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Hoodia ‘cactus’ — the latest word in fat reduction

Hoodia gordonii is a cactus-like plant from southern Africa. Tribesmen from that region have used it for generations as an appetite suppressant and as a feel-good supplement. Europeans found out about it several decades ago, studied it, gave the development rights to a European drug company, but the company decided not to pursue hoodia as a reducing drug — possibly because the active ingredients could not be patented since they were naturally occurring.

Now hoodia is becoming big news. Other effective dieting substances, such as ephedra and amphetamines, are no longer easy to obtain legally; yet the need for such fat-reducers has become greater than ever.

A recent CBS news program (‘60 Minutes’) featured hoodia, and included a visit by journalist Lesley Stahl to a hoodia farm where she ate a chunk of the raw plant. Stahl reported the next day that her desire to eat was completely eliminated for the whole day, without any side effects.

Dried, powdered hoodia is available from various companies, some of them honest, others not so honest. Effective dosages vary from one person to another — 400 mg/day of hoodia powder may be adequate for some, while 2000 mg/day or more may be required by others.

Link to transcript of CBS60 Minutes’ episode:

Link to discussion of hoodia:

Link to recently published study of hoodia ingredients:

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