Can An Ancient Hunger Cure Help the Modern World?

The San people of the Kalahari desert, also known as Bushmen, have long relied on a plant called hoodia to survive. Now, drug companies are betting millions that the knowledge of these bushmen can help the most advanced societies on earth.

A little hoodia can end hunger pains and quench thirst. Pfizer has invested $21 million dollars to turn hoodia into an appetite suppressant.

The active compound in the plant is called P57; it works by mimicking the effect glucose has on the nerve cells in the brain. It tells you that you’re full, even when you’re not.

The first company to patent P57 tried to do so without paying the bushmen any money. After a court challenge, the San now help cultivate the plant, and if the resulting diet aids are a market success, they stand to prosper.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

The Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert have been eating the hoodia plant for centuries. Not to lose weight, but to stave off hunger pains when food was scarce. It was first researched by a South African laboratory in the 1960s as part of a study about indigenous foods, which revealed that when the plant was fed to animals they lost weight.

Hoodia does, in fact, seem to naturally take away your desire to eat, without any detrimental after effects. However, as with most herbs and supplements that actually do work, making sure you’re buying the real thing makes all the difference.  

Unfortunately, due to its newfound fame, fraudulent hoodia products that contain counterfeit ingredients, artificial sweeteners, and fillers have flooded the market. When you consider that weight loss products are a $40-billion a year market in the United States, you can imagine why. 

Therefore, if you decide to give hoodia a try, do your homework, and make sure you’re actually getting the real deal.  

Then again, you can still lose weight and keep it off simply by adopting healthy eating habits based on your nutritional type, combined with an exercise regimen. Because once your body has all the nutrients it needs your physical hunger will automatically be reduced, even without the use of additional appetite suppressants. 

Protein is actually the most satiating food type, beating out carbohydrates and even fat. The amount, and type, of protein that you need, however, varies dramatically according to your gender, height, weight, exercise levels, and, most importantly, by your nutritional type.  

For example, a strong carb type can feel absolutely stuffed for many hours on a meatless salad with a no fat dressing, while the same meal would have a strong protein type craving for food in twenty minutes or so. So knowing what type of fuel your body needs for optimal performance is essential when it comes to losing weight.

My tried-and-true tips to normalize your weight and optimize your health, with side effects of increased energy and vitality, include:

  • Reducing, with the plan of eliminating, grains and sugars from your daily diet.
  • Treating the emotional issues that contributed to your weight gain by learning a valuable, effective and non-invasive tool like the Emotional Freedom Technique.
  • Starting an exercise plan today!
  • Finding out your nutritional type. Nutritional typing is a MAJOR factor in understanding which foods are right for you. My book, Take Control of Your Health, is the only book out there on helping you understand this important area of nutrition, and can be an important tool to help you reach your goal weight and achieve high-level wellness.
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