Thursday, June 29, 2006

Hoodwinked by Hoodia?

Have you been getting the same spam as I have? Every day I get at least one email advertising Hoodia - the latest promised quick fix for bodyfat loss. I didn't think anything of the email, knowing that Hoodia is a hoax, but then a client of mine told me they learned about Hoodia on 60 minutes! What?! Is that part of the spam true?! I also receive spam saying "Hoodia: As seen on Oprah". So, I had to dig deeper...

Well, I didn't find anything about Hoodia on Oprah's site, so let me know if you saw anything on her show.

What I read on 60 Minutes' site shocked me! In 2004, they traveled to Africa, where the bitter-tasting cactus-like plant grows, and talked about ANECDOTAL evidence of one of their reporters not being hungry all day after eating some of it. That's science?

An English pharmaceutical company called Phytopharm has spent more than $20 million on researching it. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer had even teamed up with Phytopharm at one point, but and then decided the patent wasn't worth further money, since Hoodia doesn't work!

The truth? Hoodia has not been through a long-term scientific trail to see if it works. The study cited on the Phytopharm website said bodyfat was reduced after 2 weeks. Would you like to see results beyond 2 weeks? It also says "by day 15 the calorie intake had decreased by approximately 1000 kcal per day". I hope you know by now that a calorie deficit that significant is not only NOT healthy, but sure to destroy your metabolism and make it harder to lose weight permanently. And notice you can't find anything published on it after 2004? Don't you think you'd hear more recent news if it was working? Phytopharm even admits "further scientific studies are required to establish the safety profile of Hoodia".

All the Hoodia products you can find now are created by companies who decided to get in on the hype, and include contain between 0.1 and 0.01 percent of the active ingredient claimed. So, even if the patented Hoodia did work, none of the products on the market today would. Save your money!

Yes, losing weight has to be done the old fashioned way by eating slightly less, eating balanced meals, doing moderate amounts of cardiovascular exercise and strength training to preserve muscle. Don't be hoodwinked by Hoodia!