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Hoodia Gordonii, the African plant extract that's supposed to suppress your appetite and is flying off the shelves in drugstores and Internet websites, has been getting lots of attention lately. But doctors who treat obesity claim that there is only the slimmest of evidence that this diet supplement works. Even if it does, many of the pills on sale now may contain little or none of the active ingredient. Bottles of Hoodia with 60 to 90 pills usually sell for $20-40 each.
So far, there have been no data on human testing published in reputable medical journals on Hoodia. Even unpublished data are inconclusive or based on very short time periods. Since all nutritional supplements are very loosely regulated by the FDA, there are NO guarantees that the bottles actually contain what the label claims. Unilever says that it tested at least 10 representative samples of supplements sold in the U.S. by other companies and none contained appreciable amounts of Hoodia. Obesity experts have not yet discovered any side effects from Hoodia, but say it hasn't been tested enough to be sure.
Ephedra and Metabolife International
Obviously, ephedra has been under intense scrutiny by the government and medical community for some time. Consequently, most all of the OTC weight loss supplement manufacturers have scrambled to bring to market ephedra free products. Metabolife became hugely successful in the mid-late 1990s, sales exploded when it began selling Metabolife 356 diet pills, first through multi-level marketing channels, then retail. However, the company went bankrupt in July 2005 and was later acquired by Ideasphere. Metabolife was hit hard by lawsuits and liabilities of $130 million. The federal government banned ephedra supplements, including Metabolife 356, in 2004 after the herbal stimulant was linked to several deaths and serious injuries. This ban was later overturned and ephedra products are back on the market, especially the Internet. Not all companies have returned to using ephedra, since the controversy remains.
Ingredients substituted for Ephedra - may be just as risky
BestDietForMe.com analysts examined dozens of labels of the most commonly found OTC diet pills, at a local pharmacy/chain drug store. We wanted to see what herbs, vitamins, or other ingredients are now being used, once eph...