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Hoodia (Hoodia gordonii)

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Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • Apocynaceae (family), cactus, Ghaap, hoodia cactus, Hoodia gordonii, hoodia P57, Hoodoba®, Kalahari cactus, Kalahari diet, P57, South African desert cactus, South African hoodia, Xhoba, xhooba.

Background
  • Hoodia is a genus in the plant family Apocynaceae. Although hoodia was introduced to the West in early 2004, the Bushmen of the Kalahari have been eating it for a long time to help ward off hunger and thirst during long trips in the desert.
  • Unlike ephedra, hoodia does not work as a stimulant; it acts as an appetite suppressant. The pharmaceutical company, Phytopharm, finds hoodia promising and is currently trying to isolate the appetite-suppressing molecule, P57, to create a patented diet drug in the future. P57 was at one time licensed to Pfizer for development, but was discontinued in 2003.
  • There are no available reliable human trials demonstrating efficacy and safety. BBC news reports from 2003 suggested that some samples of hoodia products sold on the Internet might show no evidence of containing actual hoodia.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Appetite suppressant, energy improvement, mood enhancement, nutritional deficiencies, thirst, weight reduction.

Dosing

Adults (over 18 years old)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for hoodia. However, hoodia is popularly used for weight loss and dried extracts (20:1) with a dosage ranging from 400-800 milligrams daily have been used.

Children (under 18 years old)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for hoodia in children, and use is not recommended.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to hoodia.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Currently, there is a lack of available information about the safety of hoodia. Hoodia is popularly used as a weight loss agent, and use may suppress appetite. Safety in children is unknown.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

  • The use of hoodia during pregnancy and breastfeeding should be avoided due to a lack of safety studies.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • There is not enough available scientific evidence to report drug interactions. However, hoodia is popularly used for weight loss and it may interact with other medications that are appetite suppressants.

Interactions with Herbs & Dietary Supplements

  • There is not enough available scientific evidence to report herb and supplement interactions. However, hoodia is popularly used for weight loss and it may interact with other appetite suppressing herbs and supplements.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Butler G. Hoodia who? Alive: Canadian Journal of Health & Nutrition 2005;267:90.
  2. MacLean DB, Luo LG. Increased ATP content/production in the hypothalamus may be a signal for energy-sensing of satiety: studies of the anorectic mechanism of a plant steroidal glycoside. Brain Res 9-10-2004;1020(1-2):1-11.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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