What is Hoodia Gordonii?
Hoodia gordonii is a small succulent plant. It has no leaves but some spines, and is pollinated by flies. It attracts these with the rotting meat smell its flowers produce. It is also known as the Slimming Cactus, although it is not technically a member of the cactus family. It is an endangered plant, and any importation or sale in Australia requires a license.
Where Does Hoodia Gordonii Come From?
Hoodia gordonii is found in Southern Africa, and is used as a food product due to its thick, fleshy stems. It was traditionally used by natives tribesman as an appetite suppressant on long hunting trips, and hence generated interest from Western Nations as a supplement to counteract obesity.
Hoodia Gordonii Health Benefits
There are as yet no researched health benefits from supplementing with Hoodia gordonii.
Hoodia Gordonii Benefits for Bodybuilding
Hoodia gordonii can be used as an appetite suppressant, generally during cutting phases for fat loss. It is though that the mechanism behind this is its ability to increase ATP levels in the hypothalmus, known to reduce feelings of hunger. One study demonstrated that supplementation with Hoodia reduced food intake in rats by a little over 50% over a 7 day period, although this has yet to be replicated in human studies.
Hoodia Gordonii Side Effects, Safety and Negatives
High doses of Hoodia gordonii in mice is associated with some mortality due to liver failure. In the one human study performed, blood liver enzymes were found to be elevated after 2 weeks of supplementation with 1000mg, an indication of mild liver damage. The pharmaceutical company Pfizer bought the patent to look into Hoodia gorgonii as a marketable appetite suppressant, but abandoned the idea and released the rights after compounds toxic to the liver were unable to be extracted from the active ingredient. This product should therefore be used with caution until a safe formulation is approved by the FDA.
Hoodia Gordonii Recommended Doses and Ingredient Timing
Generally the recommended dose to produce an appetite suppressing effect is at least 1000mg of the extract, taken twice daily an hour before a main meal. However it should be noted that in mice the dose that produces a suppressive effect is the exact same as the toxic dose, and it is possible that this effect may occur in humans as well.
Hoodia Gordonii Supplements
Hoodia gorgonii can be obtained from specialist herbal supplement stores as a powdered extract or in capsules. It is generally fairly expensive, however.
Stacking Hoodia Gordonii
Hoodia gordonii is typically stacked with fat loss supplements such as EHP Labs OxyShred. Caution should be exercised when using any other product that has an effect on or is metabolised by the liver, such as many medications.