A Answers (2)
Stacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answeredHoodia is a cactus that grows in the Kalahari Desert.The stems amd roots of the plant are used. It is used as a weight loss supplement because it decreases the appetite. While this supplement may be able to decrease your hunger, it is still not known if it is completely safe.
Hoodia is a genus in the plant family Apocynaceae. Although hoodia was introduced to the West in early 2004, the Bushmen of the Kalahari have been eating it for a long time to help ward off hunger and thirst during long trips in the desert.
Unlike ephedra, hoodia does not work as a stimulant; it acts as an appetite suppressant. The pharmaceutical company, Phytopharm, finds hoodia promising and is currently trying to isolate the appetite-suppressing molecule, P57, to create a patented diet drug in the future. P57 was at one time licensed to Pfizer for development, but was discontinued in 2003.
There are no available reliable human trials demonstrating efficacy and safety. BBC news reports from 2003 suggested that some samples of hoodia products sold on the Internet might show no evidence of containing actual hoodia.
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