Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halt hunger with HOODIA?

That second piece of cake looks appealing. You know you shouldn't, but you're not quite full, What if you could take a safe, natural pill to blunt your appetite? The herb hoodia might be the answer.

Fans of the herb say that it provides that extra bit of willpower needed to avoid
snacking, and it keeps them feeling full for longer periods of time. These reported
benefits address one of the most critical aspects of weight loss—limiting calories.

Shut off the Hunger Switch
For centuries, the Kalahari Bushmen in the southern African desert have relied on a cactuslike succulent, Hoodia gordonii, as a "famine" food—used to curb hunger during long desert treks. The plant looks and tastes like a spiny cucumber. Hoodia indeed appears to have appetite suppressant properties, and unlike other weightloss aids, it is not a stimulant.

Hoodia contains a steroidal glycoside molecule, dubbed P57, that is thought to be 10,000 times more active in the brain than glucose. The compound appears to work by tricking the body into feeling full. Brown University scientists found that P57 reduces daily food intake by 40-60 percent and helps increase brain ATP (the body's energy molecule) by 50-150 percent. In clinical trials in Britain, obese people taking hoodia ate about 1,000 calories a day less than the control group.

How to Use Hoodia
The fresh plant may cut your appetite immediately, but some people might need up to two weeks of regular supplementation before noticing results.

Start with 500mg one hour before lunch and again before dinner for two weeks. As the effects kick in, reduce the dosage to 500mg total daily. While thought to be a safe herb (no side effects have been noted), hoodia has not undergone studies to establish its safety profile.

Finding a Quality Product
Since hoodia's introduction to the US market, concerns have been raised about product quality. Some have speculated that certain brands don't contain true Hoodia
gordonii but rather other hoodia species or even other succulents. There currently is
no way to measure the quality of hoodia and/or P57 in products; however, attempts
are being made to change that. For now, use a brand that you trust and that clearly
lists Hoodia gordonii on the label.

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