Related Terms

  • Apocynaceae (family), cactus, Ghaap, hoodia cactus, Hoodia gordonii, hoodia P57, Hoodoba├é┬«, Kalahari cactus, Kalahari diet, P57, South African desert cactus, South African hoodia, Xhoba, xhooba.

Background

  • Hoodia is a genus in the plant family Apocynaceae. Although hoodia was introduced to the West in early 2004, the Bushmen of the Kalahari have been eating it for a long time to help ward off hunger and thirst during long trips in the desert.
  • Unlike ephedra, hoodia does not work as a stimulant; it acts as an appetite suppressant. The pharmaceutical company, Phytopharm, finds hoodia promising and is currently trying to isolate the appetite-suppressing molecule, P57, to create a patented diet drug in the future. P57 was at one time licensed to Pfizer for development, but was discontinued in 2003.
  • There are no available reliable human trials demonstrating efficacy and safety. BBC news reports from 2003 suggested that some samples of hoodia products sold on the Internet might show no evidence of containing actual hoodia.

Evidence Table

    Disclaimer

    These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

*Key to grades:

Tradition

    Disclaimer

    The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

Dosing

    Disclaimer

    The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

  • Adults (over 18 years old)

    • There is no proven safe or effective dose for hoodia. However, hoodia is popularly used for weight loss and dried extracts (20:1) with a dosage ranging from 400-800 milligrams daily have been used.
  • Children (under 18 years old)

    • There is no proven safe or effective dose for hoodia in children, and use is not recommended.

Safety

    Disclaimer

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

  • Allergies

    • Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to hoodia.
  • Side Effects and Warnings

    • Currently, there is a lack of available information about the safety of hoodia. Hoodia is popularly used as a weight loss agent, and use may suppress appetite. Safety in children is unknown.
  • Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

    • The use of hoodia during pregnancy and breastfeeding should be avoided due to a lack of safety studies.

Interactions

    Disclaimer

    Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

  • Interactions with Drugs

    • There is not enough available scientific evidence to report drug interactions. However, hoodia is popularly used for weight loss and it may interact with other medications that are appetite suppressants.
  • Interactions with Herbs & Dietary Supplements

    • There is not enough available scientific evidence to report herb and supplement interactions. However, hoodia is popularly used for weight loss and it may interact with other appetite suppressing herbs and supplements.

Attribution

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ().

Bibliography

    Disclaimer

    Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to . Selected references are listed below.

  • Butler G. Hoodia who? Alive: Canadian Journal of Health & Nutrition 2005;267:90.
  • MacLean DB, Luo LG. Increased ATP content/production in the hypothalamus may be a signal for energy-sensing of satiety: studies of the anorectic mechanism of a plant steroidal glycoside. Brain Res 9-10-2004;1020(1-2):1-11.
    View Abstract