Hoodia. That's what 28-year-old Rachael Hassan says she took to lose weight. She was anxious to shed a few pounds. Her doctor recommended the supplement.
"I've lost 12 pounds in four weeks. I feel great. I was amazed because I didn't change anything that I did," said Hassan.
Hoodia comes from a cactus plant found in South Africa. Scientists discovered indigenous people who suck on the plant feel less hungry and less thirsty.
Dr. Richard Goldfarb was asked to do research on Hoodia DEX-L10. He claims he has no financial interest in the company and more than that, never expected it to work.
"I was very skeptical. When I first got involved with it, I was in the total belief that it would not work and I was really amazed when we did that efficacy study to find out that it did work," said Dr. Goldfarb.
The 10 people in his study used Hoodia as directed on the label, one capsule one hour before meals. They were told not to make any other life style changes. No extra exercising or dieting. The results?
"After the 28 day study, they had lost an average of ten pounds and about 3.3 percent of their body weight they had lost and most of them said that during the period of about a week to ten days they noticed that instead of consuming what they would normally consume, their calories were about in half," said Dr. Goldfarb.
Peggy Biddle lost 160 pounds after having gastric bypass surgery, but she says her weight loss began to stop and she was snacking again. She says Hoodia kick started a new round of weight loss. Twenty-eight pounds in 30 days.
"It's not that it makes you feel full, it's just that you're not hungry, it takes away that hunger a need to eat something," said Biddle.
"I've tried it myself and have lost up to 18 pounds on it," added Dr. Goldfarb.
It's important to remember Hoodia supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so it's hard to know if you are getting the real thing. This study tested Hoodia DEX-L10, which has a permit from the Department of Agriculture in South Africa claiming it's really Hoodia. The most common side effect was mild stomach upset and he says he even recommends it for children.
Click here to read an independent report on Hoodia and product comparisons.