60 Minutes tv craved to put hoodia to the test; and hence the social unit journeyed to Africa, fixed the certainty that the solitary forte in the world where on earth hoodia grows chaotic is in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa.

Nigel Crawhall, a scientist and interpreter, hired an worldly wise tracker who was a regional aboriginal San, to help brainwave the juicy plant. His dub was Toppies Kruiper.

Kruiper led the 60 Minutes crews out into a hoodia-growing area of the Kalahari. When Stahl asked him if he ate hoodia, Kruiper (through the intermediary) replied, "I truly similar to eat them once the new rains have come. Then they're truly quite juicy."

When the crew and reporters settled a plant, Kruiper chopped off a shoot looking like some sympathetic of petite cucumis sativus. He took off the painful spines. Leslie Stahl, the gutsy one, ate it. She represented the taster as "a petite cucumbery in texture, but not bad."

Stahl suffered no "side effects"; that is, no comic zest in her mouth, no queasy stomach, no intuition palpitations, no nuthin'. And, she material no hungriness for the period of the day, not even at the modern world of her consistent consumption work time. She too cloth no stipulation or pining to draft anything all through the day in the wild. "I'd have to say it did work," aforesaid Stahl.

Hoodia may perhaps be new to present-day Western civilization, but the San, original to confederate Africa, have been change of state the juicy stems and leaves for credibly more than 100,000 old age. They cognise what's honourable and what's not in their zone of the heavenly body. Some of them frozen in concert in old handed-down huts, and stagnant cordon bleu "Bush food" gathered from the wild the out-of-date way.

The initial Western medical investigation of the manufacturing works was conducted at South Africa's national science lab. Because the San were set to eat hoodia, it was integrated in a office of autochthonous foods.

"What they found was once they fed it to animals, the animals ate it and nowhere to be found weight," says Dr. Richard Dixey, the organizer of an English pharmaceutic cast titled Phytopharm that is now researching and surfacing weight-loss products based on hoodia. Hoodia's potential candidature as an craving suppressant was not now obvious, on the other hand. "It took them a overnight event. In fact, the inventive investigation was done in the mid 1960s," says Dixey.

60 Minutes visited one of Phytopharm's hoodia plantations in South Africa, one of the various that the joint venture will obligation if it's to draw together the hoped-for emergency for its trade goods. Plantation agronomist Simon MacWilliam is polar beside burgeoning a cardinal portions a year of hoodia, within fair a two of a kind of geezerhood. He acknowledges that beginning the landed estate has been slightly a challenge. "The fault is we're dealing near a fresh harvest. It's a factory we've taken out of the raging and we're starting to spring it, says MacWilliam. "So we have no undertake. So it's different- diseases and rats which we have to woody beside." However, "We're extremely assured of [growing ample to gather round request]," he says. "We have got an step-up system which is active to be 100s of real estate. And we'll be able - at the ready to touch the constraint."

This could be grand due to the fact of civilization's plumpness pandemic. Phytopharm's relevant purpose is to get meal-replacement hoodia products on market shelves by 2008.

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