Hoodia: So Much More Than Latin for ‘Hoodie’

The claims about hoodia are about as accurate as that headline.

Don’t get hoodiawinked. Here’s the truth about this alleged weight-loss miracle cactus (Latin for…well, cactus).

Does Hoodia Work?

In a word, no. There’s no proof that hoodia works to help you lose weight – not even a little. Myths, legends, stories and anecdotes are convincing because they resonate with emotional desires (which is why any profitable scam manages to make money). Hoodia is no exception – this new fat-reduction fad product has no scientific evidence to support the claims. Do a little digging around, and you’ll learn that the hoodia being sold is not even the real thing anyway.

Hoodia is a cactus from South Africa. There are 20 types, but gordonii is the only one that actually quells hunger. Here’s the catch: this version of hoodia is endangered and therefore protected by law. It’s not allowed to be harvested and can only be exported to botanists for study.

Now, the chow-suppressing molecule in gordonii hoodia is called P57. Right now, a company called Phytofarm owns it, and you won’t be getting your hands on it anytime soon. Unilever and Pfizer both paid big sums to Phytopharm to toy with hoodia over the last three years, to no avail. Why? Because it doesn’t work for weight loss.

Hoodia products on the market are not real hoodia (and there have been a flurry of government cease-and-desist orders in attempts to stop this scam). Even real hoodia doesn’t work when it’s powdered, processed or the P57 molecule is extracted. You have to eat actual pieces of the plant. Moreover, hoodia does not burn fat – its function is to slow the metabolism, which often has the reverse desired effect. Your body thinks it’s starving, so it hangs on to fat stores even more aggressively.

Web it out:

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[tags]Hoodia, cactus, gordonii, fat reduction, Phytofarm[/tags]

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Blog Is the New Health

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites: Or should that be…health is the new blog? And have you noticed the constant “this is the new that” slogans everybody likes to come up with? (Just Google: sugar is the new trans fat, brown is the new black, adults are the new kids.) How about a new turn of phrase device? Like…”couplets are the new turn of phrase device”. Oh, wait, that’s just the new thing again. Nevermind. Here’s your piping hot batch of health news! 1) No More Wining All the benefits of wine, none of the headache-inducing tannins and brain toxins. Just make sure you pick 100% real juice, and don’t drink too much of it (because…yes…sugar is the new trans fat). Or just eat grapes. The beneficial antioxidants everyone is in a big stomp about (like resveratrol) are found in the skins of the grapes. 2) Unexpected Mad Cow News Here is some unexpected mad cow news. We’ll keep you posted as research develops. You might want to consider going organic in the meantime. 3) Will it make a difference? The Faster Death Agency Food and Drug Administration has come under furious scrutiny over all manner of corruption and shenanigans (Vioxx, politicizing Plan B, Prempro and numerous other drug scandals). A recent independent investigation found that the FDA errs – big surprise here – on the side of approval even when new drugs have not had extensive testing. Essentially, the FDA gives drug companies a hall pass. In so many words, the FDA says “Hey, Big Pharma, you’re gonna make sure your product is safe, right? Cool. Sally, did you find my iPod yet? I have to make my private jet to Telluride in, like, 30 minutes!” The actual wording is convoluted legalese, but that’s pretty much what it boils down to. In light of the fact that a post at the FDA is a cushy chill-out job for stressed former Pharma execs, this news fills us with hope. We’ll keep an eye on whether or not it actually makes a difference. Check the press release (link below), and you’ll see that the official spin is maddeningly glib: the FDA is changing because it’s simply time to update processes in light of new scientific methods. Gosh, is that it? How fun. Translation: the FDA is changing because, oops, we need to stop approving needless deaths by instituting standards that have already been around for two hundred years. In the meantime, be careful about trying new drugs or multiple prescriptions without first doing a little research – and always get a second or third opinion (fortunately, real research is now easy to find at places like Pubmed, Vitasearch and even the FDA’s own website). And let’s just remember, the FDA is the fine organization that brings us this inflamed nubbin: 4) Finally! New York has taken steps to ban trans fat. So we knew L.A. would catch up sooner or later. It just needed time to come up with a subtle little “Um, … Continue reading “Blog Is the New Health”

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Health for the Masses, by the Masses

“Let’s share our health experiences. Together we can help others. Together we can help ourselves.” This is the motto and philosophy of the new social-networking website OrganizedWisdom.
OrganizedWisdom is user-generated advice, experience, insights, and knowledge compiled and sorted to help people track down answers to their health-related questions.
Looking for a way to get rid of a headache? Check out what other people do to relieve this annoying ailment. Do you have a personal account of how you handled sleep apnea, GERD, or some other condition? Share your experiences and help others on their path to recovery.
The people behind OrganizedWisdom know that, being human, we all have tales of illness, and that collaboration is a great way to help solve health problems. Join this community to help yourself and others collectively achieve health and well-being.
[tags] Organized Wisdom, social networking, social media [/tags]

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Ain’t No Thing But a Chicken Wing

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

All the news, none of the trans fat.

1) Angering dermatologists everywhere!

Another holy grail of health is about to crumble. Here’s more evidence that a little sunshine is not only okay – it’s probably good for you (something any cat could tell you…if they could tell you). Want to prevent osteoporosis, arthritis, cancer, and maybe even MS? Check out this clickativity.

2) We still love apples

This is an interesting little article about how Americans are so unhealthy, not even our favorite fruits and vegetables are the best. Wow, thanks, Science Daily.

Among the findings: most people still do not know they’re supposed to eat 5 daily servings of produce. And actually, that’s not even correct – a bunch of health organizations got together two years ago and proved that 7-9 daily servings is actually what’s needed for optimal health.

The point of this daily bite is to introduce a little thing Mark refers to as relative nutrition. Sure, potatoes and apples and iceberg aren’t the healthiest produce choices in the world (go for yams, berries and spinach).

But relative to the processed tripe convenience food that’s shoveled at the overwhelming majority of Americans – including the kidlets – any produce is better than some. Think about what you eat in a day. How much of it actually looks like something that grows in a garden?

Everyone is at a different point along the nutrition curve, which probably flows something like: raw, vegetarian, organic, fresh, selective, indiscriminate, destructive.

Most Americans, sadly, fall into the last two categories. Even most “health-minded” folks, Mark believes, hover somewhere around selective. Thanks to unethical food marketing, these well-intentioned shoppers are selecting foods that have the ring of health but are not really healthy. For example: low-fat dairy, canola oil, multi-grain bread, cereal bars, and pork – because it’s “white” meat.

The further you get along the nutrition curve, the healthier you’ll be. But keep relative nutrition in mind. If you know spinach is better than iceberg, and you can afford it, then for Pete’s sake, eat some spinach! But it’s just good to keep in mind that different people are at different points on the curve, so any progress is still progress. And it’s not just because we like apples (okay, maybe that’s some of the reason).

Why men have love handles and women have bellies

3) Killing is wrong, but Big Pharma evidently missed that memo…

Because they were too busy writing emails figuring out the best way to lie.
And lie some more.

4) The C-Section debate

Is elective Cesarean section a safer bet for baby? We already know it’s safer for mom, but the stigma remains in some societies. This study updates the debate.

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Astrology affects your health? Study not funded by Miss Cleo (we checked). Yet another fabulous episode in Silly Studies R Us.

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