What is it?
Hoodia Gordonii is a plant in the succulent family that grows in the Kalahari desert other parts of Africa. As the story goes, for thousands of years Kalahari Bushmen have been eating this plant to stave off hunger during their long hunting trips.
What is it supposed to do?
As eluded to in the above, Hoodia is supposed to have anorectic (appetite suppressing) effects leading to less food eaten which means less calories ingested. The compound in Hoodia that supposedly has this effect is a steroidal glycoside with the name P57AS3 or simply P57. The main effect of P57 is supposedly by affecting nerve cells in the hypothalamus that monitor ATP and perhaps blood glucose. The result of which is the brain is “tricked” into thinking there is enough energy (ATP) in the system and shuts down hunger signals. Direct injections into the brains of rats (poor rats!) using the purified P57 demonstrated that the compound likely has a central (CNS) mechanism of action via the hypothalamus.
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