One of the largest markets anywhere, both online and in the real world, is weight loss. The U.S. weight loss market alone has been forecast to possibly reach $61 billion by the year 2008.
Obesity in developed countries is on the rise, and people are becoming ever more aware that they face an increased risk of death from degenerative diseases as a result. Anything which has the potential to suppress the appetite, and consequently lead to weight loss, is going to have an eager swarm of people waiting to test out the claims of its effectiveness. On myprotein flavors you get a wide range of products that you can use in order to increase your fitness level. You get a range of body supplements there as well.
If you have not heard of Hoodia before now, then the chances are you soon will. Hoodia is a plant which looks very similar to a cactus, but is in fact a succulent plant. It is found in a few select areas of Southern Africa.
There are many different types of Hoodia, several of which are grown as plants in gardens, but the one that has been attracting all of the interest is known as Hoodia Gordonii. Hoodia Gordonii has had millions of dollars spent in research by pharmaceutical companies, because they believe it will prove to be an appetite suppressant.
The San bushmen of the Kalahari Desert have used Hoodia plants for food for a long time. It was back in the early 1960s that the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research tested a large number of plants used by bush people as food.
The researchers were looking mainly for effects of toxicity, but instead, quite by accident, found that extracts from Hoodia Gordonii led to a reduction in appetite, and consequently body weight, in the animals that were tested. This testing was then escalated to human subjects, due to the obvious potential importance of the findings.
With obesity levels rising all the time, Hoodia could potentially save thousands of lives, as well as relieving health services worldwide of many burdens. Not to mention the improved quality of life for millions of patients around the world.
Hoodia could also bring in vitally needed revenue for a very poor part of the African economy. The British company Phytopharm, working in conjunction with the scientists of the CSIR, have spent more than $20 million on research already. Phytopharm holds the licenses to the patents for Hoodia Gordonii.
The CSIR have signed a contract with an organization representing the local population, to ensure that the people whose knowledge led to the plant being investigated in the first place, gain a direct benefit from its commercialization.
So, how does Hoodia work? Well, it seems that significant amounts of biologically active substances actually deceive the brain into thinking that the body does not need any more nutrient.
This means that people feel no hunger, or desire to overeat, meaning they consume less calories during the day. Subjects in tests have consistently been consuming more than 1000 calories less than they did before they began using the Hoodia.
As calorific intake is the most important factor in maintaining body weight, this will be a very significant find if the results continue to show this kind of success. For the obese people of the developed world, it could be a lifesaver.