Supreme Properties of Hoodia Gordonii

Stephen Holt, MD

This book is a synthesis of current information on the use of Hoodia gordonii as a potential weight loss supplement, drug, or food additive.
The author has searched folklore literature, scientific literature, and legal documents that are in the public realm, in order to present an
overview of the biological effects of Hoodia gordonii on humans. Extracts of Hoodia gordonii are being subject to drug development
pathways and it seems likely that not all scientific information, about the use of Hoodia gordonii in humans, has been completely disclosed.
There has been frenetic interest in the media about the ability of Hoodia gordonii to suppress appetite and assist with weight control. I acknowledge all sources of information and much of the work reported in this book has been generated by many scientists. I have tried, where possible, to credit all sources of information. If I have failed in this regard, I apologize. I stress that this book is not an attempt to offer a further “false promise” to many desperate people who are overweight. The purveyance of false promises from dietary supplements has been a major problem in recent times. I believe that most often, there is no bad intent, but there is excitement in new discoveries in natural medicine.
Such excitement leads to premature conclusions on benefits of dietary supplements in some circumstances. While I am excited by the potential
use of Hoodia gordonii as a revolutionary dietary supplement and as a starting substrate for the development of drugs for weight control,
I believe that much further research is required. The greatest acknowledgement must be made to the ancient tribe of the San bushmen of South Africa, who discovered the use of Hoodia gordonii as an appetite suppressant, perhaps thousands of years ago. The notion of “losing weight” never entered the mind of the primitive San bushmen. In these days of “nutritional colonialism” and global spread of western lifestyle, the health of many ethnic groups in third- 3 world countries has become threatened. The urban areas of third-world countries are no longer typical of the traditions of these countries and South African native people have been downtrodden for many years. Fortunately, the San bushmen should benefit financially from the commercialization of Hoodia gordonii; and this will hopefully improve their lifestyle. I wrote this book over my Christmas vacation in 2004. I felt there was an urgent need to review the subject of Hoodia gordonii which has been “pegged“ as a major breakthrough in the management of healthy weight control. Therefore, this book is not a literary masterpiece, and I trust that it does not have too many rough edges. Among explosive interest in Hoodia gordonii rests a putative pathway to impact the global epidemic of obesity. Modern medicine waits with “baited breath” to watch the clinical outcome of the use of the “stinky” little plant called Hoodia gordonii. This plant seems to carry one of the many miracles of nature.

Stephen Holt, MD
January, 2005

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