So far, the results are mixed. Some people are reporting that hoodia does absolutely nothing for them. Others say it completely stopped their appetite, and they are well on their way to weight loss. However, the more common response I hear is that hoodia takes the edge off appetite, but doesn't take it away completely. You still have to exercise discipline to lose weight while taking hoodia.
One of the active ingredients in the herb is a chemical compound called P57, which is thought to be at least partly responsible for the appetite-suppressing effects of hoodia gordonii. But this is probably an oversimplification, since herbs typically work with an assortment of chemical compounds, not just one chemical.
In terms of its overall appetite-suppressing potential, hoodia is just one of many products coming down the line. I suspect that the much-hyped PYY3-36 nasal spray, produced by a company called NasTech, might offer another realistic appetite suppressant solution. But that product is only in trials right now, and it won't even be available on the market for several years. It's also a drug, meaning you'd need a prescription, which makes it a lot more difficult to get than hoodia gordonii. So don't put any short-term hopes on the PYY nasal spray. Right now, hoodia gordonii is probably the best thing going.
There's also the upcoming Acomplia prescription drug, but I'm highly skeptical of the safety of this particular drug. Unlike the PYY nasal spray which is a natural hormone, this Acomplia drug is not natural at all. It's not even available yet (still in testing) and yet people are asking for it by name at weight loss centers all over the country. Some people believe this Acomplia drug will also help them stop smoking. There's quite a lot of mythology being built up around this drug, and people are going to shocked, I think, to find that popping a pill won't excuse them from all their unhealthy lifestyle choices.
Personally, I'm taking a wait-and-see stance on both Acomplia and the PYY nasal spray. Until then, hoodia gordonii seems to be your best appetite suppressant (and, in fact, it may turn out to be the best choice even after these other drugs are released).
Finally, I'd like to add that if you're not engaging in regular physical exercise, there's no way you'll lose weight, no matter what supplement you're taking. So don't turn to hoodia, PYY nasal spray or any other diet pills and expect to drop the pounds without getting into a regular exercise routine. Take responsibility for your actions, and don't make the mistake of thinking that you'll lose weight without physical exercise. That's simply not possible. At best, these supplements or drugs are tools that can aid you in weight loss and help amplify your results or ease the effort required to get those results. But they won't do the work for you.