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J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 Sep 11;155(2):987-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.06.033. Epub 2014 Jun 21.

Hoodia gordonii: to eat, or not to eat.

Author information

1
Department Physiological Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa. Electronic address: csmith@sun.ac.za.
2
Department Physiological Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa.

Abstract

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE:

Hoodia gordonii (family Apocynaceae) has become known globally for its claimed effect of appetite suppression. Despite a relatively large body of evidence of the plant׳s chemical make-up, peer-reviewed studies to provide scientific information on physiological effects of Hoodia gordonii are relatively sparse. The role of the pregnane glycoside P57-commonly accepted to be responsible for appetite suppression-has been questioned recently. Furthermore, a variety of physiological side-effects associated with consumption of the plant in extracted form questions its suitability for consumption. Although adverse effects have been described before, the relative abundance of non-peer-reviewed data originating from patent documents and lay publication for advertising, which specifically only focus on beneficial outcomes, skews the view of the risk-benefit-balance. Here we provide a review of peer-reviewed studies on the plant׳s physiological effects. Novel data from an in vivo rodent study further elucidate the benefit-to-risk ratio associated with consumption.

CONCLUSIONS:

we conclude that although Hoodia gordonii seems to have a desired effect on appetite and weight loss, this effect may at least in part be a secondary symptom of the serious adverse effects that are associated with consumption of the high doses required to achieve therapeutic clinical effect.

KEYWORDS:

Appetite; Gastric emptying; Sympathomimetic; Ventricular hypertrophy; Weight loss

PMID:
24955559
DOI:
10.1016/j.jep.2014.06.033
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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