How To Identify A Weight Loss Effective Hoodia Product

By Matt Denos, PhD (biochemist)

Being overweight or obese is a cause for concern; it is not just how you look physically, but it is also the very high possibility of having serious health issues. The human body systems are dependent on each other to ensure optimal functioning. Obesity increases the chances of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, hypertension and stroke. It is also linked to some forms of cancer. Staying healthy and fit is often difficult when you have limited time or energy to exercise and end up overeating. It has been estimated that there are 300 million obese people in the world and a billion who are overweight.


Hoodia Controls Appetite

Natural appetite suppressants, such as the one that is produced form the plant Hoodia gordonii, have been used for centuries in many cultures. It is only over the last few years that the health care and health food industry has discovered the benefits of Hoodia gordonii. This natural appetite suppressant is remarkably effective and according to some considerable - though still preliminary - research it is safe for consumption. Many health and weight loss products utilize Hoodia and there are numerous patent applications that have been registered.

In research studies of Hoodia it was discovered that an oxypregane glucoside, which scientists refer to as P57, is the active chemical ingredient in the plant that gives the body a feeling of satiety. Experiments have indicated that the hypothalamus, a part of the central nervous system controls hunger. The P57 is believed to affect the hypothalamus and reduce hunger.

Studies conducted on animals have concluded that Hoodia is safe. Consumer reports also confirm the same as do clinical trials on humans. Perhaps a greater validation to Hoodia’s effectiveness and safety is its use amongst the Bushmen in countries such as Angola, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Hoodia is often used during long hunting expeditions when food is scarce.

Adulteration - A Key Problem

The demand for Hoodia is tremendous because it does not only reduce appetite, it is also safe for use. However the demand and supply for this succulent medicinal plant are not equal. It takes five years or more for this plant to develop adequately and produce enough P57 for commercial use. It is noteworthy that it can be only harvested once in two to three years. The plant is native to parts of Africa and is labeled as endangered. Its export is controlled by the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and also by the South African Government. This means that there is less Hoodia available than the demand for it, thus introducing the problem of adulteration.

A research study, that was peer reviewed Dr. Avula, found that of the 35 products that claimed to be made with pure Hoodia, only 9 contained the P57 active ingredient. The rate of adulteration was a stupendous 75%. Hoodia is available in many forms such as powder, capsule, liquid, juice, tea and even as a snack bar. How effective a product is depends on the degree of adulteration. It is obvious that an adulterated product will not offer the desired results that one would expect. Therefore, it is vital for consumers to become knowledgeable about testing techniques available to certify a genuine product. There are many companies that offer the real McCoy and it is important to choose those over the ones the don’t.

Testing and Certifications

There are several authenticity testing techniques available and each offers its own certification. It is imperative for consumers to take the time to ensure that the product they decide to buy is genuine. The first certification you should be looking for is the CITES certificate that shows that the product was made from legally exported Hoodia gordonii. This certificate also indicates that the company has a license to import Hoodia legally from South Africa.

Next you need to look for certification of bioanalytical companies that conduct phytochemical analysis of authenticity. This analysis aims at identifying the presence of pure Hoodia in the product. Alkemist Pharmaceuticals is an independent and reliable company that tests products for Hoodia. It offers three distinct testing techniques that follow the guidelines laid down by the American Herbal Products Association to identify Hoodia gordonii stems.

Microscopic Analysis

It is the parts of Hoodia that are found above ground that contain chemicals that act as an appetite suppressant. Thus, it is important that the aerial parts are used in products. A trained microscopist can examine a given sample and verify that the product contains above ground Hoodia parts. The microscopist will be also able to identify any adulterants such as Opuntia and maltodextrin in the product. However, as there are several plant species that closely resemble the Hoodia gordoni plant, the absense of adulterants cannot be reliably excluded by this technique. It is important however to look for a note stating that the sample product has been microscopically examined and has been found to possess the characteristics of the aerial parts of Hoodia.

Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC)

Every plant species is made up of several chemical compounds. When these compounds are extracted from the plant, a specific mixture of phytochemical substances is obtained. The specific amount and type of these compounds in the phytochemical mixture is a unique property of each plant and it is usually referred to as the chemical signature or “fingerprint” of that plant. The TLC is a wonderful tool that helps distinguish between plants based on their chemical fingerprints. Using a genuine Hoodia sample as a voucher specimen, the TLC method can compare any given sample against the authentic one. If the fingerprints match then the authenticity of Hoodia is established. A TLC certificate obtained from the testing company should accompany a product that contains pure Hoodia.

High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)

Genuine Hoodia should contain P57 in order to be effective as an appetite suppressant. Thus, it is important for a consumer to confirm the presence of the P57 in any given Hoodia product. HPCL is an extremely useful technique that makes use of a chromatographic column to isolate and identify different chemicals in a mixture of compounds. High pressure is applied at one end of the column. This makes the chemical compounds move along this column at speeds that depend on their individual chemical properties, and exit at specific time periods. So, if a product is being tested for P57 and it exits in the time period specified for P57, this confirms that it contains Hoodia. It is obvious that if nothing exits in the specified p57 exit time, Hoodia is not present in that chemical. You should be looking for products that are accompanied with the certificate that confirms the presence of P57.

Something to Think About

The effectiveness of Hoodia as an appetite suppressant has raised its demand to levels higher than the ones for Nutrisystem promotional codes, Medifast coupon code discounts and Diet-To-Go discount coupons – three popular weight loss programs in the US. However, in order to benefit from Hoodia it is important that you take the effort to choose from products that have been tested and authenticated by independent testers. There is of course the risk of misinformation and in this case you can depend on the reviews and opinions of experts such as Mike Adams of and product reviews from

Fat Burner Deals on eBay

No items matching your keywords were found.