One of the latest magic weight loss pills that has hit the market is hoodia gordonii. This plant extract comes from South Africa and is supposed to suppress appetite. Most commercials out there claim no side effects with hoodia. Is it for real? Here is a closer look.
Hoodia gordonii’s active ingredient is thought to be p57 which acts at your brain fooling it that you are not hungry. Promoters of hoodia suggest since it is a natural product there are no side effects with hoodia supplementation. This is not absolutely true for 4 reasons:
- Every pill, natural ingredient, man-made substance or pill can have side effects! Hoodia is on the spotlight for a short time and no research is available regarding potential side effects from long term usage of it. Many claim that the tribe men of Africa have been using hoodia for centuries and they never had any adverse effects. My response to this is that tribe men of Africa probably are not on prescribed medication as you may be or they are not probably couch potatoes like most of us these days!
- As stated above hoodia gordonii can have interactions with medications you might be taking. There are some allegations about hoodia tampering with liver function. Many prescribed medications rely on proper liver function to be effective and safe at the same time. Again not much research exists about hoodia’s interactions so please consult your doctor if you are on medication and want to start taking hoodia.
- One of the stated theories of how hoodia works is that it tricks the brain not to feel hungry or thirsty. The above actions can have serious effects on vulnerable people like diabetics, people suffering from heart,liver or kidney disease etc. Dehydration is a dreadful state of health and you should not go anywhere near it.
- Many supplementations apart from the hoodia gordonii they should contain, are found to have other ingredients too. Some of them to aid weight loss and others for reasons only the manufacturer knows. Here lies the danger of people being sensitive to the substances contained in the supplement and eventually developing allergies.
The above are not to say that hoodia is dangerous or should be avoided. The only recommendation is not to think that a supplement can be consumed like bubble gum. Up to now there are no side effects with hoodia that are dangerous but no many studies exist. All medications, substances and natural herbs can have side effects. Besides if you think that almost 80% of supplements do not contain what they claim to, then it is only logical to think carefully before buying the latest magic diet pill. I would first suggest the only true weight loss combination of healthy eating and exercise and if this does not work then explore other options.
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