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Originally published November 22 2004

Hoodia Gordonii holds promise as natural appetite suppressant

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

Continuing with the investigative report on hoodia gordonii, a natural appetite suppressant, let's now explore the issue of how appetite control impacts weight loss. (If you missed it, click here to view part 1.)

For most people, the real weight loss challenge has relatively to do with dieting, exercise, supplements, or how many calories you burn in the gym. The real challenge is controlling their hunger drive.

People who are trying to lose weight seem to share the exact same problem. It's not that they're lazy, or that they're slobs, or that they eat junk food all day, it's that they have trouble getting their appetite under control. Hoodia gordonii, it seems, could make that much easier. Because overcoming your own hunger drive seems almost impossible unless you get some help.

Think about it: the last time you tried to lose weight, what was it that finally caused you to cave in? I bet it was hunger. At some point, the hunger just took over, and you found yourself eating again.

So let me share a secret with you: you can't fight mother nature. Your body was designed to survive. And to survive, your body needs to find and consume large quantities of calories. The more, the better. Remember: your body was designed for an age in which calories were hard to come by. Your body was self-motivated to go find some food. In a time when food was scarce, people who found and ate more calories survived better than those who didn't, and therefore passed on their genes to their offspring.

That lineage, after hundreds of thousands of years of scarcity, leads directly to you and me. We live in bodies that were designed and built to scrounge for scarce calories in the natural environment. And the method for that motivation was simple: hunger.

Your body uses hunger to whip you into action. "Go find me some berries!" it screams. "Get me some animal fat!" It's no coincidence that animal fat and sugar are the most sought-after comfort foods: they're rich in calories, and they convince your body that you have enough food. No wonder, then, that ice cream is the opiate of the hungry: it's made primarily of milk fat and sugar -- precisely the chemicals that stimulate a feeling of comfort.

But today, we live in a society where an overabundance of food surrounds us. We have the all-you-can-eat buffet, the Costco-sized food paks, the supersized fast foods. We have restaurants that serve one person what an entire family might have eaten just two generations ago, and at every social event, there's even more food beckoning: weddings, parties, holidays, movies... you name it, there's food.

And so spurred on by our innate hunger motivation, and surrounded by the modern environment of unhealthy food in mass quantities, we all eat. And eat. And we put on the pounds, just like I did, just like you did. It's only human.

But what if you could turn off your hunger like a switch?

When you eat hoodia, the saying goes, your hunger will simply be gone -- gone -- for around six hours. During those six hours, you won't crave anything. You really won't want to eat at all. The food still smells good, as usual, and they taste the same if you eat them, but you don't want to eat them! At least that's what the hoodia advocates claim will happen.

To understand how all this works, you have to understand what "hunger" really is in the first place. Hunger is just an illusion. It's a signal in your brain, a chemical message that causes you to feel certain feelings and, ultimately, act on them.

Your body creates the illusion of hunger even when you're not really needing calories. And your body, like mine, doesn't know when to turn it off.

I am your hungry hypothalamus

The hunger signal is only turned off when your hypothalamus thinks you've eaten enough food. Your hypothalamus -- part of your body's endocrine system -- decides this by sensing the rise of sugar (glucose) in your blood. Eat enough carbohydrates, and your blood sugar rises, which convinces your hypothalamus to tell your brain that you're no longer hungry. This is why eating an apple is such an effective appetite suppressant.

Normally, to get your hypothalamus to turn off the hunger switch, you'd have to eat a moderate amount of food. And your hypothalamus isn't very quick on the draw either: it takes around 20 minutes to figure out what you've eaten, and by that time, you've probably eaten another 800 calories. So by the time your hunger signal gets turned off, you've already overeaten yet again.

This chemical fools your hypothalamus

Hoodia, however, contains a chemical that gets picked up by your hypothalamus which thinks it's glucose. And as it turns out, this chemical is reportedly 10,000 times more potent than glucose in triggering the chemical receptors in your hypothalamus, and so it only takes a tiny bit of this chemical to trigger the cancellation of your hunger signals.

Let me say this another way: eat this chemical, and your hypothalamus thinks you've just wolfed down three plates of food at the local buffet. Your hunger is abruptly cancelled. You just don't feel hungry anymore. Everything else is fine: there are no known side effects. But you simply don't feel like eating. At least that's what the hoodia companies explain you should experience.

Consuming hoodia is surprisingly simple: slice off a piece of the succulent, peel off the thorns, and just start chewing on it. You don't even need to swallow it. The taste is rather bitter by most Americans' palettes, but after several minutes of chewing, you've already started absorbing the chemical. Guess what? Your hunger is vanishing with each passing moment.

The San Tribesmen, the original discovers of the plant, also say it makes you feel stronger, more energetic, and more focused. Nobody complains of any side effects whatsoever, and the plant has been chewed for literally thousand of years by various generations of the San, with no ill effects known whatsoever.

Now imagine what you could achieve in terms of weight loss by taking advantage of this natural appetite suppressant. That's exactly what we'll discuss in the next installment of this investigative report series on Hoodia Gordonii.

Continue with part 3.


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