There are over three hundred formulations of the Hoodia, but UniqueHoodia is one of the most potent and authentic we could find, and hold promise for weight loss despite the lack of clinical trials as yet. Hoodia gordonii is a plant common to southern Africa, from Central Namibia to Southern Angola, known locally as "Bushman's Hat and Queen of the Namib. San Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert have been using Hoodia Gordonii for centuries to suppress appetite when making long hunting trips.
Despite this historical use, there is no published scientific evidence showing that Hoodia gordonii works as an appetite supressant in humans. Animal research does indicate that Hoodia extract (P57) has such an effect in rats, and there have been preliminary studies showing a similar effect in humans, but nothing on a major scale which would be required for Food and Drug Administration approval. P57 apparently works by fooling your brain into believing that you have had enough to eat. You normally take a pill a half hour before your meal. The losses reported can be significant, from 1 to 5 pounds per week, but again, we take claims with a grain of salt given the lack of trials. We ranked authentic hoodia highly in our table even in the absence of full-scale clinical trials as we do believe it holds great promise given animal studies and preliminary human studies, but if you're in doubt, then we'd stick with one of the proven and top-rated supplements--Phase 2, Zotrim, or Proactol.
The BBC first reported on Hoodia in 2003, and media frenzy really built up in 2004. Prior to this, there were only three Hoodia products for international sale, and Hoodia gordonii was being sold by African farmers for $13 per kilo; by 2007 there were over 300 Hoodia products being sold, and the plant went for $250/kilogram. By 2009, prices had stabilised at $130/kilogram for wild Hoodia gordonii and $85 for cultivated Hoodia. Hoodia is available in capsules, tablets, liquid tinctures, coffee, infusions, syrups, protein shakes, and even diet fruit bars.
Nonetheless, we've read reports that 50-90% of Hoodia products are scams, with very little to no actual Hoodia content so it's important to acquire it from a reputable source. Many alleged Hoodia products are not taken from the core of the plant, or are mixed with other ingredients, and often contain many fillers. Many cheap Hoodia products use the inexpensive and largely ineffective Hoodia extract instead of of actual raw, undiluted powder from the ground plant. To be legally exported, any Hoodia product much have a CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) certificate.
The UniqueHoodia formulation we review here is made from 100% South African Hoodia gordonii--there are no fillers (see nutritional label). It packs a large dose of 465g per capsule. The product comes direct from South African farmers and qualifies for USDA organic certification. The product is also fresh and has not been sitting in storage for months, which may give better potency. The plants are also steamed vice irradiated as with some other Hoodia formulations. Most importantly, Unique Hoodia is backed with a CITES certificate as proof it is the genuine, rare Hoodia gordonii plant. Finally, there is a Certificate of Analysis (COA) showing that random samples were tested by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) , verifying the presence of the active compound P57. Unlike many false Hoodia retailers, Unique Hoodia claims they have a 92% reorder rate, so we think they must be doing something right!
Ill effects : Unlike many weight loss products, Hoodia has little known unwanted side effects and is considered non-addictive. Of course, there has only been a few years' track record of Westerners taking Hoodia in large doses in capsule form, so further side effects may be revealed in time.
There are some concerns about drug interactions and effects on liver function, but these have not been well studied. There is concern that diabetics in particular should not take Hoodia, as one of the theories of how it works is tricking the body into believing there is enough blood sugar, and without feedback, a diabetic's blood sugar could drop significantly while taking hoodia.
Hoodia also is reputed to affect perceptions of thirst, so drinking plenty of water is important to stave off dehydration and the associated headaches that accompany it.
Prices: You can purchase imitation hoodia formulations cheaply, but the real stuff is not cheap--a one-month supply of the Unique Hoodia formulation costs $54.95 (around £33). If you get a six-month supply for $194.95, the monthly cost falls to a more reasonable $32.49 (~£19.69). Although the pricing on the site is listed in US dollars, there is a UK office for dispatch to UK customers.
We are also impressed that Unique Hoodia offers a money back guarantee.