Hoodia is considered to be so safe for human consumption that it is actually classified as a food and not a drug or herbal supplement by the government of South Africa. This of course is from a government that knows that the plant has been consumed by the populations of famine stricken regions to stave off hunger. Also studies of malnourished African children have shown that eating only hoodia for three months causes death. However perhaps this is true of malnourished individuals who consume nothing but bananas or bacon for three months as well.
Perhaps the greatest safety hazard to your health is losing too much weight too fast. It is not uncommon for individuals to lose as much as five pounds a week with daily hoodia supplementation. However rapid weight loss is in itself very stressful on the heart, muscles, nerves and brain. You are best advised to only take the amount of Hoodia you need to lose two to three pounds a week so that you don’t develop health problems. Another reason this is wise is because losing any more than two pounds a week may not result in permanent weight loss.
Just as is true with staying on a calorie restricted diet for too long, your body may reach a plateau and refuse to drop any more pounds if you take too much of the supplement. This is because the body will go into conservation mode and begin to retain fat. This is simply Mother Nature’s way of responding to what it perceives to be as a famine condition. As taking hoodia every day can result in a shortfall of 1000 calories a day you can see why the body would revert to this condition.
Hoodia also takes away your urge to drink liquids and you are simply not triggered by thirst as often as you normally would. The problem with this is that your body will not prompt you naturally to drink enough water. Drinking eight glasses of water a day is challenging for most people but it is even more challenging when you are on Hoodia. However as the restricted calorie intake caused by the ingestion of Hoodia might trigger an internal detoxification process it is absolutely essential that you drink as much water as you can while taking hoodia so that toxins and waste products are easily passed out of your system.
There is also some debate about whether or not taking hoodia is a good idea for diabetics or pre diabetics. As hoodia sends a message to the brain that there is ten times as much glucose as sugar present in the blood (thus there being no need to eat) there could be an effect on the pancreas. It is not clear whether or not hoodia can cause blood glucose spikes in diabetic individuals or not. This is because Hoodia is a relatively newer supplement that has not been packaged by the large pharmaceutical companies. This means that little or no research has actually been done on the long-term effects of having your brain consistently detect high levels of blood glucose.
As with all herbal and botanical supplements it is always best to be cautious and consume Hoodia with moderation and stop taking it if you do notice any side effects at all.