You've seen all the adverts and television interviews about how hoodia is a great weight loss product. But there's so many different products and variations on the shelf. Just how do you go about choosing the right hoodia product for you?
Start by doing a little bit of research about Hoodia Gordonii, so that you can tell the truth from the advertising hype. Hoodia is a cactus-like succulent plant that only grows in the regions near the Kalahari Desert of South Africa. The San Bushmen living there regularly eat hoodia to kill their hunger on their long hunting expeditions. Western scientists analyzed the hoodia plant and discovered a molecule in the hoodia gordonii plant, which they named P 57. Further testing found that it is this molecule that makes the plant a wonderful appetite suppressant.
There's only one company, a British one called Phytopharm, that holds the sole right to market Hoodia Gordonii as a weight-loss product. So other companies have teamed up with them to market it. Despite the fact that the San Bushmen have been using hoodia for so long, it still needs to go through all the usual pharmaceutical trials before it is approved by the FDA. It looks likely that Hoodia Gordonii will be officially made available for weight loss sometime in 2008. That said, you can buy it over the counter now as a dietary supplement, but it won't be labeled as a weight-loss drug.
Hoodia came to fame in November 2004 in a '60 Minutes' program on CBS. Since "as seen on TV" is a powerful selling point, lots of companies have started marketing hoodia products, often in combination with some other appetite suppressant drugs like ephedrine or ma huang, with some fake Hoodia.
There is also no standard dosage of Hoodia Gordonii in the pills or capsules marketed by the various companies.
Which makes finding a true hoodia supplement a little bit hit and miss unless you're careful and follow these rules:
- Make sure the company marketing has a permit from CITES (the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)
- Check the product carries a report about its purity
- Check it carries a license from the Western Cape Conservation Authority of South Africa
- Make sure it has no ephedrine, ephedra or ma huang and that it is 100% pure
- Ideally, get a money back guarantee as well.