Since the discovery of hoodia gordii in the South African desert, its use as an appetite suppressant has been debated. There have been attempts to synthesize the active ingredient, P57, but the popularity of hoodia supplements has kept the harvested plant itself in stores. The plant first came to the notice of researchers when it was noticed that the local tribesmen were able to suppress their appetites for long periods of time due to their use of the plant. Further research made it more certain how it worked, and Phytopharm has since harvested it for worldwide use.
Using a hoodia diet supplement is usually not a major problem. The biggest problem is importing it, as it is listed as a plant in danger of extinction should it be harvested in earnest. Although a portion of the profits are given to the local San tribesmen, the problem is that the cactus is still a relatively rare plant. This means that a potential exporter must be certified as such. This ensures that there is a limited amount of the plant that can be used for medicinal uses. Compounding the issue is that even attempts by Pfizer to synthesize the active ingredient met with failure, making the plant itself the only source of P57.
This means that the hoodia weight loss supplement is a natural product, and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. This also means that consumers should be wary of scams which, given the limits on the plant’s availability, make them ever-present. There is the additional issue that its efficacy is debatable. Nonetheless, use of the plant has shown to be of some help when it comes to helping dieters to curb appetites, and remains popular. Like any supplement, keep in mind that it may work, but make sure that you are getting the right plant.