P57 Hoodia Gordonii™ "Xhoba" Extract
This page contains additional details information, clinical trials and research data pertaining to the ingredient P57 Hoodia Gordonii™ "Xhoma" Extract found in Lean Optimizer®, as well as its related chemical forms. You may print this page for your records if you wish.

Hoodia - Background

The Bushmen of Southern Africa (also called "the San") have hunted, lived off the land and traveled across the Kalahari Desert for over 100,000 years. The Bushmen frequently go out on long hunting trips and chew on a local plant to reduce hunger and increase energy. The plant of course is Hoodia. Incredibly, by chewing on Hoodia, the San have been able to go days without eating and still remain strong and energetic.

Hoodia is a bitter-tasting cactus-like plant. The full name is Hoodia Gordonii. Hoodia is a Succulent botanical which resembles a "cactus". For this reason, hoodia is often mistaken called the "african hoodia cactus". If you must know all the technical data it is Genus: Trichocaulon and Family Name: Asclepiadaceae. Full grown Hoodia plants can grow over 6 feet tall.

So, for thousands of years the Bushmen have been eating Hoodia Gordonii to decrease appetite and increase energy. While the Bushmen knew all about the powers of Hoodia, it was not until the mid 60's that the first research was done on Hoodia as an appetite suppressant. Even then, it took another 30 years for South African laboratories to isolate the specific appetite suppressing ingredient in Hoodia. This ingredient was called P57 (or p-57) and licensed to the British pharmaceutical company - Phytopharm.

By December of 2001, and $20 million later, Phytopharm had the first clinical study that showed obese people who took P57 (extracted from Hoodia Gordonii) ate 1,000 calories fewer per day with no adverse side effects! Simply put, if you took P57, your desire to eat was extremely reduced. Things looked so promising with P-57 as a diet drug, that Pfizer purchased the worldwide marketing rights from Phytopharm for a reported $32 million to develop and market P-57 based diet pills.

Hoodia - An Update

In 2003, however, for reasons that are unclear, Pfizer decided to abandon the project, and the license reverted to Phytopharm, which has established Hoodia plantations worldwide to meet the expected demand. Phytopharm is now looking elsewhere for a licensing partner, based not just on P57 but also on numerous semisynthetic analogs of P57 that it has produced in the interim, with six patents to show for its work.1 (Patents, of course, mean great profit potential if these compounds are sold as prescription antiobesity drugs or as ingredients of weight-control snack foods.)

While Phytopharm was discouraged by the Pfizer decision, they knew that Hoodia Gordonii was too powerful an appetite suppressant to give up trying to bring it to the market. In December 2004, Phytopharm announced that Unilever had entered a deal to market hoodia gordonii in its diet food product line. Therefore, rather than producing diet drugs, it looks like Phytopharm and Unilever will product diet supplements and diet foods with hoodia. The first Unilever products will not be out until 2008.

Hoodia - The Research

In two studies with lean and obese laboratory rats, it has been claimed that homogenates or extracts of several Hoodia species (the researchers failed to identify the species) strongly suppressed the appetite of the obese rats, causing major weight loss, and they moderately suppressed the appetite of the lean rats, causing mild weight loss.3,4 Hoodia also induced a modest drop in the rats’ blood sugar levels. It apparently did not cause any adverse effects.

When Phytopharm conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial (unpublished) with P57, they chose a group of 60 overweight individuals and compared the effects of P57 and placebo on their food intake.5 In this short-term study, twice-daily ingestion of P57 was claimed to have produced a dramatic effect: after 15 days, the P57 group had achieved a 30% reduction in caloric intake and a reduction in body fat of 1 kg (2.2 lb). According to Richard Dixey, the CEO of Phytopharm, it is believed that P57 acts on the brain’s hypothalamus, tricking it into thinking that the person’s stomach is full. The brain’s message to the body is: “You’re not hungry—stop eating.”

While the Bushmen did not do formal clinical studies, there is thousands of years of real world evidence that eating Hoodia works as an appetite suppressant. To the Bushmen eating hoodia to suppress appetite is as clear as drinking water to quench thirst.

There is also a growing body of journalist who can attest to the powers of hoodia. Here is a piece of the transcript from 60 Minutes (aired in Nov 2004):

So how did it work? Stahl says she had no after effects - no funny taste in her mouth, no queasy stomach, and no racing heart. She also wasn't hungry all day, even when she would normally have a pang around mealtime. And, she also had no desire to eat or drink the entire day. "I'd have to say it did work," says Stahl.

- Leslie Stahl reporting on CBS News 60 Minutes

Tom Mangold, a correspondent from the BBC News reporting the following after eating Hoodia from the Kalahari Desert...

At about 1800hrs I ate about half a banana size (piece of hoodia gordonii) - and later so did my cameraman. Soon after, we began the four hour drive back to Capetown.

The plant is said to have a feel-good almost aphrodisiac quality, and I have to say, we felt good. But more significantly, we did not even think about food. Our brains really were telling us we were full. It was a magnificent deception.

Dinner time came and went. We reached our hotel at about midnight and went to bed without food. And the next day, neither of us wanted nor ate breakfast.

I ate lunch but without appetite and very little pleasure. Partial then full appetite returned slowly after 24 hours.

- Tom Mangold, BBC News reporting on 5/30/03

It is very rare for such established journalist to be so positive on a food supplement. Normally, the media is quick to find fault with any new dietary supplement and point out potential problems. Not only is Hoodia is being positively "field tested" by journalists, they are some of the most respected journalist in their field.

Hoodia - Even More Studies

In 2001 Phytopharm completed a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study in overweight, but otherwise healthy volunteers using the P57 extract from Hoodia gordonii. The participants were split into two groups, one group received the P57 and the other received a placebo. Both groups were told to continue their normal diet and exercise. The results were as follows:

When comparing the P57 group to the Placebo group:

* The P57 group had a statistically significant reduction in body fat
* The P57 group had a statistically significant reduction in caloric intake
* The P57 had no adverse side effects

On average the P57 group ate about 1,000 calories a day less than those in the control group. To put that in perspective, the average American man consumes about 2,600 calories a day; a woman about 1,900

Hoodia - Side Effects

There have not been any side effects reported from eating Hoodia or from taking the P-57 molecule. Remember, for thousands of years that Bushmen have eaten hoodia gordonii plants with no ill side effects


  1. Thompson G. Bushmen squeeze money from a humble cactus. The New York Times, April 1, 2003.
  2. Van Heerden FR, Vleggaar R, Horak RM, Learmonth RA, Maharaj V, Whittal RD. Pharmaceutical compositions having appetite suppression activity. United States Patent 6,376,657, issued April 23, 2002.
  3. Tulp OL, Harbi NA, Mihalov J, DerMarderosian A. Effect of Hoodia plant on food intake and body weight in lean and obese LA/Ntul//-cp rats. FASEB J 2001 Mar 7;15(4):A404.
  4. Tulp OL, Harbi NA, DerMarderosian A. Effect of Hoodia plant on weight loss in congenic obese LA/Ntul//-cp rats. FASEB J 2002 Mar 20;16(4): A648.
  5. Habeck M. A succulent cure to end obesity. Drug Discovery Today, March 2002, pp 280-1.

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