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What is Hoodia Gordonii?

What is Hoodia Gordonii?

You have heard of Hoodia but what exactly is it? More importantly, what does it have to do with weight loss? Read on to find out more.

Hoodia Gordonii, better known as Hoodia, is a medicinal plant. It thrives in the deep deserts of South Africa where temperatures are high. It grows abundantly in the Kalahari Desert, although it can also be found in other African countries like Botswana, Namibia, and Angola. The San Bushmen, a group of indigenous people who live in and around the Kalahari Desert, have been eating it for years to keep hunger at bay during hunting excursions.

The appetite-suppressing powers of Hoodia prompted the researchers at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to study the plant. They conducted several experiments in hopes of isolating the unique ingredient in Hoodia that makes it an effective appetite suppressant. 

Their efforts paid off and they named the ingredient P57, which is actually a molecule. CSIR patented P57 and sold its rights to Phytopharm, a biopharmaceutical company. Not long after that, Phytopharm teamed up with pharmaceutical titan, Pfizer. Together, the two companies sought to identify the active ingredients of Hoodia to produce an anti-obesity drug.

Phytopharm and Pfizer succeeded in isolating the active ingredients of Hoodia. However, they found out that synthesizing Hoodia for commercial use is difficult and expensive. For this reason, Pfizer returned the license to Phytopharm. The latter then collaborated with another pharmaceutical giant, Unilever, in hopes of continuing the studies on Hoodia. Both Unilever and Phytopharm hope to release the anti-obesity drug in the worldwide market sometime in 2008.

The science behind Hoodia's appetite-curbing powers is actually quite simple. The P57 molecule in Hoodia was believed to be 10,000 times more active than glucose found in normal food. This molecule affects the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain responsible for metabolic processes. When a person eats Hoodia, the hypothalamus senses the high level of glucose in the body. In turn, it sends signals to the nerve cells that the body already had its fill. Simply put, Hoodia kills your desire to eat.

Clinical studies revealed that those people who consumed Hoodia reduced their calorie intake by a significant amount. Since weight gain is associated with calorie intake, this only means that the fewer calories a person takes, the bigger his weight loss will be. Calories are present in almost all the food we eat, and as such, they cannot be avoided. By suppressing your appetite, you lose your desire to eat, thus reducing the number of calories you add to your body.

One of the advantages of Hoodia over other natural appetite suppressants is that it has no side effects. Other natural weight-loss products can cause your heart to beat faster and your stomach to be upset. As of the present, scientists have found no short-term and long-term side effects associated with Hoodia. So if you are looking for a safe and effective way to shed those extra pounds the natural way, try Hoodia.