Hoodia, an herbal supplement, is often marketed as a weight loss aid in the United States. The active ingredient in this product is believed to be a compound known as p57. It has been speculated that p57 works in the brain to give people a sense of being full, helping to suppress the appetite.
Currently, a large number of products claim to contain hoodia. However, the plant is not grown easily or quickly, and it is protected under an international agreement that regulates how certain native plants can be used in order to protect them from overharvesting. Therefore, a limited supply is available, and there have been several reports that many marketed supplements contain little or no hoodia at all.
There is currently a lack of scientific evidence to support a conclusion that hoodia is an effective herb for weight loss. No adequate research studies have been performed and published using this supplement to lose weight. Although Phytopharm (a well-respected manufacturer of supplements) claims to have conducted a study that shows hoodia to be effective, this study was never published and is, therefore, of little value.
(Click Hoodia for more information about the possible benefits of herbal hoodia, the effectiveness of the supplement, and warnings associated with this product.)