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You've Heard All The Hype but Does Hoodia Work?

Hoodia Gordonii is a cactus-like plant found in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa. The San tribe have been eating the hoodia gordonii plant for centuries to stave off hunger during hunting trips. Just a small piece of the plant acts as a powerful appetite suppressant. It's all natural and so far doesn't have any side effects. It sounds like the perfect diet pill, but does hoodia work?

To answer the question we need to understand what hoodia does once it's ingested. In theory, hoodia works by tricking the brain, specifically the hypothalamus, into thinking you have consumed large amounts of food. As a result, the brain tells you that you are full. The active ingredient in hoodia, P57, is responsible for this trick.

When you eat, the food in your body is broken down into sugar. When the sensors in the hypothalamus recognize the sugar in your body, it shuts down your desire to eat. P57 is 10,000 more powerful than blood sugar (glucose). Without eating any food, P57 can trick your brain into thinking you have consumed large amounts of food when in fact you haven't eaten a thing!

In theory this sounds great but does hoodia work like this in the real world? Phytopharm, an UK based pharmaceutical company, put the theory to the test in the 1990's. The study comprised of 18 morbidly obese volunteers. Half of them were given authentic hoodia gordonii supplements and the other half were given a placebo for 15 days.

Those who were given hoodia diet pills ate 1,000 less calories each day than they had previously to the study. These volunteers made no other lifestyle changes, did not increase their exercise regimen, and were unaware of the effect hoodia was having on their appetite. They experienced a natural reduction in appetite with no effort on their part.

While this study seemed promising, experts were quick to point out that the study was too small and wasn't peer-reviewed to provide any conclusive answers to the question, does hoodia work. Unfortunately, there have been no large-scale, peer-reviewed studies to address the question.

Most of the evidence we have today about the effectiveness of hoodia is anecdotal, and that evidence is mixed at best. Some swear by it while others say it doesn't do anything for them. Experts say that those who don't experience the appetite suppressing qualities of hoodia diet pills may not be getting enough hoodia gordonii - if any at all.

It's important to take a close look at the hoodia diet pills themselves. Only supplements that contain 100% authentic hoodia gordonii have the potential to suppress appetite. You may be surprised to know that the majority of the hoodia diet pills sold today contain very little hoodia gordonii - if any at all!

Hoodia weight loss supplements, like all supplements, are unregulated. Companies that sell hoodia supplements can virtually say anything they want about their products. Itís up to you, the consumer, to do your due diligence before buying. Be sure to check the ingredients label of any hoodia product you are considering before buying.

Another way to determine if hoodia diet pills contain authentic hoodia gordonii is to look for a CITES certificate. These certificates are required by companies before they can export hoodia gordonii from South Africa. Companies that have them will display their CITES certificates on their websites.

You have to pay close attention to them, however, as some unscrupulous companies will put fakes on their websites. These are usually easy to spot. Fake certificates are usually blurred or will have parts of it whited out. Real certificates are easy to read because all the information is clearly visible.

So in the end does hoodia work? Probably, but there are only a few studies that say yes conclusively and they are small in scope and aren't peer-reviewed. In addition, the anecdotal evidence is mixed. Some dieters swear by it while others say it doesn't work for them. The best way to answer the question is to try it yourself and see what results you get. Just be sure the hoodia diet pills you are taking contain authentic hoodia gordonii or you can be assured that it won't work!

About the Author: Travis Van Slooten is an accomplished webmaster and publisher of where he provides a wealth of information on hoodia and weight loss.

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