia diet pills products.