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Hoodia gordonii in the treatment of obesity: A review


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According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), one billion adults that are approximately overweight currently exist in the world, of which three hundred million are obese. These numbers led to the finding that obesity appears as a major global epidemic, affecting countries in all stages of development. In Brazil, about 13% of the population is now considered obese and estimates suggest that by the year 2025, the country will be fifth in the world in obesity ranking. Although some herbal medicines are recommended in the treatment, numerous natural products are used indiscriminately to prevent, reduce or delay weight gain; there are no studies of its therapeutic efficacy and safety. Among these stands out the Hoodia gordonii commercial powder, a native plant of Africa, with purported appetite inhibitory action attributed to the active glycoside P57, which was sold freely until its ban by the Brazilian National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) in February 2007 because of the absence of scientific proofs of its efficacy and safety. In addition, information on its mechanism of action in inhibiting appetite and thirst are scarce, and its possible relation with leptin and insulin involved in the neuroendocrine regulation of appetite and satiety.
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Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 4(22), pp. 2305-2312, 18 November, 2010
Available online at
DOI: 10.5897/JMPR10.572
ISSN 1996-0875 ©2010 Academic Journals
Hoodia gordonii in the treatment of obesity: A review
Chrystian Araújo Pereira*, Luciana Lopes Silva Pereira and Angelita Duarte Corrêa
Departamento de Química, Laboratório de Bioquímica, Universidade Federal de Lavras – UFLA/MG, Campus
Universitário, Caixa Postal 3037, Cep: 37200-000, Lavras, MG, Brasil.
Accepted 27 september, 2010
According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), one billion adults that are approximately
overweight currently exist in the world, of which three hundred million are obese. These numbers led to
the finding that obesity appears as a major global epidemic, affecting countries in all stages of
development. In Brazil, about 13% of the population is now considered obese and estimates suggest
that by the year 2025, the country will be fifth in the world in obesity ranking. Although some herbal
medicines are recommended in the treatment, numerous natural products are used indiscriminately to
prevent, reduce or delay weight gain; there are no studies of its therapeutic efficacy and safety. Among
these stands out the Hoodia gordonii commercial powder, a native plant of Africa, with purported
appetite inhibitory action attributed to the active glycoside P57, which was sold freely until its ban by
the Brazilian National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) in February 2007 because of the absence
of scientific proofs of its efficacy and safety. In addition, information on its mechanism of action in
inhibiting appetite and thirst are scarce, and its possible relation with leptin and insulin involved in the
neuroendocrine regulation of appetite and satiety.
Key words: Hoodia gordonii, obesity, herbal medicine, treatment.
According to data from the World Health Organization
(WHO, 2010), one billion adults that are approximately
overweight currently exist in the world, of which three
hundred million are obese. These numbers led to the
finding that obesity appears as a major global epidemic,
affecting countries in all stages of development. In Brazil,
about 13% of the population is now considered obese
and estimates suggest that by the year 2025, the country
will be fifth in the world in obesity ranking (Brasil, 2009;
Ogden et al., 2006).
Considering that obesity is a multifactorial disorder, that
is, several factors are involved in their occurrence
including cultural, genetic, psychological, metabolic,
endocrine and environmental factors. Treatment and
therapeutic approach should also be performed by a
multidisciplinary staff.
Although some herbal medicines are usually
recommended for the treatment, numerous natural
products are used indiscriminately to prevent, reduce or
delay weight gain; there are no studies of its therapeutic
*Corresponding author. E-mail: Tel:
35 3829-1893 ou 35 9106-4442.
efficacy and safety. Among these stands out the Hoodia
gordonii (Apocinaceae, sub-family Asclepiadaceae)
powder, a plant native to Africa, with purported appetite
inhibitory action attributed to the active glycoside P57,
which was sold freely until its ban by the National
Sanitary Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) in 2007 because
of the absence of scientific proofs of its efficacy and
safety (Anvisa, 2007). In recent years, there has been a
growing interest in the plan reflected in the rising of
numerous commercial products based on H. gordonii in
different presentations. However, the binomial supply or
demand has created an unbalanced situation due to its
limited availability in relation to the large consumption of
the plant, causing the worrying possibility of tampering,
especially the cactus Opuntia ficus, popularly known as
So far, there are no scientific studies related to the
chemical constituents (nutrients and anti-nutrients)
present in the H. gordonii commercial powder, as well as
its efficacy and toxicity. Further investigations are needed
on its mechanism of action in inhibiting appetite and
thirst, and their possible relationship with the hormones
insulin and leptin involved in regulating appetite and
2306 J. Med. Plant. Res.
Obesity is characterized by excessive accumulation of
body fat. For diagnosis in adults, the most commonly
used parameter is the body mass index (BMI). BMI is
calculated by dividing body weight by their squared
height. It is the standard used by the World Health
Organization (WHO) (WHO, 2010), which identifies
normal weight when the result of calculating the BMI is
between 18.5 and 24.9. To be considered obese, the BMI
should be above 30 (Abeso, 2010; Sbem, 2010; WHO,
Thus, overweight and obesity in the population are
currently defined as "a weight that is above what is
considered healthy for a specific height" (CDC, 2010),
using the various anthropometric parameters available for
There are many causes of obesity. The excess weight
may be linked to the genetic heritage of the person, bad
eating habits or, for instance, the endocrine disorders
(Sbem, 2010). Considering that the genetic heritage of
human kind cannot have undergone major changes
during interval of a few decades, certainly environmental
factors must explain this epidemic. When evaluating a
clinically obese patient, however, one should consider
that several predisposing genetic factors may be playing
a significant role in determining energy imbalance of
overweight (Coutinho, 2007).
Moreover, it is known today from the investigation of
physiology and the neuroendocrine regulation of appetite
and satiety that the obesity epidemic is a result of the
combination of racial factors, genetic and cultural
environment by creating the so-called obesogenic
environment (Apovian, 2010).
Prevalence and progression
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with
more than one billion adults that are overweight, of which
300 million are clinically obese. Obesity rates have tripled
compared with 1980 data, collected in the countries of
North America, UK, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Pacific
Islands, Australia and China. However, the increase in
those rates is faster in developing countries than in the
developed countries (Opas/OMS, 2003).
In the last research conducted in the U.S., the National
Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
showed that rates of obesity among adults are 32.2% in
men and 35.5% in women (Flegal et al.,
2010). Studies present the United States as the country
of the highest rates of obesity among the population
(Fabricatore et al., 2008; Houston et al., 2008; Ogden et
al., 2006), however, recent data suggest that other
countries have already exceeded U.S. rates, like China
among children, and Australia and the UK among women
(Popkin, 2010).
Brazil has about 18 million people considered obese.
Adding the total number of overweight individuals, the
amount increases to 70 million, which is double
compared to three decades ago (Sbem, 2010).
Recent data show currently that in Brazil; approxi-
mately 13% of adults are obese, with the highest rates
among women (13.6%) than men (12.4%). These data
show great concern since the first assessment in 2006
show growth rates for each year (Brasil, 2009).
Problems associated
Obesity and overweight produce adverse metabolic
effects on blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood
triglycerides and insulin resistance. Health problems are
not fatal, but extremely debilitating. WHO report in 2002
estimated that all over the world, 2.5 million people die
each year due to overweight (Opas/OMS, 2003).
Obesity is linked to some of the most prevalent
diseases in modern society, with greater risk associated
with development of diabetes mellitus. Furthermore, the
mortality risk increases even more for obese people who
are smokers (Francischi et al., 2000). Other medical
conditions such as biliary diseases, osteoarthritis, heart
disease and some cancers also have relationship with
obesity (Bray, 2004; Thande et al., 2008).
Economic impacts
Obesity accounts for 2 to 7% of the total cost of health
care in developing countries. The true costs of this
epidemic are undoubtedly much higher, since not all
disease associated with obesity is included in these
statistics (Opas/OMS, 2003).
Data show that in the United States in 1998, medical
expenses related to obesity including hospital patients or
outpatients and prescriptions, were approximately 78.5
billion dollars, estimating $147 billion in 2008 (Finkelstein
et al., 2009).
Brazil occupies the sixth place in the global ranking of
countries with problems of obesity. The direct costs
associated with this disease, including hospitalizations,
medical consultations and prescriptions reach 1.1 billion
dollars per year, equivalent to 12% of the total annual
expenses of Unified Health Services (SUS) with
hospitalizations (Gigante et al., 2009).
Treatments to reduce obesity
The treatments involve a balanced diet, physical exercise
often, drug therapy and behavioral change related to the
eating habits (Francischi et al., 2000). Suggestions for
reversal of the obesity epidemic include public health
campaigns, medical programs and community supported
by changes in food industry, aiming changes in eating
patterns and lifestyle. Community programs structured
physical activity, inside and outside of work can also
assist in a healthier lifestyle (Apovian, 2010).
Therapeutic options for these patients include various
agents promoting weight loss. The main study drugs are
sibutramine (serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and orlistat
(lipase inhibitor), catecholaminergic agents (or
amfepramone diethylpropion, fenproporex, mazindol and
ephedrine-caffeine combination), serotoninergic drugs
(fenfluramine, fluoxetine) and other drugs with some
action in weight loss (metformin, topiramate and
bupropion) (Halpern and Mancini, 2005).
Besides these, it is assumed that self-medication with
"natural products" slimming has increased considerably in
recent years because the population in general believes that
these drugs will not bring harm to health. The herbal drugs
used for reference are: artichoke (Cynara scolynmus), aloin
(Aloe vera), boldo (Peumus boldus), coot (Baccaharis sp),
cascara sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana), Centella asiatica,
citrin extract (Garcinia sp), chlorella (Chorella pyrenoidosa),
Maytenus (Maytenus ilicifolia), spirulina (Spirulina maxima),
Fucus sp. guarana (Paullinia cupana), false ginseng (Pfaffia
paniculata), glucomannan (Amorphophallus konjac)
jurubeba (Solanum paniculatum), passionflower (Passiflora
alata ) and senna (Cassia angustifolia) (Azeredo et al.,
2005). In addition, other products such as Hoodia gordonii
have been consumed for the same purpose, without
however, being scientific proof of its efficacy and safety.
Finally, the current perception of fat cell as an endocrine
organ, in addition to contributions from the intestine and
pancreas, helps us understand the origins of the
neuroendocrine regulation of appetite and satiety by
substances such as leptin, insulin and ghrelin, representing
a field of possibilities in the treatment of obesity (Apovian,
2010; Bays, 2004).
Hormones involved in neuroendocrine regulation of
appetite and satiety
Leptin (Greek mites = thin) is a protein composed of 167
amino acids with a structure similar to cytokines and is
mainly produced in the adipose tissue which is
responsible for the control of food intake, acting in cells of
the hypothalamus in the central nervous system
(Reseland et al., 2001). The action of leptin in the
hypothalamus in mammals, promotes reducing food
intake and increase energy expenditure, in addition to
regulating neuroendocrine function and energy meta-
bolism (Auwerx and Staels, 1998; Friedman and Halaas,
Leptin reduces appetite from the inhibition of appetite-
related neuropeptides such as neuropeptide Y (NPY),
Pereira et al. 2307
and also stimulates the expression of anorexigenic
neuropeptides: hormone α-melanocyte-stimulating (α-
MSH), corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and
substances synthesized in response to amphetamine and
cocaine (CART) (Elmquist et al., 1998; Friedman and
Halaas, 1998). Thus, high levels of leptin reduces food
intake while low levels induces hyperphagia (Romero and
Zanesco, 2006).
However, leptin blood levels increased much
(hyperleptinemia), found mainly in obese people, may
indicate a condition of leptin resistance state similar to
insulin resistance that occurs in diabetes mellitus. In this
condition, the high leptin levels are associated with
hyperphagia and obesity (Considini et al., 1996).
Studies with rats have shown that leptin activates a
potassium channel ATP-sensitive, indicating that this
channel may function as molecular target of the hormone
in hypothalamic neurons (Spanswick et al., 1997).
Insulin is a protein composed of two chains (A and B)
with 21 amino acids in each, linked by two disulfide
bonds. The amino acid composition is variable for
different animals, but in each chain 10 residues are
common, and few essential for biological activity. The
insulin molecule exists as a monomer only at low
concentrations (<0.1 mM or ~ 0.6 mg/mL). Under
physiological conditions, insulin is normally maintained at
concentrations below 10 to 3 mM, to ensure their
circulation, and exerts its biological activity as a
monomeric molecule. For concentrations above 0.1 mM,
it occurs in insulin dimerization (Chien, 1996).
It is the most anabolic hormone known and essential to
the maintenance of glucose homeostasis, growth and
differentiation. Insulin regulates glucose homeostasis at
several levels, reducing its production by the liver (via
decreased gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis) and
increasing capture peripheral, mainly in muscle and
adipose tissue. Insulin also stimulates lipogenesis in the
liver, adipocytes and reduces lipolysis, and increases the
synthesis and inhibits protein degradation (Carvalheira et
al., 2002).
Insulin produced by beta cells and its serum
concentration is also proportional to adiposidade
(Halpern et al., 2004). With its anabolic effect, insulin
increases glucose uptake, and the fall of blood glucose is
a stimulus for increased apetite (Woods et al., 1998). The
recent discovery receptors for insulin in the brain
demonstrated its essential function in the central nervous
system to stimulate satiety and energy expenditure, in
addition to regulating action of leptin (Hallschmid and
Schultes, 2009; Schwartz, 2000).
Ghrelin (English grow = growth) is a gastrointestinal
2308 J. Med. Plant. Res.
hormone identified in the stomach of rats, which has as
one of its main functions the increased secretion of
growth hormone (GH) (Kojima et al., 1999; Kojima et al.,
2001). It is a peptide composed of 28 amino acids,
produced Gr predominantly by cells of the gastrointestinal
tract (Bednarek et al., 2000; Kojima et al., 1999).
Ghrelin is directly involved in regulating short term
energy balance and is one of the most important flags to
the top of food intake. Its concentration remains high
during periods of fasting and periods prior to meals,
falling immediately after feeding, which suggests a neural
control. Besides increasing the appetite, it also stimulates
the digestive secretions and gastric motility (Konturek et
al., 2004; Nakazato et al., 2001).
Animal studies indicate that leptin signaling plays an
important role in the hypothalamic centers that regulate
food intake and adiposity, suggesting its participation in
stimulus to start a meal (Nakazato et al., 2001; Romero
and Zanesco, 2006).
The plasma concentration of ghrelin decreases after
meals rich in carbohydrates, while the elevation of insulin,
however, increased levels are found after meals rich in
animal protein and lipids, accompanied by mild insulin
increase (Erdmann et al., 2004; Salbe et al., 2004).
Hoodia gordonii (Apocinaceae)
Taxonomic information
Hoodia is a plant of the order of Gentianales, family of
Apocinaceae, sub-family of Asclepiadaceae. This family
consists mainly of medicinal plants (herbs) and shrubs
with white sap, comprising about 250 genera and 2000
species, some of which possess succulent stems and
thorns, similar to cacti with leaves pequenas (University
of Hawaii, 2007; Van Heerden, 2008). The genus Hoodia
has several species, especially H. gordonii, H.pilífera, H.
lugardii and H. ruschii main research subjects (Archer
and Victor, 2003; Chow et al., 2005; MacLean and Luo,
In common with other species of the genus, Hoodia
gordonii is succulent and fleshy, with several erect and
cylindrical rods varying in color from gray-green to gray-
brown and flower-shaped crown with about 100 mm. The
tubers are prominent, fused in their lower halves of stems
11 to 17 at obtuse angles, and each end of a very sharp
thorn 6 to 12 mm (Bruyns, 2005).Due to their prickly
appearance, the plant H. gordonii is often referred to as
"cactus" or "cactus of the desert" by the press, although
in reality, it cannot be characterized as a true cactus that
belongs to the family Cactaceae (Van Heerden, 2008).
There are currently 13 species (H. alstonii, H. currorii,
H. Dreger, H. flava, H. gordonii, H. juttae, H.
mossamedensis, H. officinalis, H. parviflora, H.
pedicellata, H. pilifera, H . ruschii, and H. triebneri) and
H.gordonii which are of primary interest because of their
anorectic properties (Avula et al., 2007; Van Heerden et
al., 2007).
The Hoodia plant is native to Africa, being found in the
deserts of Namibia and the Kalahari. The species Hoodia
gordonii (Figure 1) is grown mainly in South Africa,
Namibia, Botswana and Angola, by the San people, a
tribe whose indigenous inhabitants are known as
Bushmen. These Indians call the plant xhoba (WHO,
In South Africa, Hoodia species are protected, and
permits are required by official bodies for the collection,
cultivation, transportation or export of plants. They are
related to plant slow-growing, and difficult to culture. Its
limited number available cannot sustain a strong market,
which in future will depend on plants grown for the
marketing purposes (Van Heerden, 2008).
Currently, H. gordonii is listed as a species at risk of
extinction and its export is tightly controlled by the South
African government and by international agreements to
protect plant species (Avula et al., 2008).
For thousands of years, the San people, one of the oldest
habitants of southern Africa, took pieces of H. gordonii
bitten during the hunt. For several days of hunting without
food and water, they ingested the plant just to satisfy
hunger, inhibit appetite and keep the provision (WHO,
2003). Apparently, the plant sap relieves the sensation of
hunger during long trips in search of indigenous hunting
(Bruyns, 2005).
This effect of suppression of appetite aroused scientific
interest and in the 60s of the twentieth century, the
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR),
located in South Africa, isolated and patented an appetite
suppressing molecule present in H. gordonii, called P57.
Later in 1997, the CSIR licensed the rights to the
molecule P57 British Company Phytopharm. After initial
tests, the drug seemed promising and part of Phytopharm
sold the rights to Pfizer pharmaceutical industry for
21million dollars. The companies expected the drug to
revolutionize the market for slimming products which
moved about 9.5 billion dollars at the time. However, a
protest international companies was accused of biopiracy
and began a long legal battle between business and the
CSIR on one side and San people on the other; the
division of profits from the exploitation and marketing of
Hoodia (WHO, 2003).
In 2002, Pfizer released the rights to the Hoodia,
claiming that the development of the P57 had been
suspended because of difficulty in their synthesis and
evidence of side effects in mice, caused by other
Pereira et al. 2309
Figure 1. Hoodia gordonii (Hübner. and Tränkle, 2004).
components of the extract could not be easily removed
(Bindra, 2005). According to Jasjit Bindra, head of
research for hoodia at Pfizer, "surely, Hoodia has a long
way to go before it can receive the approval of the North
American Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Until
safer formulations are developed, people Interested in
the diet should avoid its use. "
Finally in March 2003, after years of negotiation, an
agreement was reached between the parties. Under
terms of the agreement, the CSIR will pass to the San
people, 8% of all payments received from licensing to
Phytopharm, and 6% of all royalties that the CSIR
receives on drug will be commercially available. It is
hoped that in future, the transfer will be 10 to 12 million
dollars per year (WHO, 2006).
Today the great interest in the inhibitory properties of
Hoodia appetite, gives an intense demand for products
based on the plant. It is estimated that only in the U.S.
market are available for marketing products in over 100
different presentations (tablets, capsules, gels, juices,
powders, teas, and others) which contain the plant in its
composition (Avula et al., 2008). So the high demand in
contrast to the scarce supply have created a scenario in
which the adulteration of products for other species such
as O. ficus and even other species of the genus Hoodia
has become a real possibility (Avula et al., 2007; Avula et
al., 2008; Rader et al., 2007; Van Heerden, 2008).
Chemical composition of the extracts of Hoodia
Various active components were isolated by researchers
from CSIR and have been revealed in recent patents
(Bronner, 2005; Gardiner et al., 2006; MacLean, 2006;
Raskin et al., 2006; Rifkin, 2005; Van Heerden et al.,
2004; Verdegem et al., 2008). However, the supposed
active component present in extracts from H. gordonii is a
steroidal glycoside trirabinosídeo, 14-OH, 12-
tigloilpregnano (MW = 1008), known as P57 (Figure 2),
responsible for appetite suppressing (MacLean and Luo,
The putative active component in extracts of H.
gordonii is a trirhabinoside, 14-OH, 12-tigloyl pregnane
steroidal glycoside (MW = 1008). The core steroid,
particularly regarding the 14-OH substitution, is
somewhat similar to other cardenolides (MacLean and
Luo, 2004). The 14-glucoside is not unique to H. gordonii,
which is also found in other species of the genus as
H.currori, H.macranth, H.parviflora, and H. H.pilifera
ruschii (Avula et al., 2007; Avula et al., 2008; Van
Heerden et al., 2007).
Recently, ten new derivatives C (21)-steroid, called
gordonisides were isolated from chloroform extracts
obtained from aerial H. gordonii. The new compounds
were based on 3-beta, 14-beta-hydroxy-pregn-5-en-17-
.22 betaona (Dall'acqua and Innocenti, 2007).
2310 J. Med. Plant. Res.
Figure 2. Structure of glicosyde P57. Steroidal glycoside trirabinosíde,
14-OH, 12-tigloilpregnane (Janssen et al., 2008).
Also, shoot were isolated on eleven new
oxipregnanos, glucosides with the basic structure 12-O-
beta-called tigloil isoramanona hoodigosides. Their
structures were determined by chemical evidence and
magnetic resonance nuclear (Pawar et al., 2007).
Information regarding the chemical composition
(proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, fiber, poly-
phenols, nitrate, oxalic acid, lectins, saponins and
digestive enzyme inhibitors) which may be present in H.
gordonii, are scarce and sometimes non-existent.
Pharmacological effects of extracts of Hoodia
Long-term biological assays not published by
companies Phytopharm and Pfizer, with extracts of the
dried sap of the plant, which contained not only P57 but
also multiple components, were conducted with obese
diabetic Zucker rats. The results showed anorexic
activity and reversal of diabetes, maintained during the
administration of doses. Other tests reveals that the
inhibition of feeding and weight loss are independent of
the nutrient content of the diet and also occur in overfed
animals with a highly palatable diet (MacLean and Luo,
2004). In addition, Phytopharm announced short-term
studies in humans, during which the extract of H.
gordonii was well tolerated (MacLean and Luo, 2004).
Trichoplusia ni larvae fed a diet containing latex of H.
gordonii (1,000 ppm) showed no inhibition of growth
and reproduction remained unchanged as compared to
larvae treated with control diet (Chow et al., 2005).
Intracerebroventricular injections of steroidal glycoside
P57AS3 (P57), isolated and purified extracts of H.
gordonii in rats showed that the compound has a likely
mechanism of action in the central nervous system. The
results showed that the compound increased the
content of ATP in hypothalamic neurons by up to
150%, and within 24 h, reduction of food intake by 60%
(MacLean and Luo, 2004).
Works using rats demonstrated that treatment with
purified extracts of H. gordonii containing active
glycosides in the diet or administered by gavage were
effective in reducing weight (Tulp et al., 2001; Tulp et
al., 2002; Van Heerden et al., 2007).
Studies with mammals including humans have shown
that the compound P57 was able to reduce gastric acid
secretion, allowing its use in formulations for treatment
of disorders and diseases related to excessive gastric
secretion (Hakkinen et al., 2004). Moreover,
supplementation of the diet of broiler chickens with
powdered H. gordonii at concentrations 000 to 500 mg/
animal / day, showed no change in food consumption
during 30 days of experiment (Mohlapo et al., 2009).
Accordingly, Holt (2006) formulations containing H.
gordonii and other herbal medicines are able to control
obesity and suppress appetite, and aid in the treatment
of metabolic disorders associated with obesity. The San
people for thousands of years consumed H. gordonii
due to the supposed effects of inhibition of hunger and
thirst (WHO, 2006).
Scientific research
Despite the great commercial interest by H. gordonii, as
evidenced by the large consumption in the form of
capsules, there are few reports about the plant. Some
sought to elucidate the components ativos (Pawar et al.,
2007; Shukla et al., 2009), while others devoted
themselves to understanding the mechanism of appetite
suppression (Dall'acqua and Innocenti, 2007; MacLean
and Luo, 2004).
Currently, due to the high possibility of fraud and
adulteration of products marketed as H. gordonii, most
studies are aimed at developing analytical
methods, mainly using high performance liquid
chromatography for identification of glycosides
characteristic and confirm the authenticity of
commercial samples (Avula et al., 2006; Avula et al.,
2007; Avula et al., 2008; Janssen et al., 2008).
With regard to the side effects and chronic effects
from ingesting H. gordonii, there are no reports in the
literature. This fact led to the banning of advertising and
handling in Brazil by the Brazilian Sanitary Surveillance
Agency (ANVISA) in 2007 (Anvisa, 2007).
We thank CAPES for the doctoral scholarship and
FAPEMIG for the financial support to the project.
Associação Brasileira Para O Estudo Da Obesidade E Da Síndrome
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And Metabolic Syndrome. Available at Access
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Agência Nacional De Vigilância Sanitária/National Sanitary
Surveillance Agency (2007). Resolução RE 424 de 15 de fevereiro
de 2007. Dispõe sobre a proibição da manipulação e
comercialização, em todo o território nacional, da substância
Hoodia gordonii, como medida de segurança por não atender às
exigências regulamentares desta agência. Available at Access in March 25.
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... Crude aqueous extract [201] Pinellia ternate Crude aqueous extract [202] Garcinia cambogia ( _ )-HCA [203] Camellia sinensis (leaf) ( _ )-EGCG [204] Hoodia gordonii and H. pilifera Steroidal glycoside (P57AS3) [205,206] Phaseolus vulgaris and Robinia pseudoacacia Lectins [207] Pinus koraienis(pine nut) Pine nut fatty acids [208] Ephedra species Ephedrine [209] Citrus aurantum Synephrine [210] Hypericum perforatum Total extract [211] Nelumbo nucifera (leaf) Crude ethanolic extract (flavonoid) [212] Panax ginseng(berry) Crude ethanolic extract [213] Glycine max (soybean) b-conglycinin,glycinin(globulins) [214,215] Undaria pinnatifida(sea weed) Fucoxanthin [216][217][218]Undaria pinnatifida (seaweed) Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) [219] Sterculic foetida (seeds) Petroleum ether extract [220] Caralluma fimbriata Total dry extract [198] Panax ginseng (root) Crude saponins [199] Terminalia paniculat Roth.(bark) Family: Combretaceae ...
... Crude aqueous extract [201] Pinellia ternate Crude aqueous extract [202] Garcinia cambogia ( _ )-HCA [203] Camellia sinensis (leaf) ( _ )-EGCG [204] Hoodia gordonii and H. pilifera Steroidal glycoside (P57AS3) [205,206] Phaseolus vulgaris and Robinia pseudoacacia Lectins [207] Pinus koraienis(pine nut) Pine nut fatty acids [208] Ephedra species Ephedrine [209] Citrus aurantum Synephrine [210] Hypericum perforatum Total extract [211] Nelumbo nucifera (leaf) Crude ethanolic extract (flavonoid) [212] Panax ginseng(berry) Crude ethanolic extract [213] Glycine max (soybean) b-conglycinin, glycinin(globulins) [214,215] Undaria pinnatifida(sea weed) Fucoxanthin [216][217][218]Undaria pinnatifida (seaweed) EPA and DHA [219] Sterculic foetida (seeds) Petroleum ether extract [220] Stimulatory effects on energy expenditure Stimulation of energy expenditure is one of the important cretiria in obesity. Results of recent experiments showed that natural inhibitors active against energy expenditure stimulants are more effective. ...
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Due to the advancement in science, enhanced knowledge on the physiological aspects of almost all the tissues and the organs of the human body is gained. One of the most important prevalent topics needed for discussion is obesity and its effect on the metabolic changes leading to disorders in the human body such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases in addition to chronic diseases such as stroke, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, some cancers, and inflammation-based pathologies. In recent years, obesity is a serious socioeconomic issue, which has become one of the major health problems all over the world, affecting people of all ages, sex, ethnicities and races. Obesity is a complex and multifactorial disease caused by the interaction of a myriad genetics, dietary, lifestyle and environmental factors and it is characterised by an excessive weight for height due to an enlarged fat deposition in the adipose tissue, which is due to a higher calorie intake than the energy expenditure. The pharmaceutical drugs are currently available to treat obesity but generally they have unpleasant side effects. Recent researches demonstrated the potential of natural products to counteract on obesity. Now the novel promising approach is the usage of dietary supplements and plant products and their bioactive compounds that could interfere on pancreatic lipase activity, food intake, lipid metabolism and adipocyte differentiation. In a similar way, hundreds of extracts are currently being isolated from plants, fungi, algae or bacteria and are screened for their potential inhibitions of activity against obesity. Natural products may have a synergistic activity that increases their bioavailability and action on multiple molecular targets.
... According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), one billion adults that are approximately overweight currently exist in the world, of which three hundred million are obese. These numbers led to the finding that obesity appears as a major global epidemic, affecting countries in all stages of development (Pereira et al., 2010). One of the most organs affected by high-fat diet is the liver (Rohit et al., 2010). ...
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Consuming a high-fat diet causes a harmful accumulation of fat in the liver, which may not reverse even after switching to a healthier diet. Different reports dealt with the role of purslane as an extract against high-fat diet; meanwhile, it was necessary to study the potential role of fresh purslane as a hypolipidemic agent. This study is supposed to investigate further the potential mechanism in the hypolipidemic effect of fresh purslane, by measuring cholesterol 7a-hydroxylase (CYP7A1) and low-density lipoprotein receptor (Ldlr). Rats were divided into two main groups: the first one is the normal control group (n=7 rats) and the second group (n=28 rats) received a high fat diet for 28 weeks to induce obesity. Then the high fat diet group was divided into equal four subgroups. As, the positive control group still fed on a high fat diet only. Meanwhile, the other three groups were received high-fat diet supplemented with a different percent of fresh purslane (25, 50 and 75%) respectively. At the end of the experiment, rats were sacrificed and samples were collected for molecular, biochemical, and histological studies. Current study reported that, supplementation of fresh purslane especially at a concentration of 75% play an important role against harmful effects of high-fat diet at both cellular and organ level, by increasing CYP7A1 as well as Ldlr mRNA expression. Also, there were an improvement on the tested liver functions, thyroid hormones, and lipid profile. Fresh purslane plays the potential role as a hypolipidemic agent via modulation of both Ldlr and Cyp7A, which will point to use fresh purslane against harmful effects of obesity.
... Numerous natural products have been tested to aid in the difficult task of eating less than desired, by reducing hunger and/or increasing satiety (16). It is assumed that self-medication with "natural products" has increased considerably in recent years because the population in general believes that these drugs will not bring harm to health (17). Green Lean Body Capsules contain the fruits extract that have the efficiency of weight reduction. ...
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Background: Many anti-obesity medicines have been increased in recent years to solve the problem of obesity; among these medicines are Green Lean Body Capsules (GLBCs) which contain green plants and fruits extract. Objective: This study was designed to evaluate the effects of daily oral consumption of GLBCs on level of serum lipids, renal function tests, and the histological structure of the kidney in albino rats. Materials and Methods: Twenty adult albino male rats weighing 240-260 g were divided into 2 equal groups: control group and GLBCs-treated group. During the 4-weeks treatment, each rat in the GLBCs-treated group was orally administered with 20 mg/kg B.W. of GLBCs, while the control rats were orally administered with 0.1 ml D.W. Body weights were monitored at the beginning and at the end of the experimental period. Lipid profile [total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), very lowdensity lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)], renal function tests (blood urea and serum creatinine) ; in addition to the histological examination of the kidney were evaluated in all the rats. Results: The results revealed that body weight gain was significantly (P
... The lower weight gain observed in animals fed PF may be associated with a reduced production of leptin observed in these groups. Although studies indicate that leptin signaling plays an important role in hypothalamic centers that regulate food intake and adiposity, suggesting its participation in stimulus (Nakazato et al. 2001, Romero andZanesco 2006), ghrelin, a gastrointestinal hormone, is directly involved in regulating short term energy balance and is one of the most important flags to the top of food intake (Pereira et al. 2010). Therefore, further studies should be conducted to evaluate the effect of PF intake on ghrelin levels. ...
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Dyslipidemias are associated with the incidence of cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, hypertension and hepatic steatosis, being the cause of morbidity and mortality. This study investigated the effects of lychee peel flour (PF) on serum levels of total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein (LDL-c), triacylglycerols (TAG) and various parameters related to obesity, in rats fed a hypercholesterolemic diet. Therefore, 20 male rats were used. In the first 21 days, the animals were fed a hypercholesterolemic diet, except for control group. In the following 21 days, their diets were modified, and they received a standard diet (Control); hypercholesterolemic (Hyper); hypercholesterolemic + 5% PF (PF5) and hypercholesterolemic + 10% PF (PF10). The results revealed that PF intake attenuated weight gain, reduced body mass index, glucose and the levels of TAG, TC, LDL-c, hepatic enzymes and leptin, besides the percentage of hepatic lipids, liver lipid peroxidation and frequency of severe steatosis. Histological studies of the aorta did not show the formation of the atheromatous plaque. These results reinforce its potential to reduce the risk of diseases associated with obesity.
... Steroid glycosides (StGly), a class of compounds found in plants with wide spectrum bioactivity including antihyperglycaemic activity, appetite suppression, anti-obesity, improved immune function with potential for application in the design of functional foods (Bouic et al., 1999;Dutt, Singh, Avula, Khan, & Bedi, 2012;Esteghamati, Mazaheri, Rad, & Noshad, 2015;Munafo & Gianfagna, 2015;van Heerden, 2008;Zhu, Luo, Lv, & Kong, 2014). Several in vivo studies have shown that oral administration of StGly containing extracts from Hoodia gordonii (H.g.) plants significantly and reversibly decreased food intake and body weight and/or weight gain (Pereira, Pereira, & Corrêa, 2010;Smith & Krygsman, 2014a,b;van Heerden, 2008). Similarly to phytosterols, however, StGlys can be highly insoluble in water and have a high melting temperature (>100°C). ...
Water insoluble bioactive molecules with limited solubility in common triglyceride are difficult to formulate in colloidal form. We demonstrate the fabrication and characterization of nanoscale diacylglycerol oil-in-water emulsions containing high levels (20 wt%) of steroid glycosides stabilized by food grade emulsifiers. The emulsions were produced using ultra high pressure (120 MPa) homogenization with average droplet sizes as small as 80 nm. The nanoscale emulsions were stabilized using food grade surfactants, surface active biopolymers and proteins. Due to amphiphilic nature of steroid glycosides molecule and higher polarity of the diacylglycerol rich oils used as solvents, it was possible to prepare stable emulsifier-free emulsions. The emulsions displayed very good stability against Ostwald ripening, creaming and coalescence. The emulsions were followed in time and were found stable for more than one year. In the presence of some sugars, the emulsions can be freeze-dried and form readily water dispersible powders without significant coalescence.
... Two major types of diabetes mellitus have been characterized by the World Health Organization based on their morbidity and mortality rates: Type I diabetes mellitus, which accounts for 10% and Type II that accounts for 90% of all the diabetic cases in the world [5] [6] [7]. Type 1 diabetes is often caused by a deficiency in insulin production while Type II occurs as a result of ineffective use of insulin by the body [8]. Studies by the World Health Organization and International Diabetes Federation indicate that the number of people suffering from diabetes across the world has increased significantly over recent years. ...
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Background and purpose: Medicinal plants including the prickly pear cactus have been reported to modulate blood sugar levels. Extracts of prickly pear cactus have been used in various parts of the world to manage diabetes mellitus. However the cactus is viewed as a weed in Kenya. The current study therefore aimed at evaluating the efficacy of prickly pear cactus cladode extracts from Kenya in managing diabetes mellitus in induced mice. Methods: Healthy, adult Swiss white albino male mice weighing 20-30g were induced with diabetes mellitus using Alloxan (150 mg/kg body weight) administered intra-peritoneally. Prickly pear cactus cladode extracts were administered at daily dosage of 0.6 ml for predetermined periods. Fasting blood sugar levels and live body weights were monitored at intervals of 72 hours throughout the experimental period of 30 days. Results: Alloxan administration resulted in about 3-to 4-fold increase in blood sugar levels. Treatment of diabetic mice with cactus cladode extracts led to decline in blood sugar levels of the animals, however, the levels varied with the period of treatment. Diabetic animals treated with cactus cladode extracts for 10 days showed a significant decline in blood sugar levels on the 7 th (p=0.012) and 10 th (p=0.001) days of feeding on the extracts when compared to the positive control (diabetic, not treated) animals. Conclusions: This study has demonstrated that extracts of prickly pear cactus cladodes from Kenya have potential in managing blood sugar in diabetic mice.
... However, further clinical trials are still needed to prove its role in hunger suppression and its potential in maintaining human health as no such scientific validation has been carried out till date [18]. These products are quite popular in US and Europe and marketed as 'Hoodia max' supplement. ...
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An appetite suppressant can be an excellent tool in weight management if used safely and effectively. There are some medicinal plants that have been reported to be acting as appetite suppressors or appetite killers. Some of these plants are Caralluma Fimbriata, Hoodia Gordonii, Camellia sinensis (Green Tea), Capsicum annuum (Sweet/Bell Pepper), Plantago ovata (Psyllium/Plantain Fiber), Saffron Extract, XanoLean, Flaxseeds, Ginger, Umeboshi Plums, Prunus dulcis (Almonds), Ilex paraguariensis (Yerba Mate) and Garcinia Cambogia, Aloe vera, Bee Pollen and Evening Primrose Oil. These types of herbal plants/supplements can be especially useful for people suffering from obesity for their weight management. Obesity increases risk of diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. This paper therefore aims to explore and provide an insight about the medicinal plants with appetite suppressing activity.
Ethnopharmacological relevance The metabolic syndrome, which comprises hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, abdominal obesity, and hypertension, is a worldwide problem. This disorder is a significant risk factor for insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease incidence, and mortality. The value of herbs and natural products in the treatment of human ailments has been documented in several inquiries. An annual herbaceous plant called Portulaca oleracea L. (purslane) is used both as a traditional medicine and an edible plant to treat various ailments including gastrointestinal diseases and liver inflammation. Purslane contains a variety of secondary metabolites such as organic acids, flavonoids, terpenoids, and alkaloids. Aim of the study In the current work, our team aims to shed light on the potential efficacy of purslane and its main components in treating metabolic syndrome and its complications. Study design and methods: Scopus, Google Scholar, and PubMed databases have been used to gather the most relevant in vitro, in vivo studies, and clinical trials from the time of inception up to February 2022. Results The effects of purslane on metabolism are among its most significant pharmacological properties. In patients with metabolic syndrome, purslane could significantly lower blood glucose and balance lipid profiles. This indicates that purslane might have a potential role in the management of metabolic syndrome through different underlying mechanisms including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-obesity, and antidiabetic. Conclusion According to previous investigations, purslane can control metabolic syndrome and its complications. However, further preclinical and clinical studies are required to approve the advantageous effects of purslane on metabolic syndrome.
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Background: This study aimed to assess the effects of supplementation with H. Parviflora at 9 mg + 200 mg of fructo-oligosaccharides on weight loss, body composition, hydration and satiety parameters. Methods: A randomized blinded controlled trial was conducted in a sample of 30 overweight and obese patients (5M;25F). Patients were randomly assigned in 2 groups: the intervention group, which received H. Parviflora twice a day for 4 weeks and the control group, which received a placebo. Results: After a 4 weeks follow-up period, the study results showed an improvement of Δ=-1.632 kg (CI95% -2.545; -0.719) and a statistically significant decrease in waist circumference (WC) compared with the placebo group -2.080 cm (CI95% -4.082; -0.078). The visual analogue scale reported an improvement of satiety sensation after day 5 (p=0.001). Conclusions: This study shows for the first time the simultaneous effect of H. Parviflora on weight loss, decreasing satiety, and improving fat mass, in particular VAT.
Conference Paper
Awareness of the nutritional content of food has increased with the emergence of various health products in the market. Cereal bar is one of the beneficial foods among consumer that concern on their healthy food. This study was conducted to develop a brown rice bar that contain active ingredients (H. gordonii and seaweed powder) and to determine the effect on sensory evaluation and physicochemical properties (colour, texture and proximate analysis) of this product. This study consisted of two phases in which the first phase consisted of development of ten formulations including control. All of the formulations were undergo analysis of colour, texture and sensory evaluation. Based on the sensory evaluation, Control (H. gordonii: 0%, seaweed: 0%) and two best formulations that consist of formulation 6 (H. gordonii: 1.6%; seaweed: 2.8%) and formulation 9 (H. gordonii: 2.4%, seaweed: 2.8%) were chosen to undergo the second phase which is proximate analysis. Base on the result, were significant different (p<0.05) on proximate analysis except for the protein and moisture content. Therefore, it can be concluded that H. gordonii is a good source of fiber when adding in a bar.
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Obesity is currently one of the main problems of public health, presenting multifactorial etiology. The main involved factors in the control of weight and appetite are neuronal, endocrine, adipocity and intestinal. Leptine and insuline are hormones produced proportionally to adipose mass and act stimulating the catabolism. In the central nervous system, insuline and leptine interact with hypothalamic receivers favoring the satiety. Individuals with obesity have high seric concentrations of these hormones and present resistance to their action. The intestinal peptides, associated with other signals, can stimulate (greline and orexine) or inhibit (CKK, leptine and oxymodulin) the food intake. All act in the hypothalamic centers, that are the major responsible for the nutrititional behavior.
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The prevalence of obesity is rising around the world and prospective studies show that in 2025, Brazil will be the fifth country in the world to have obesity problems. Multifactorial factors are involved in the genesis of obesity including genetic, psychological, metabolic and environmental factors. Recently, adipocytes have been considered an endocrine tissue capable of producing several substances, including adiponectin, angiotensin and leptin. Leptin is the main peptide produced by adipocytes and its serum concentration represents an important peripheral signal in the regulation of food intake and energy expenditure. In addition to leptin, a new peptide called ghrelin has been recently discovered. Ghrelin, a gastrointestinal peptide hormone identified in the stomach, is directly involved with short-term regulation of energy balance. Thus, this review will focus on the role of both leptin and ghrelin in controlling body weight and the ongoing limitations in treating obesity in human beings.
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OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity and factors associated. METHODS: The study analyzed data referring to individuals aged 18 years or older interviewed through the system Vigilância de Fatores de Risco e Proteção para Doenças Crônicas por Inquérito Telefônico (VIGITEL - Telephone-based surveillance of risk and protective factors for chronic diseases), carried out in the Brazilian capitals and Federal District in 2006. For 49,395 individuals, the body mass index (BMI) was used to identify overweight (BMI 25-30 kg/m²) and obesity (BMI >30 kg/m²). Prevalence and prevalence ratios were presented according to sociodemographic variables, level of schooling, health condition/comorbidities, and self-evaluation of health, stratified by sex. Poisson regression was employed for crude and age-adjusted analyses. RESULTS: The prevalence of overweight was of 47% for men and 39% for women, obesity was around 11% for both sexes. Direct association was observed between overweight and level of schooling among men and inverse association among women. Obesity was more frequent among men living with a partner and was associated neither with level of schooling nor skin color. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was higher among black women and women who lived with a partner. The presence of diabetes, systemic arterial hypertension and dyslipidemias, as well as the subject perceiving his/her health as regular or poor, were also reported by the interviewees with overweight or obesity. CONCLUSIONS: While approximately one out of every two interviewees was classified as being overweight, obesity was reported by one out of every ten interviewed subjects. Socioeconomic and demographic variables, as well as reported morbidities, were associated with overweight and obesity. These results were similar to the ones found in other Brazilian studies.
Weight reduction has been shown to improve glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors associated with insulin resistance in obese individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Therapeutic options for these patients include promoting weight loss (non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic treatment) and improving glycemic control, as well as treating common associated risk factors such as arterial hypertension and dyslipidemias. This article provides an overview of anti-obesity drugs used in the treatment of obese individuals with type 2 diabetes. The most widely investigated drugs, sibutramine and orlistat, result in modest, clinically worthwhile weight loss, with demonstrable improvements in many co-morbidities, among them, type 2 diabetes. Clinical trials with these anti-obesity medications in cohorts of obese diabetic patients have been reviewed as well as cathecolaminergic agents (diethylpropion [amfepramone], fenproporex, mazindol, ephedrine-caffeine combination), serotoninergic drugs (fenfluramine, dexfenfluramine, fluoxetine), and other drugs that have some action on weight loss (the antidiabetic agent metformin, anti-epileptic agents topiramate and zonisamide, and the antidepressive bupropion [amfebutamone]). These trials show variable benefits in terms of effects on glucose profiles.
The trend in nutritional transition in this century leads to an occidentalized diet, which, allied to a decrease in physical activity, results in increasing of obesity all over the world. It raises the risk of morbidity and mortality, since obesity is the first step to several diseases such as Diabetes type II, hypertension, cardiovascular and gallbladder diseases. Obesity is not only a scientific and public health problem, but also an industry of pharmacos, special foods and governmental strategies to encourage people to be more active and to provide more food information in order to promote better habits. Several studies all around the world discuss the causes and treatments for obesity. In this way, this paper summarizes these researches, approaching the elements associated with higher obesity incidence and prevalence, the diseases related to overweight and the treatments for reducing body fat.