Would the Ice Cube Diet work for you?


To lose weight, Alicia Puma drops a Hoodia-filled ice cube in her water. Or she eats one straight.

In a world of easy diets, it's just about the easiest. You don't even have to freeze them; they come through the Internet already frozen and packed in dry ice.

"You take one cube a day," Puma said. "It tastes great, like a margarita, and it gives you a wonderful burst of energy."

The diet is so new that we couldn't find anyone on it in Houston, so the company, Desert Labs, sent Puma to tell us about her experience. She started on the diet and now works for the company.

"I am down about a little more than 25 pounds in I'd say a total of a three-month period," Puma said.

Alicia knows something about dieting. She had already lost 65 pounds when she hit a plateau. That's why she tried Hoodia to lose more weight.

"The cravings were gone," she said.

The Hoodia that's frozen inside the ice cube is from a desert plant native to Africa. The company says it has a molecule called P57 that's said to reduce appetite.

"Would I try it?" dietitian Roberta Anding said. "The answer is no."

Anding is a Texas Children's Hospital dietitian who also works with NFL players. She doesn't want her players to take Hoodia because she's concerned that two pharmaceutical companies backed away from it.

"Pfizer actually tried to develop this into a drug and stopped its clinical trials without really an explanation," Anding said. "And then Unileer, who makes Slim-Fast, was going to make a drink with Hoodia, and they also discontinued the development of this drink."

"The difference between this company, the Ice Cube Diet that they've created and the other companies is they process it into a pill form, and when you do that, you destroy the structure of the plant," Puma said.

One study showed women did lose weight. But Anding says more studies on Hoodia's safety and effectiveness are needed.

The ice cube diet costs about $1.50 a day.

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