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Truth about the Hoodia diet scam
Starting page
The $ Scam!
Hoodia Pilifera,
NOT Gordonii
"Collectors can't
tell them apart"
How to identify?
Cross pollinated?
Growing in a
flower pot.
Seed still
costs pennies.
Facts about
the scam.

Unsolicited comments from ebay
I am a gardener and wanted to tell you what a great ebay site this is just for the information. Thanks for informing everyone. lifeisabeach111
"This is one of the best Ebay listings I've ever read, keep up the good work!"

Alan Kvasnik
"Thank you for your excellent information and pictures on Hoodia. I purchased 4 Hoodia plants last year (or year before) on ebay. They all died within 6 months even though I was very careful with them. Thanks for warning people not to spend too much money on these succulents. I do have 2 hoodia (I think they are hoodia) that I purchased this year that seem to be doing okay. I hope they survive because I really enjoy the hoodia succulent. Thanks"

Why Pfizer abandoned Hoodia"...unwanted effects on the liver..."
Pfizer released the rights to the primary ingredient in 2002
"...Paul Hutson, associate professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy, told the Wisconsin State Journal, "For Pfizer to release something dealing with obesity suggests to me that they felt there was no merit to its oral use"....Jasjit Bindra, lead researcher for Hoodia at Pfizer, states there were indications of unwanted effects on the liver caused by other components, which could not be easily removed from the supplement, adding "Clearly, Hoodia has a long way to go before it can earn approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Until safer formulations are developed, dieters should be wary of using it." [Letter to NY Times from Pfizer researcher]
Hoodia Q & A
Q: If skinny bushmen eat a "30 gram (1-oz.) portion prepared from a 250 gram stem (1/2 pound)" how much would a fat American eat?
A: No one knows. No one knows how much of the active ingredient, by weight, is present in any given sample. First you would have to know how many milligrams were needed per pound of a person's body weight to achieve a significant appetite suppressing effect. No professional study of this has been published. If you know of one, email it to me.
Q: How much Hoodia would an obese person need to lose 30 pounds? 100 pounds?
A: No one knows. No professional study of this has been published. If you know of one, email it to me.
Q: Can you grow Hoodia indoors like a houseplant?
A: Yes. But can you grow coffee as a houseplant? Yes, again. But the real question is "can you make a pot of expresso from home grown coffee?" Probably not.

In similar manner there is no documentation of anyone growing Hoodia as a houseplant and then publishing quantitative laboratory results showing how many milligrams/gram of the appetite suppressing chemical is present in that house plant.
Q: If Hoodia are endangered species how do you get seed to grow them?
A: The seed of many rare botanicals circulates among collectors; this is how orchids and other exotic specimens have been grown by hobbyist. No one knows the actual sources of such seed; they do not know if it is identical to wild specimens or if it has been inadvertently cross pollinated (creating a hybrid).

Hoodia seed now comes from hobbyists growers in Europe and America. The seed is not collected from the wild. Because of this no one knows if what we are growing is the same, genetically, as the wild variety.
To grow enough Hoodia you have to plant it. Wild species such as Hoodia will only achieve full health and vigor by having roots in the earth.

"No one knows the amount of P57 present in plants sold as "Miracle Diet Cactus."
Qualitative vs Quantitative testing
Qualitative Chemisty test (quality) Quantitative Chemisty test (quantity)
Commercial hemp -- tests positive for THC Commercial hemp has 0.3% THC by weight
Decaf coffee -- tests positive for caffeine Decaf coffee has ≤ 4 mg caffeine/cup
Hoodia -- tests positive for P57 Hoodia has how many milligrams/kg?
Qualititative versus Quantitative?
Chemistry has two major divisions for analyzing a chemical. [from dictionary.com]

Qualitative analysis: "The testing of a substance or mixture to determine the characteristics of its chemical constituents." It does not say how much is present.

Quantitative analysis: "...determines the amounts and proportions of the chemical constituents of a substance or mixture" This is how you find out how much caffeine is present in your soda, or how much P57 is present in your Hoodia.

Unfortunately, no one is providing certification of the amount of P57 present, as a percentage, of the plants or seed being sold as "Miracle Diet Cactus."
Hoodia can be planted outdoors in Zone 9. I have been growing it outside for years and it has survived 22 degree nights as well as 105 degree days.
But, you may ask, if P57 is present isn't that enough? Not at all! Decaf coffee contains caffeine. But, you protest, isn't it supposed to be caffeine free! Of course—but it isn't.

Qualitative analysis will show the presence of caffeine.

Quantitative analysis determines whether or not you will not receive the effects of caffeine, and from that you can estimate how much of an effect.

Laboratory Testing
When I contacted a lab they only wanted to trade for cactus, send me cat videos and never quoted testing rates. Its a weird world out there!

How much P57 is present in your Hoodia plant?
All you have to do is purchase this article! Its only $50. Then set up a Phenomenex Gemini reverse phase column...and you'll know what you are talking about as opposed to being the victim of a scam.
Determination of the Appetite Suppressant P57 in Hoodia gordonii Plant Extracts and Dietary Supplements by Liquid Chromatography/Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry (LC-MSD-TOF) and LC-UV Methods [purchase article]
Author(s): Bharathi Avula1, | Yan-Hong Wang2, | Rahul S. Pawar3, | Yatin J. Shukla4, | Brian Schaneberg5, | Ikhlas A. Khan6
Hoodia gordonii is traditionally used in South Africa for its appetite suppressant properties. P57AS3 (P57), an oxypregnane steroidal glycoside, is the only reported active constituent from this plant as an appetite suppressant. Effective quality control of these extracts or products requires rapid methods to determine P57 content. New methods of liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) and LC-UV for analysis of P57 from H. gordonii have been developed. The quantitative determination of P57 was achieved with a Phenomenex Gemini (Torrance, CA) reversed-phase column using gradient mobile phase of water and acetonitrile, both containing 0.1% acetic acid. The method was validated for linearity, repeatability, and limits of detection and quantification. Good results were obtained in terms of repeatability (relative standard deviation <5.0%) and recovery (98.5–103.5%). The developed methods were applied to the determination of P57 for H. gordonii plant samples, one related genus (Opuntia ficus-indica), and dietary supplements that claim to contain H. gordonii.
1,2,3 National Center for Natural Products Research, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Mississippi, MS 38677.
4 Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, The University of Mississippi, MS 38677.
5 ChromaDex Analytics, 2830 Wilderness Pl, Boulder, CO 80301.
6 National Center for Natural Products Research, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, The University of Mississippi, MS 38677.
The "Miracle Diet Cactus" $scam$
The miracle
was that you could buy 1,000 seed for $30 and sell a single 6” seedling on ebay for $49.95! But that was before ebay banned the Hoodia plant scam for a year to make people chill out.

It’s a diet
because it tastes so bad—like rotten, slimy cucumbers—that you puke anything you eat! When it flowers in your kitchen the stench (like a dead animal) is so bad you can’t swallow anything.

Its not a cactus.
It is a succulent—but that sounded like something good to eat. People are easily confused so just call it a cactus! The point of the scam is to make money, not sense.

Hoodia Myths
ebay sellers used to sell Hoodia Macrantha and Hoodia Ruscii until too many buyers asked too many questions. “Why waste time educating people” they asked themselves? “Lets just call all Hoodia “Hoodia gordonii and get on with making money.”

Before the ebay ban on Hoodia, sellers said it was so easy to grow a cavegirl could do it. After the ban you had to buy special instructions and buy special soil. Seed prices went from $30/1000 to $900/1000.

The problem is that no one in the USA has yet produced mature plants like those that exist in the Africa Deserts. They only have immature house plant type specimens. Even a caveman can do that.

• Do these young houseplants contain the steroidal glucose molecules name P57? If so, then at what age is P57 produced? Africans say it takes 5—7 years.

The real question is how many milligrams of P57/kilogram is present? in a particular plant specimen. Want to find out? You have to use high pressure liquid chromotography with quantitative analysis methods to determine this. Want to get started? You can buy the information for $50 from the Association of Analytical Chemistry:

• Then; how many milligrams are required/kilogram of a person’s body weight to achieve appetite suppression?

• The answer? No one knows.
Hoodia takes 5 to 7 years
growing in the desert to mature.
Expecting Hoodia raised as a houseplant to have the same properties as the African desert variety is like thinking you can grow tea or coffee in a flowerpot; then treat your friends to your home grown “green tea” or “Columbian coffee.”

Hoodia allows skinny bushmen of the desert, who normally dine on lizards or insects, to fight hunger for 24 hours while they hunt. But Americans have a reaction like Chinese food—an hour later they’re hungry again!

Bushmen are tiny little folk. No one knows how much Hoodia an American would have to eat—perhaps the equivalent weight of a big Mac with fries is a start. That would be several entire ebay sized plants. But that still would not work since the plants have to be mature—just as you can’t make coffee from a 9” plant neither can you expect a 9” Hoodia to be the same as a 3-foot tall, 7 year old, desert grown specimen.

After all, it anyone could produce their own coffee and tea from seed grown houseplants…well you get the point. Don’t you?
Is Hoodia easy to grow?
Not if you treat it as a house plant. This plant evolved in the harsh conditions of the African deserts. If you pamper it like a house plant—dump water & plant food on Hoodia—it will die of rot. Its so easy to kill a caveman can do it.
How much Hoodia would you need if it worked?
If you grow hundreds of pounds of Hoodia you might have enough to lose hundreds of pounds of ugly fat. How would you grow that much Hooida in your house?

• Take a spare bed room and fill it 3 feet deep with rocks & sand. Install 1,000W heat lamps to simulate the African Desert. Then plant Hoodia and wait 7 years for them to mature. Don’t forget the flies! Hoodia smell like a dead animal when they flower and need flies to pollinate them.

Never be able to eat again! If people kept the fowl smelling flowering Hoodia in their kitchens the smell might make it impossible to eat. Such motivated fatties might eventually look as skinny as starving desert dwellers! Maybe you can too!
Start the Miracle Diet Cactus lifestyle today.
Sure Hoodia stinks, but being fat stinks worse!

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