Experts spotlight liver injury from herbal dietary supplements in the U.S

Posted 19 April 2023

Experts on natural products and toxicology have provided an overview of the problem of liver damage due to herbal dietary supplement (HDS) use in the United States. They suggest two strategies they hope will improve consumer safety and drive bad actors from the marketplace. One is a path for pre-clinical assessment and the other is the establishment of a list of products.
Reference: Gurley BJ, and others. Hepatoxicity due to herbal dietary supplements: Past, present, and the future. Food and Chemical Toxicology 169:113445, 2022

Their key points include:

  • The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 provides an insufficient framework for regulating HDS products.
  • 20% of adult Americans regularly consume HDS products.
  • Liver toxicity is among the most frequent serious events reported through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Adverse Event Reporting System.
  • 20% of all drug-induced
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Hoodia study produces ‘frightening’ results: new Stellenbosch study

02 October 2014

A second perspective of the recent study arguing that Hoodia affects a user’s muscles negatively.
A recent study of the ‘miracle’ weight loss supplement hoodia, by the University of Stellenbosch, cast considerable doubt on the safety of the product.

The results of new research, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, on the effect that the weight loss supplement Hoodia had on rats, were described by head researcher, Prof. Carine Smith from the University of Stellenbosch, as “frightening”.

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Warning over hoodia ‘diets’

Posted 29 September 2014

This article published in Times, refers to a recent study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, which reports that  consuming extracts of the succulent plant Hoodia may not just shed fat but muscle tissue too. The research was conducted in rats and one cannot necessarily extrapolate to humans. For example, Hoodia has been shown to result in appetite suppression in rats but not in humans.

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Weight-Loss Products – Hoodia

Posted 25 March 2015

Jasmine and Chris Grindlay of Slimbetti have been promoting their Hoodia Gel scam product in South Africa and simply ignoring ASA rulings. Other countries have had similar problems although in many this scam has disappeared off the market.

I have recently come across this article titled “The Controversial Advertising case: Weight-Loss Product— Hoodia” – “Marketing advertising and public policy” published December 19, 2011.

The article makes the point:

“Hoodia was one of the weight loss products that was advertised as a natural and effective remedy by Nutraceuticals International and Stella Labs. Nutraceuticals International and Stella Labs are the suppliers of the ingredient Hoodia gordonii (hoodia), and they claim that consumers are able to lose weight and suppress appetites by using hoodia, which is found in Southern Africa. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as a significant regulatory agency in preventing unfair methods of competition and unfair Read the rest

BioXlim – another weight-loss scam

Posted 09 September 2013


Seems like there is no end to scamsters trying to con ordinary consumers.

BioXlim claims: “Bioxlim is a weight reduction supplement that is formulated from 3 essential natural herbs that work together synergistically. Bioxlim is a specially formulated product to be used as a dietary food supplement. It contains vital active ingredients with nutritional values that help in slimming and weight management.”

The company evidently resides at Herbal Zone International C. C., No. 5. John Voster Avenue, Plattekloof 1, 7500 Cape Town

Hakim-HerzallahThe company, Herbal Zone International c. c., is registered to Hakim Herzallah (HAKAM ALI IBRAHIM HERZALLAH) at address 10 John Vorster Avenue, Plattekloof 1, Cape Town

Each capsule contains 450mg :

  • Hoodia Gordonii Extract 200mg
  • Garcinia cambogia Extract 150mg
  • Aloe Vera Extract 100mg

A few problems with this.

1. There is not a single study showing that this mix of ingredients worksRead the rest

Study says hoodia has adverse side effects

Posted: 24 November 2011

Study says hoodia has adverse side effects
SARAH WILD  in Business Day
Published: 2011/11/15 08:35:30 AM

A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says indigenous hoodia gordonii plant is ineffective as an appetite suppressant and has adverse side effects 

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Is Hoodia a hoodwink drug?

Posted: 21 November 2011

TYGERBURGER (Table View) 16 Nov 2011 Page 15
By Priya Seetal

There truly is no quick fix when it comes to losing weight. The next special ingredient that has fallen from grace is Hoodia. According to dietitian Priya Seetal, a new study has revealed that Hoodia has no impact on weight control (ref Blom WAM et al (2011) American Journal of Clinical Nutrition). Hoodia gordonii is a spiny succulent plant which grows naturally in South Africa and has been thought to help weight management. Now, a new study has tested this theory. Scientists gave 49 healthy, overweight women either two servings of H.gordonii daily or a placebo for 15 days. These were taken one hour before breakfast and dinner. After this, women were allowed to eat freely from a set menu. The H.gordonii extract was well tolerated apart from some nausea, sickness and tingling skin. However, … Read the rest

Dr Boxalls – ASA ruling

Posted 01 November 2011

A consumer complaint against the respondent's advertising in the form of a flyer distributed which promotes the respondent's "SUTHERLANDIA FRUTESCENS WITH OLIVE LEAF" as ". one of nature's strongest immune boosters in this age of viral epidemics. So effective, it is used as a component to boost immunity in patients with AIDS". It adds that Sutherlandia Frutesence has ". been used traditionally for:", inter alia, cancer and diabetes. In addition, it promoted the respondent's "HOODIA GORDONii" under the auspices that it ". has been used traditionally to suppress appetite, boost energy, control glucose intake, combat obesity, and combat bingeing".

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Hoodia has many side effects

Posted 31 October 2011

Publis hed in Health24

A new Unilever report reveals why the consumer goods giant chose to pull the plug on the alleged fat-fighting supplement Hoodia after spending a reported R192 million developing it.

In a clinical trial, Hoodia extract had no impact on appetite or food intake, but it did have a lot of side effects, like vomiting, weird skin sensations and elevated blood pressure and heart rate.

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Why Unilever canned €20m hoodia project (or why hoodia is a scam)

Posted 21 October 2011

Readers may remember that I recently voiced my disbelief that Alison Viennings had tried to substantiate a Clicks Hoodia product. In previous postings I have pointed out that Unilever had cancelled a 20 Million Euro project after finding that hoodia made no contribution to appetite suppression, weight-loss and that side effects were unacceptably high. Now the research that made Unilever decide to can the project has been published. 

Note, all hoodia products on the South African market use between 250 to 500mg once, twice or three times a day. Most that I tested had very low to absent levels of P57 in contrast with the research where the P57 was assured.  

The randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial was conducted with about 25 healthy, 18-50 year old women in each of the hoodia and placebo groups.  During the 15-day trial period they were given either two Read the rest