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  Evaluated for:
Effectiveness Rating Effectiveness Rating
Appetite Suppression
-2 (Ineffective/Toxic)


  • Hoodia comes from a protected plant native to south-central Africa.  A succulent with large flowers and a strong smell, it grows up to 3 feet high. It came to interest after certain scientists noted that indigenous cultures may have been using it for centuries to stave off hunger and thirst during periods of famine, hunting trips, or long desert journeys.
  • Hoodia is thought to act directly, as an appetite-suppressant, through the release of cholecystokinin, a digestive hormone that decreases the activity of the vagus nerve.  Stimulation of the vagus nerve facilitates digestion.
  • To date, several small research studies have shown no effect on appetite or body weight.  In addition, there are concerns that some samples sold on the Internet contained no measurable levels of the product


  • The total amount of Hoodia being sold in stores today exceeds the total amount of plants in existence.  This means that much of what is being called Hoodia is not, and that it is likely derived from other sources. Consumer, beware. The quality of Hoodia remains uncertain. 
  • In one study of the effect of Hoodia on weight loss in healthy, overweight women, the authors found that the treatment group experienced more side effects than the placebo group.  Side effects included nausea, vomiting, skin discomfort, elevated blood pressure and increased heart rate.
  • The pharmaceutical industry has abandoned plans to evaluate Hoodia as an appetite suppressant due to significant safety concerns.

We do not recommend using this product.

CONCLUSION: We cannot recommend hoodia for appetite suppression.

“Hoodia.” ConsumerLab.com. ConsumerLab.com LLC, 2013. 21 October 2011
“Hoodia.” Natural Standard –The Authority on Integrative Medicine. Natural Standard, 2013.
“Hoodia.” Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2013. 8 November 2013.
Madgula, V.L.M. et al. Characterization of in Vitro Pharmacokinetic Properties of Hoodigogenin A from Hoodia gordonii. Planta Med (2010) 76: 62-69
Blom, W. Effects of 15-d repeated consumption of Hoodia gordonii purified extract on safety, ad libitum energy intake, and body weight in healthy, overweight women: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr (2011) 94: 1171-1181
Lee, R., Balick, M. et al. INDIGENOUS USE OF HOODIA GORDONII AND APPETITE SUPPRESSION. Ethnomedicine (2007) 3(4): 404-406

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