My question about Hoodia and weight loss

Here is a key point about Hoodia and its active ingredient (P57) based on a supportive article. (Italics added for emphasis.) “P57 is an appetite suppressant with … no effects on behavior.”

Perhaps you heard the story of the Kalahari Bushmen who live off the land and eat part of the hoodia stem to ward off hunger and thirst during hunting trips.

OK, I understand how it might work for them, but…

they’re in a situation where eating is not an option. There are probably few if any Hooters restaurants in the bush. Therefore, eating a plant to help eliminate the hunger sensation is beneficial. But in a modern society, where food is always available, how does one separate the need to eat in order to sustain life from the habit of eating as part of a daily routine or a socializing activity?

I’m willing to accept that Hoodia can decrease daily caloric intake and decrease body fat. There is a slide (#20) in a Phytopharm presentation that illustrates this response in 19 volunteers. Phytopharm owns the rights to Hoodia.

But ask yourself, do you eat lunch because you are hungry or because it.s noon and you need a break from work? Hoodia might help the former but not the latter.

Successfully breaking unhealthy habits requires a process that the psychology literature refers to the “Stages of Change.” If you are serious about loosing weight, consider reading this article. It was written for physicians, but provides valuable insight for anybody interested in modifying their behavior.

7/18/06 10:14 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.