Appetite suppressing cactus?
10-28-2004 11:02 AM
Appetite suppressing cactus?
Granted, this is an ad from a psychoactive herb website, and should be subjected to the usual product hype cynicism, but it does sound interesting to say the least.
Hoodia gordonii- Weight reducing cactus
Imagine this: a cactus that kills the appetite and attacks obesity. It has no known side-effects, and contains a molecule that fools your brain into believing you are full.
Deep inside the African Kalahari desert, grows an ugly cactus called the Hoodia. It thrives in extremely high temperatures, and takes years to mature. The San Bushmen of the Kalahari, one of the world's oldest and most primitive tribes, had been eating the Hoodia for thousands of years, to stave off hunger during long hunting trips.
When South African scientists were routinely testing it, they discovered the plant contained a previously unknown molecule, which has since been christened P 57.
Phytopharm's Dr Richard Dixey explained how P.57 actually works:
"There is a part of your brain, the hypothalamus. Within that mid-brain there are nerve cells that sense glucose sugar. When you eat, blood sugar goes up because of the food, these cells start firing and now you are full. What the Hoodia seems to contain is a molecule that is about 10,000 times as active as glucose. It goes to the mid-brain and actually makes those nerve cells fire as if you were full. But you have not eaten. Nor do you want to."
Dr. Dixey organized the first animal trials for Hoodia. Rats, a species that will eat literally anything, stopped eating completely. When the first human clinical trial was conducted, a morbidly obese group of people were placed in a "phase 1 unit", a place as close to prison as it gets. All the volunteers could do all day was read papers, watch television, and eat. Half were given Hoodia, half placebo. Fifteen days later, the Hoodia group had reduced their calorie intake by 1000 a day. It was a stunning success.
The following report is from a BBC reporter who went to Africa to find out more:
βIn order to see for ourselves, we drove into the desert, four hours north of Cape Town in search of the cactus. Once there, we found an unattractive plant which sprouts about 10 tentacles, and is the size of a long cucumber. Each tentacle is covered in spikes which need to be carefully peeled. Inside is a slightly unpleasant-tasting, fleshy plant. At about 1800hrs I ate about half a banana size - and later so did my cameraman. Soon after, we began the four hour drive back to Cape Town. The plant is said to have a feel-good almost aphrodisiac quality, and I have to say, we felt good. But more significantly, we did not even think about food. Our brains really were telling us we were full. It was a magnificent deception. Dinner time came and went. We reached our hotel at about midnight and went to bed without food. And the next day, neither of us wanted nor ate breakfast. I ate lunch but without appetite and very little pleasure. Partial then full appetite returned slowly after 24 hours. β
Finally beware of internet sites offering Hoodia "pills" from the US as we tested the leading brand and discovered it has no discernible Hoodia in it!!
10-28-2004 01:33 PM
Here's a site that sells the extract, I dunno, but it sounds promising if it lives up to the hype.
10-28-2004 02:07 PM
This is the study that appeared in a journal of Brain chemistry this year (although I am POSITIVE "doctor" Dick Dixey is ficticious)
Increased ATP content/production in the hypothalamus may be a signal for energy-sensing of satiety: studies of the anorectic mechanism of a plant steroidal glycoside.
MacLean DB, Luo LG.
Division of Endocrinology, Hallett Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Brown Medical School, Coro Building Providence, RI 02903, USA. email@example.com
A steroidal glycoside with anorectic activity in animals, termed P57AS3 (P57), was isolated from Hoodia gordonii and found to have homologies to the steroidal core of cardiac glycosides. Intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injections of the purified P57AS3 demonstrated that the compound has a likely central (CNS) mechanism of action. There is no evidence of P57AS3 binding to or altering activity of known receptors or proteins, including Na/K-ATPase, the putative target of cardiac glycosides. The studies demonstrated that the compound increases the content of ATP by 50-150% in hypothalamic neurons. In addition, third ventricle (i.c.v.) administration of P57, which reduces subsequent 24-h food intake by 40-60%, also increases ATP content in hypothalamic slice punches removed at 24 h following the i.c.v. injections. In related studies, in pair fed rats fed a low calorie diet for 4 days, the content of ATP in the hypothalami of control i.c.v. injected animals fell by 30-50%, which was blocked by i.c.v. injections of P57AS3. With growing evidence of metabolic or nutrient-sensing by the hypothalamus, ATP may be a common currency of energy sensing, which in turn may trigger the appropriate neural, endocrine and appetitive responses as similar to other fundamental hypothalamic homeostatic centers for temperature and osmolarity.
Brain Res. 2004 Sep 10;1020(1-2):1-11.
10-28-2004 04:18 PM
Btw, did you know that you were listed as for sale on nutraplanet?
In all honesty, I was looking for a legal relaxing "high" product when I found this and thought it was interesting.
10-28-2004 05:55 PM
It supposedly works and pharmacuetical companies are trying for a synthetic version as we speak. I saw something about it on PBS a year or so ago.
10-28-2004 06:20 PM
NOW makes some of this stuff. I noticed that a few weeks ago and I love alot of NOW products. I wondered if it worked also. BTW, I think it's called Hoodia diet.
10-29-2004 01:50 AM
If it can work on Anna Nichol Smith it will work on anyone. It is the main (active) ingredient in TrimSpa X32. Haven't tried it myself but did wonders for her.
10-29-2004 08:43 AM
Really? I never realized that Trimspa had this as an ingredient. I always thought it was just endorsees getting stomach stapling surgery.
Dang, makes me want to get a few Kilos and start my own supplement line.
Cactus+kr-ala+tight type formulation+shredded = $$$
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