|For the last several years, products containing hoodia
extract have been featured in ads all over the internet
and similar products are sold at large retailers. Media
coverage of hoodia cactus extract and its ability to
suppress the appetite has been extensive. Correspondents
from CBS and the BBC have traveled to Africa to sample
the plant. No one knows exactly how long hoodia
gordonii has been used by South African natives.
The Bushmen or San people have lived in the areas
surrounding the Kalahari Desert for thousands of years.
The San live a hunter-gatherer way of life. Meaning that
they eat what animals they can hunt and what plants
they can gather. The hoodia gordonii plant is not a
particularly pleasant tasting plant, it was typically eaten
by hunters to suppress appetite and thirst when other
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|food was not available.
Products containing hoodia extract are being sold to help dieters achieve their
goals. Sticking to a low-calorie diet is not an easy thing to do for anyone. People
with a naturally high metabolism may not understand. People with a naturally
low appetite may not understand.
Those of us with a weight problem and a sluggish metabolism, but what used to
be called a “healthy” appetite understand completely. If, hoodia cactus extract
can help us resist those delicious high calorie foods, then we are all for it. The
problem is that not all products claiming to contain hoodia extract are equally
Hoodia is a term that can refer to any number of plants, so the first goal for the
consumer is to find a product that actually contains hoodia gordonii. This is the
only species that has been studied for its ability to suppress the appetite of
humans and animals.
Phytopharm, a British pharmaceutical company, has studied the effects of their
patented version of the hoodia cactus extract on overweight individuals. Results
showed that these people were able to reduce their caloric intake by as much as
1000 calories per day without feeling hungry. Any product may have a placebo
effect in humans; sometimes if we think it will help, it does.
So, animal studies may actually be more reliable. Rats that are fed or injected
with hoodia extract stop eating. Rats that will eat just about anything, just about
all the time.
In order to find a product that contains hoodia gordonii and not some other type
of hoodia, a little detective work is necessary. Products displaying a C.I.T.E.S.
certification can be purchased with confidence. A CITES license, issued by the
South African government, allows a manufacturer to export rare or endangered
Wild stands of hoodia gordonii are protected from exportation by the
government, but South African farmers have cultivated the species. This is the
South African hoodia cactus extract that can be legally exported.
There are several independent websites which rank and compare the various
products containing hoodia extract. Criteria for these rankings include price,
product guarantee and content.
For example, Hoodia XR receives high ratings because it is reasonably priced,
has a money back guarantee and contains 1000mg of hoodia gordonii. There are
many products that blend hoodia cactus extract with other herbs. There are only
a few which contain hoodia gordonii as the sole active ingredient and 1000mg is
considered a very high content.
A satisfaction guarantee is important because hoodia extract does not work for
everyone, but most companies offer the best price and free shipping when
several bottles are purchased at once. The ability to return those extra bottles, if
the first one does not effectively suppress one’s appetite, is a big plus.
Patsy Hamilton is one of the editors at the Hoodia Info Blog.
For more information about hoodia extract visit the Hoodia Info Blog.