Effects of 15-d repeated consumption of Hoodia gordonii purified extract on safety, ad libitum energy intake, and body weight in healthy, overweight women: a randomized controlled trial

Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Nov;94(5):1171-81. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.020321. Epub 2011 Oct 12.


Background: Extracts from Hoodia gordonii have been shown to decrease food intakes and body weights in animals and were proposed as a food supplement or ingredient for weight management.

Objective: We assessed the safety and efficacy of a 15-d repeated consumption of H. gordonii purified extract (HgPE) relative to a placebo in humans.

Design: Healthy, overweight women, who were stratified by percentage body fat, received either HgPE (n = 25) or a placebo (n = 24) for 15 d. Subjects were resident in a clinic for a 4-d run-in period and a 15-d treatment period in which they received 2 servings/d of 1110 mg HgPE or a placebo formulated in a yogurt drink 1 h before breakfast and dinner. Subjects were otherwise allowed to eat ad libitum from standardized menus.

Results: There were no serious adverse events, but HgPE was less well tolerated than was the placebo because of episodes of nausea, emesis, and disturbances of skin sensation. Blood pressure, pulse, heart rate, bilirubin, and alkaline phosphatase showed significant (P < 0.05) increases in the HgPE group. Mean effects on ad libitum energy intakes and body weights did not differ significantly between the HgPE- and placebo-treatment groups (P > 0.05).

Conclusions: In comparison with a matched placebo, the consumption of HgPE for 15 d appeared to be associated with significant adverse changes in some vital signs and laboratory parameters. HgPE was less well tolerated than was the placebo and did not show any significant effects on energy intakes or body weights relative to the placebo. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01306422.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / blood
  • Apocynaceae / chemistry*
  • Bilirubin / blood
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Eating / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight / drug therapy*
  • Overweight / metabolism
  • Overweight / physiopathology
  • Phytotherapy / adverse effects
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacokinetics
  • Young Adult


  • Plant Extracts
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Bilirubin

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01306422