Obesity is ubiquitous and its expense immense. The monetary cost is $147 billion annually according to last year’s study by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Worse still is the toll obesity takes on those who suffer from it. The risk of cardiovascular disease, sleep disorders, cancer, and diabetes all increase dramatically while life expectancy is significantly reduced. People who suffer from continuous obesity and unhealthy diet issues are required to intake Weight loss supplements so they are able to control their weight and can stay fit and active.
Fighting Obesity: Hoodia Provides Hope
The rise in obesity is largely a result of sedentary lifestyles in concert with high caloric intake. Appetite suppressants help reduce the intake of calories, which in turn reduces obesity. Hoodia gordonii is one promising appetite suppressant, which could help turn the tides on the high worldwide rate of obesity. Many people already choose Hoodia as their preferred weight loss treatment.
Hoodia is effective because it contains a particular oxypregane glucoside, known as P57. The P57 molecule is the active constituent of Hoodia gordonii. Research on lab rats indicates a likely link between P57 and the hypothalamus, which plays an important role in the regulation of satiety.
Research on rats revealed no adverse side effects. Phytofarm produced short term research with human subjects and also found no negative side effects. In addition, we know that Hoodia has been used for centuries in its native country by the Kalahari Bushmen. In light of this, the long term use of Hoodia seems quite safe.
A Challenge To Overcome: Finding Authentic Hoodia
Hoodia gordonii grows only in certain regions on the southern African continent. Specifically, it grows in Angola, Namibi, South Africa, and Botswana. In its native countries it is considered endangered, and its exportation is closely monitored. Furthermore, Hoodia is a slow crop to mature taking more than five years before plants develop the necessary P57 molecule. In order to keep the supplies of this rare plant sustainable, crops can only be harvested once every two or three years.
Although supplies are low and difficult to secure, the demand for authentic Hoodia is only growing. Already, there are hundreds of Hoodia products on the shelves, and as more people become aware of the benefits of using Hoodia as an appetite suppressant, demand only increases.
The weight loss niche is rife with competition, and the short supply of Hoodia in combination with its high demand, has led to a drop in product quality. Indeed, many products marketed as containing Hoodia contain no trace of this plant whatsoever. In a recent peer-reviewed study by Dr Avula, it was found that only 9 out of the 35 tested products had traces of the necessary P57 molecule.
The results of this research are disturbing to say the least. It appears that many unscrupulous companies are willing to pass off plants similar to Hoodia gordonii even though they contain no appetite suppressing P57. Other companies reduce the efficacy of authentic Hoodia by mixing in filler ingredients. Despite this unfortunate news, there are companies out there that produce quality Hoodia products. But how can consumers know which products are legitimate and which are fake?
A Necessary Step: Checking Certifications
Although fake Hoodia products outnumber legitimate Hoodia products, there are ways to discover which are worth buying. First of all, check to make sure the company has a CITES certificate. This certification is given only to companies with permission to export Hoodia from Africa.
However, the CITES certification alone is not enough. There are testing procedures which are capable of identifying false Hoodia products. Alkemist Pharmaceuticals provides many independent lab tests on Hoodia products. It includes three distinct tests to verify the purity of H. gordonii. These testing procedures are in accord with the recommendations of the American Herbal Products Association.
Lab Test 1 – Microscopic Examination
The first of the three methods is microscopic analysis. The P57 molecule is located in Hoodia stems, also referred to as the plant’s aerial parts. A capable microscopist can check a product sample to see if it actually contains Hoodia. Some suppliers attempt to pass off an Opuntia species as Hoodia, but this counterfeit is easily identified through microscopic analysis. Check to see that the microscopic analysis certificate reads: “The test sample is characteristic of Hoodia gordonii aerial part.”
Unfortunately, this testing method can’t identify all fake products. Some closely related species, which do not contain P57, are used in place of genuine H. gordonii. Even careful microscopic analysis isn’t sufficient to distinguish between them, so additional tests are required.
Lab Test 2 –Thin Layer Chromatography
TLC is the second testing method commonly employed. TLC allows compounds to be distinguished from one another by their unique visual chemical profiles. Much like a fingerprint at a crime scene can be compared with fingerprints on file, so too can a compound’s visual profile be compared to the profile of a Hoodia gordonii voucher specimen. Make sure any Hoodia product you purchase has a TLC certificate that reads: “Hoodia gordonii, authenticated by TLC studies, matches the voucher specimen held at Alkemists Pharmaceuticals.”
Lab Test 3 – High Performance Liquid Chromatography
The final testing method commonly used when assessing Hoodia products is called HPLC. HPLC is a process which can accurately identify the presence of a given compound within a mixture. In the case of Hoodia products, the essential P57 molecule is tested for. A product which has tested positive for P57 will have an HPLC certificate that reads: “Analyte P57 has been detected.”
A Final Word
Hoodia gordonii offers real hope to those suffering from obesity. It has proven anorectic properties, and it can be used safely as part of a diet plan. Its popularity continues to be huge. This is reflected in the number of daily online searches for “Hoodia”, which far exceed those for other highly regarded weight loss programs in the US.
Unfortunately, the current demand for Hoodia exceeds its actual supply. As a result, through unethical business practices, many Hoodia adulterated products end up on the shelves—or worse, altogether counterfeit products end up in stores. Thankfully, a number of certifications can help consumers identify quality products from inferior ones. However, the likelihood of false or forged certificates is still a real possibility.
There are several brands known to provide unadulterated Hoodia products such as Unique Hoodia and Hoodoba. If you still aren’t sure about which Hoodia product to purchase, stick to these well-known brands.