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Phytochemistry. 2007 Oct;68(20):2545-53. Epub 2007 Jul 2.

An appetite suppressant from Hoodia species.

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  • 1School of Chemistry, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, South Africa.


Studies conducted at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR, South Africa) identified extracts from Hoodia species, in particular Hoodia pilifera and Hoodia gordonii, as possessing appetite suppressing properties. Two pregnane glycosides were isolated by fractionation of the dried stems of H. gordonii. Their structures were determined as 3beta-[beta-D-thevetopyranosyl-(1-->4)-beta-D- cymaropyranosyl-(1-->4)-beta-D-cymaropyranosyloxy]-12beta-tigloyloxy-14beta-hydroxypregn-5-en-20-one (1) and 3beta-[beta-D-cymaropyranosyl-(1-->4)-beta-D-6-thevetopyranosyl-(1-->4)-beta-D-cymaropyranosyl-(1-->4)-beta-D-cymaropyranosyloxy]-12beta-tigloyloxy-14beta-hydroxypregn-5-en-20-one (2) on the basis of spectroscopic studies and conversion to known compounds. Compounds 1 and 2 were also isolated from H. pilifera. Compound 1 was tested for its appetite suppressant properties in rats by oral gavage at 6.25-50 mg/kg and the results showed that all doses resulted in a decrease of food consumption over an eight day period and a body mass decrease when compared to the control sample receiving only the vehicle. In a comparative study against a fenfluramine control sample, compound 1 resulted in a reduction in food intake over the study period, with a concomitant overall decrease in body weight while fenfluramine resulted in a small decrease in food intake, but an increase in body weight (though less than control group) over the same period of time.

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