Hoodia or P57AS3 (P57) as its more readily know in the scientific world is and extract from the cactus like plant (Hoodia gordonii). Back in 2004 a study showing an appetite suppressive effect shot the natural weight loss product into the headlines across the world. The UK owners of the license since 1997 “Phytopharm” entered into a $25million dollar deal with global food giants Unilever makers of $500mn brand “Slimfast”. The idea was to launch a slimfast drink with P57 at its core.
Since 2004 much has been written about its copycat products (many not containing real hoodia) and indeed the lack of evidence in human trials to prove that the product even works in humans. In 2007 a trail from a little know South African university seemed to show some proof of efficacy (van Heerden et al. 2007). However, as we run to the end of 2008 still no commercialization of a Hoodia product.
It now seems we have a few answers…
Last week in an anouncement from Phytopharm and Unilever the deal was of as Unilever was pulling out loosing its $25 million investment. Phytopharm state the issue was that P57 broke down (metabolised) too qickly in the slimfast drink. However, speak to unilever and the story is very different.
“Data suggests using the extract would not meet our safety and efficacy standards,” said Unilever global media relations director, Trevor Gorin.
Although Phytopharm are pushing ahead the split does not indicate the brightest of future for the as yet proven extract. The Unilever withdrawl again draws concerns as to weather Hoodia really can deliver on all those marketing products…..

  1. Will Brink 15 years ago

    Mark, it’s stunning to me how much hoodia has been sold considering how little (read essentially zero) support exists for it’s huge claims. “There’s a sucker born every minute” as PT Barnum said….

  2. mrbeverage 15 years ago

    ….i hope no one tells the African Bushmen it doesn’t work. so all these years it was the placebo effect that staved off their hunger as they trekked across the barren desert?

  3. Diane 15 years ago

    We live in a fast paced North America, thus instant gratification and overnight results are what we gravitate to. A quick fix; and not thinking about any side effects on the body. All natural is the only way to roll.

  4. Mark Tallon 15 years ago

    Yes I am still waiting the studies that shows actually work on the bushmen via the p57 active (hoodia vs hoodia without p57 glycosides) and why they would relate to a western population given genetically they will have very different mechanism for the way the utilize nutrients. Not to mention the total difference in activity etc…
    Are these bushmen really suppressing appetite with hoodia via is p57 or is it just because they are taking in a fibre source…
    Placebo controlled anyone!

  5. mrbeverage 15 years ago

    fiber… go figure. well ask any Bushman what their biggest concern is (besides water) when crossing the desert, and 4 out of 5 will ultimately respond…. regularity and a firm stool!
    what about the product by LifeExtension that was just released that is (according to their in/out of house studies) suppose to suppress appetite (via a different pathway/ leptin cycle?) and tell your body to go ahead and burn stored fuel. it is called Integra-Lean and contains Irvingia gabonensis seed extract. i have read a lot of their studies and in house memos and have been taking it (with about 15 others) for about a month now. i cant figure this stuff out. does it suppress appitite? yes. when i start to eat, it feels like i am on my third plate of food. have i lost weight? no, but then again i eat like a bodybuiler, and have started to heavily supplement with creatine (and test bosters) when i started to use this product. have i lost fat and gained muscle (recomp)? i think so. the people from my store that have bought it all say there is a huge decrease in appitite, but not much fat loss. the studies show everything happenin around week 8-10.

  6. Mark Tallon 15 years ago

    That sounds interesting, but I am a scientist and say show me the study?
    Remember we have ad lots of products claiming XYZ and people saying it works “honest”! We had the same with Liquid creatine (MMUSA) until Degussa and a selection of scientists proved it was a totally bogus product with no creatine in it!
    Life-extension do some nice articles but again they have a vested interest in such products and I say show me the university trial.
    The placebo effects is still an effects, just not as good as the real thing…
    p.s. I don’t know any dessert bush men so can ask!

  7. Edward Neel 15 years ago

    The real reason that Hoodia was widely sought by uninformed people is; Oprah Winfery fully endorsed the product. She can literally sell “ice cubes to eskimos” on her word alone…I’m certain she was fully compensated for the endorsent.

  8. Marc Anthony 15 years ago

    I tried the supplement a couple years ago..purchased from Costco. After taking in the evening, I awoke the next morning feeling dizzy and light headed…I’ve never felt like that that before…
    I returned what I had and never used it again…Tose symtoms never returned.

  9. Angelo 15 years ago

    I don’t think that the ride is over. It is just starting.
    Actually my opinion about hoodia is good one.
    But most people think it is weight loss pill.
    It is appetite suppressant. And people have to know this.
    Wish you luck!
    A. Gothini

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