Hoodia:What Happened To Hoodia?
Hoodia Gordonii -Appetitie Suppressant?
If you want to lose weight you have likely already heard of Hoodia Gordonii. It truly sounds like the miracle we have all hoped for. Hoodia gordonii is an African cactus that grows naturally only in the Kalahari desert. We were told that for thousands of years the bushman of the Kalahari region have eaten Hoodia Gordonii to stave off hunger on long hunting trips, with no apparent ill effects. A TV crew from ’60 Minutes’ who went to the area reported that they had tried hoodia and that it really did suppress appetites.
This news created- dare I say it- a feeding frenzy when it was broadcast in 2004. Everyone wanted it as it seemed to be the answer to our weight loss problems. The problem was that the hoodia gordonii plant was not available to purchase in commercial quantities and no clinical studies had been done to verify its safety and effectiveness.
Despite this hoodia supplements became available online almost immediately. Where were these purveyors getting the plant from ? Problably another variety of hoodia of which there are several, to name but a few: Hoodia alstonii, Hoodia currorii (syn. H. lugardii, H. macrantha, Hoodia dregei,Hoodia flava…. Of course many were simply fakes and still are.
Unilever and Pfizer licenced the plant from Phytopharm and began to test the hoodia goddonii plant. However, in 2008 UK-based Unilever PLC, one of the largest packaged-food firms in the world, abandoned plans to use hoodia in a range of diet products.
In a document on Unilever’s website entitled “Sustainable Development 2008: An Overview,” signed by Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever states:
“During 2008, having invested 20 million [pounds] in R&D, Unilever abandoned plans to use the slimming extract hoodia in a range of diet products. We stopped the project because our clinical studies revealed that products using hoodia would not meet our strict standards of safety and efficacy.”
Really that is it for Hoodia. It didn’t live up to the hype and the hope that had been generated. So its back to the lab for instant appetite suppressors. On the other hand is appetite the real issue? Don’t overweight people eat even when not really hungry? I know I do. What about you?