Once again, supplement companies, spammers and scam artists alike have all began pushing another "wonder drug" in the diet battle. Many overweight people are jumping all over the chance of this plant-based supplement that touts the ability to supress appeite and thus help aid in weightloss.
So let’s take a brief look at the facts:
– In 1977, the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) isolated the ingredient in hoodia – now known as P57 – which is responsible for its appetite-suppressant effect, and patented it in 1996. The CSIR then granted United Kingdom-based Phytopharm a license, and they collaborated with the pharmaceutical company Pfizer to isolate active ingredients from the extracts and look into synthesizing them for use as an appetite suppressant. Pfizer released the rights to the primary ingredient in 2002.
– Paul Hutson, associate professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy, told the Wisconsin State Journal, "For Pfizer to release something dealing with obesity suggests to me that they felt there was no merit to its oral use". Pfizer states that development on P57, the active ingredient of Hoodia, was stopped due to the difficulty of synthesizing P57. Jasjit Bindra, lead researcher for hoodia at Pfizer, states there were indications of unwanted effects on the liver caused by other components, which could not be easily removed from the supplement, adding "Clearly, hoodia has a long way to go before it can earn approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Until safer formulations are developed, dieters should be wary of using it."
– One scientific study has been published in which the extract was injected directly into the brains of rats. The author of the rat study said that P57 was easily broken down by the liver, so it might be hard to take in enough of it to ensure that it had an effect. MacLean cautioned that currently available supplements might be inadequate, stating "I question whether there is really enough of the active ingredient in there to do much."
Think about it folks.. if Pfizer, with all of their money and power in the medical research community cannot make this plant into an appetite suppressant in 11 years, then there’s a pretty good chance that Joe’s Herbal Shack probably can’t either.
Once again ladies and gentlemen, there’s no miracle pill for weightloss. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you have to change the way you live. This means eating healthy, exhibiting portion control and exercising regularly.