You may have seen hoodia on the shelves at a health food store, watched a segment about this popular diet aid on 60 Minutes, pulled up ads about hoodia on the Internet, or learned from a friend what an amazing product hoodia is for people who are trying to lose weight. What is special about hoodia, though, and why does it surpass other diet aids on the market?
First, hoodia helps people lose weight without making them feel deprived of food and constantly hungry like regular restricted-calorie diets. An early study of Hoodia gordonii use among obese patients in the United Kingdom showed that people who took the supplement managed to reduce their calorie intake by 1000 calories a day in just two weeks. These patients had unlimited access to food, yet they ate less and did not feel hungry. Other people have reported losing up to 4 pounds per week and as much as 100 pounds in just six weeks.
Second, hoodia seems to keep people from obsessing or focusing on food, in addition to allowing them to feel fuller while eating less. This remarkable feature of the plant supplement addresses the problem that many emotional eaters face when they eat out of boredom or because of the desire to alter their mood rather than to satisfy hunger. Many people struggling with weight gravitate toward “comfort foods,” which tend to be unhealthy, high in fat, or laden with empty calories. By reducing such compulsive urges about food, hoodia supplements allow the dieter to make healthier eating choices and use food to nourish the body rather than provide temporary comfort.
Perhaps its most redeeming feature as a dietary supplement, however, is that hoodia is both natural and safe to use. Other products on the market are enhanced with caffeine and man-made chemicals, but Hoodia gordonii is a plant indigenous to the Kalahari dessert of South Africa that the native African Bushmen have been safely using for thousands of years. Scientists, too, have found no adverse side effects in over a decade of research studies on this plant extract. In fact, the South African government considers Hoodia gordonii to be a food rather than a drug.