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Hoodia: Lots of Hoopla, Little Science

Few studies support the promise of the South African appetite suppressant, but believers abound.

What Doctors Say continued...

Consider Your Sources

On one point nearly everyone agrees: there's plenty of fake hoodia out there. MacLean is especially suspicious that hoodia products

sold over the Internet aren't the real thing or don't have enough hoodia in them to work.

It's "buyer, beware," Blumenthal says. "There appears to be much more hoodia offered in North American markets than the production ability of the South African markets."

If you decide to try hoodia, "Buy at a reputable store and buy a reputable brand," suggests Michael McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association, an industry group. If it seems too cheap to be good, it probably is, he says.

To boost your odds of finding the real stuff, experts suggest asking the manufacturer if it sends its hoodia to an independent lab for testing.

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Reviewed on December 12, 2008

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