Hoodia gordonii, a popular appetite suppressant, is widely used as an ingredient in many food supplements despite the fact that supporting scientific evidence is scarce. Recently alarming side effects of H. gordonii products (increased blood pressure and elevated pulse rate) have been reported. The aim of our study was to elucidate the underlying mechanism of these symptoms. A H. gordonii-containing product was tested for sympathomimetic activity. Isolated organ experiments on rat uterine rings revealed smooth muscle relaxant effect with a substantial component mediated through β-adrenergic receptors. Chromatographic comparison of the analyzed product and authentic plant material confirmed that the herbal product contained Hoodia spp. extract, and its cardiovascular effects may be linked to the compounds of the plant.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)