Hoodia is basically a cactus, grown in Africa's Kalahari Desert. A compound that acts as an appetite suppressant is derived from Hoodia. Traditionally, the San Bushmen of the Kalahari used to eat Hoodia before going on long journeys so that they would not feel hungry.
South African scientists have since discovered that it contains a previously unknown molecule (which they patented and named P57) and which works by affecting the nerve cells in the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that controls appetite by responding to the levels of blood glucose. According to scientists, as a signal to the hypothalamus to curb eating, P57 is much more potent than glucose. This is why today it is one of the most popular weight loss supplements.
Hoodia is all-natural which automatically places it above other chemical dietary supplements. It is supposed to have few side effects.
As a dietary supplement, Hoodia is good as it curbs hunger. It essentially works by deceiving the brain into thinking that your stomach is full and thus does not signal hunger pangs. So you are free to follow any diet you like.
Hoodia boosts the metabolism without causing an increase in the heart rate which happens with other supplements. The boost in your metabolism gives you more energy so that you don’t feel tired and can follow an energetic workout regime.
Hoodia Extract also helps you lower the actual amount of calories that you normally take in as it curbs your appetite.
Hoodia is commonly touted as an herbal diet pill without side effects. This is not actually true and not enough research has been done on it so far.
Studies by Pfizer showed that there were indications that there were unwanted effects on the liver caused, not by the molecule p57, but by other components that could not be effectively removed during processing. The conclusion was that if Hoodia does affect liver function, then it will also interfere in the processing of common medications that most people take for common ailments like blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, depression, and other diseases.
People with diabetes should definitely be careful while using Hoodia as it tricks the brain into thinking there is enough blood sugar. Thus, a person’s blood sugar level could fall drastically and suddenly if not checked regularly.
Hoodia also suppresses thirst. There have been cases in Africa of shepherds who took Hoodia dying of dehydration.
Additionally, pregnant or nursing women, children, or people with liver or kidney disease should avoid Hoodia as the safety of Hoodia hasn’t been established for these types of people in particular.
There is actually no established maximum hoodia dosage. Based on research, it appears that 3000-4000 mg seems to be the maximum daily amount that can be taken safely.
Additionally, studies show that anything above 4,500mg isn’t actually necessary. Hoodia stops working after a certain level.