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Using Hoodia to Help Lose Weight—Does Science Back this Up?

 
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The herbal supplement hoodia gordonii or just hoodia for short has gained in popularity as a natural way for people to lose weight. The first part of this article looked at what hoodia’s key ingredient is (something called p57) and how scientists are looking at why and how it may help us shed pounds.

For example, one study found that injecting p57 into the portion of rats’ brains that control appetite led to altered levels of ATP, which is a molecule responsible for energy, and that may also have an impact on hunger. The rats that got the p57 injections also ate less than the rats that received an injection of a placebo. In other words, p57 and thus hoodia appears to work as a natural appetite suppressant. More specifically, the p57 has an effect on the brain that is similar to glucose; it sends the message that we are full, even if we have not eaten anything. As a bonus, people who have tried hoodia often report that even though their appetites drop and they don’t eat as much as they once did, they are not left feeling weak and jittery from the lessened amount of food.

In other words, p57 and thus hoodia appears to work as a natural appetite suppressant. More specifically, the p57 has an effect on the brain that is similar to glucose; it sends the message that we are full, even if we have not eaten anything. As a bonus, people who have tried hoodia often report that even though their appetites drop and they don’t eat as much as they once did, they are not left feeling weak and jittery from the lessened amount of food.

One human-based clinical trial of hoodia was done on just 18 subjects who found that taking hoodia caused them to eat about 1,000 calories a day less food compared to a placebo group. But this study was obviously quite small and it wasn’t ever published or anything so many people feel it needs more work.

If you do decide to give hoodia a try to see if it will work for you and your weight loss program, please keep in mind that although it is a natural product, it can also lead to side effects in certain groups of people.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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