6 Myths (and Facts) About Weight-Loss Supplements
MYTH: The African herb hoodia is an effective appetite suppressant
FACT: It’s still unclear whether hoodia makes it easier to skip dinner and save a few hundred calories, although there is some anecdotal evidence of the herb's powers. “Hoodia is reported to arrest hunger for those making long journeys in the desert,” explains Roberta Anding, RD, a clinical dietitian and the director of sports nutrition at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
The active ingredient in hoodia is believed to be a compound called P57. Research suggests that animals who have had P57 injected into their brains eat less, but this effect is unlikely to be replicated in humans taking hoodia capsules, Anding says.
Hoodia hasn’t been studied in humans, and until it is the plant’s safety and ability to stop hunger are anyone's guess.