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    Does Hoodia cause weight loss?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Tuesday, August 10, 2010 8:12 am Email this article
    I have not seen any published studies showing that hoodia causes weight loss.

    I would not be surprised if it causes some weight loss in the short-term -- maybe 5 or 10 pounds -- but I would not want to take it on a long-term basis because the research suggests that it might cause liver problems.

    Here is a summary of the research on Hoodia that I have reviewed. Small Doses

    Small Doses Did Not Reduce Appetite

    A dose of 35 mg per pound of body weight did not cause appetite suppression in rats.

    This dose would be equivalent to 7,000 mg of hoodia for a 200 pound human.


    Large Doses

    Large Doses Reduced Appetite

    A dose of 173 mg per pound of body weight did cause appetite suppression in rats.

    This dose would be equivalent to 34,600 mg of hoodia for a 200 pound human. Wow!

    You should never take this much.


    Death in Rats

    Large Doses killed one-third of the Rats

    One-third of the rats given a dose of 173 mg per pound of body weight—enough to cause appetite suppression—died for unknown reasons.



    Appetite returned to normal after 10 days

    Appetite suppression returned to normal after 10 days.


    Liver and kidney damage

    Liver and kidney damage

    There was some liver and kidney damage in animals given an appetite suppressing dose of hoodia, however, the damge did not appear to be lethal or irreversible.

    Larger doses cause liver damage

    The patent for Hoodia mentions under toxicity testing that animals given large doses had “friable livers” and says that liver toxicity needs to be investigated further.

    Friable means “capable of being broken into small pieces by hand pressure”.



    Do NOT Give to Children

    Africans say children have died taking Hoodia

    The native people in Africa who take it to suppress their appetite when they are out hunting for several days also say that it should not be given to children because it may kill them.

    Yikes again!

    Some people selling it have said, “Well, that’s probably because it works so well that the children might starve to death.”


    I imagine the African people have given it to children in the past and some of them have died, because of toxicity I assume.


    For Short-Term Use Only

    May be safe for a week or two, but not to be taken continuously

    It may be safe to use for a week or two at a time, such as around Thanksgiving or Christmas, to prevent overeating and weight gain, however, I would not want to take it everyday on a continuous basis.


    Drug Company Findings

    Drug company dropped research due to toxicity?

    Another thing that makes me suspicious is that the drug company Pfizer was trying to develop a diet drug based on Hoodia, and then suddenly dropped the project.

    They said that they had reorganized or something like that, and that Hoodia no longer fit into their plans.

    I don’t believe their explanation. 

    I would guess that they decided to drop the project because they found toxicity issues.

    Drug company’s explanation identical to HCA which was dropped due to toxicity

    Their explanation is almost identical to what the drug company Roche said when it dropped their development of hydroxycitrate (HCA, CitriMax) about 25 years ago.

    However, in 1994 while writing the book “The New Diet Pills” and talked to researchers involved in hydroxycitrate research, I found out the real reason Roche dropped their research of HCA as an obesity treatment was because of a toxicity issue they found in dogs.

    Roche later admitted this publicly to Nutrition Action Newsletter which is put out by Center for Science in the Public Interest.


    Fake Hoodia

    Some products are not Hoodi Gordoni

    There is also an issue with some Hoodia being sold is NOT Hoodia Gordoni, but another species.

    I arranged a Hoodia study for a company, but after the study, when the product was sent to the lab and tested, we found out that it was NOT Hoodia Gordoni.

    I later asked the supplier for a sample so I could have it tested.

    They refused.

    What does that tell you?

    This is a potential problem with all supplements, especially expensive supplements such as Hoodia, 5-HTP, Co-Q10, etc.

    About 10 years ago, I bought, what I believe to be, was fake Co-Q10 from a well-known company. Buyer beware.




    So, if I was going to try Hoodia, I would make sure to buy from a large, reputable company, not some small company that I had never heard of.

    And I would only use it for a few weeks, perhaps around holidays to avoid weight gain, but I would not take it on a daily basis indefinitely.

    Articles on the same subject can be found here:


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