Can you safely fast-track weight loss?

Appetite Suppressants: "Trick the brain into thinking you’ve eaten!"

Whether they claim to make you feel fuller or help you forget your hunger, many products promise to curb your urge to eat. One that’s getting a lot of attention is Hoodia gordonii, a milkweed relative native to South Africa and Namibia. African Bushmen reportedly chew on hoodia stalks to ward off hunger during long hunting trips. Preliminary clinical research is intriguing; mice given injections of P57, a steroid compound identified as hoodia’s active ingredient, suppressed their food intake significantly. But for us humans, hoodia’s weight-loss effects “are not strongly substantiated by significant large clinical trials,” says Roberta A. Lee, M.D., medical director at the Continuum Center for Health and Healing at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. “That makes the ­evidence weak for weight loss at this time.”

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