A study on mice of the ‘miracle’ weight loss supplement hoodia has cast considerable doubt on the safety of the product, reports [s]Health24[/s]. The results on the effect that the weight loss supplement had on rats were described by head researcher, Prof Carine Smith from the [b]University of Stellenbosch[/b], as ‘frightening’. The study was conducted on 12 overweight and 12 underweight rats (as well as a control group) over a period of two weeks. Instead of losing fat, the animals lost a considerable amount of muscle mass, also developed swollen stomachs and their heart muscles thickened, causing palpitations and an increase in blood pressure. The possibility of serious side effects and the questionable quality of the product casts serious doubt on the safety of taking Hoodia supplements, the report says.