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ImageIn one study, Hoodia was injected into the brains of rats. Researchers found that the Hoodia was broken down by the liver. This called into question the amount necessary to make sure that Hoodia would have an effect. The author of the study debated whether there is enough Hoodia in supplements to achieve any type of reaction.

According to the proponents of Hoodia, a chemical similar to glucose is put in the body. This chemical, said to be 100,000 times more powerful than glucose, signals the hypothalamus, tricking the body into believing that it has eaten enough food, thereby stopping any feelings of hunger.

Because you do not get famished as often, the amount of calories you consume decreases, contributing to weight loss.

So far there are no known side effects from ingesting Hoodia. The actual Hoodia plant isn't found in the U.S. Experts warn consumers to watch out for nutritional supplements that falsely say they contain Hoodia. These days, Hoodia is available in capsules, patches, sprays, teas and liquid extracts.

In 2007, at least 300 products are being sold throughout the world that claim to contain "authentic Hoodia gordonii." The street value of Hoodia is $250 per kilogram.

One major pharmaceutical company is currently working on a formula that should hit the shelves by 2008. In the meantime, you are left to take your chances with the brands currently on the market.