Hoodia Tea for Weight Loss
Does It Work?

What do scientific studies say about the weight loss effects of hoodia tea and diet pill products? What do you need to know before buying them?

Hoodia gordonii has been in the news since 2004 for its weight loss potential. The Bushmen of the Kalahari desert have been using this plant to stave off hunger and thirst for thousands of years.

Can it do the same for you? Possibly...if you can find the real thing.

Scientific Studies

There have been a few studies on the effects of hoodia on weight loss. The active ingredient in hoodia is a substance called P57.

A 2004 study by the Hallett Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology of Brown Medical School found that P57 affects a part of your brain called the hypothalamus, increasing the amount of a brain chemical called ATP.

It appears that ATP is a key part of the process by which mammals sense hunger-rats fed a low calorie diet in the study showed a 30 to 50% decrease in the amount of ATP in their brains. However, injections of P57 kept the ATP levels from dropping.

The New York Times also mentions a small, unpublished study done in Britain, in which 9 men who took P57 over a 15-period lost more weight than a control group who took placebos. The Times notes that this study is small and has not been peer-reviewed.

Still, doesn't that sound wonderful...to be on a diet and not want to eat all the time? As tempting as it may be to order some hoodia tea and pills right now, don't make any purchases until you read the rest of this article!

How to Buy

Hoodia pills are everywhere, but real hoodia is hard to find. Hoodia takes a long time to grow- 5 to 7 years. Because of media attention and the resulting increase in demand, it is actually an endangered species, and the South African government strictly limits exports.

So, to fulfill the outrageous demand for hoodia-based weight loss products, many companies sell hoodia tea and pill from other species of hoodia, or even other species of succulents. These inferior products don't contain P57, and the only weight you'll lose will come from your wallet.

To protect yourself, look for hoodia products that display a CITES certificate, which indicates that the South African government has given the company permission to export hoodia gordonii.

Also, if a company has a CITES certificate on their website with information blacked out, don't buy their products, because there's no guarantee the certificate is authentic.


However, even a CITES certificate doesn't really guarantee an authentic product. The only way to do that is by lab testing every batch of hoodia gordonii pills.

Without testing, even the company selling the product may not know if it is authentic or not, since some companies have actually been ripped off by South African hoodia suppliers.

Before you buy a hoodia product, look to see if they have lab results posted on their website. If they don't, don't buy it. If they do, check the lab results to make sure they are recent.

The only way to know for sure what's in that hoodia tea or pill is to buy from companies who stand behind their product and are willing to submit to regular, random, independent testing.

Alkemist Pharmaceuticals offers a testing program that companies who make hoodia products can participate in.

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MacLean DB, Luo LG (2004). 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. 2004 Sep 10;1020(1-2):1-11.

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