Promoted for weight loss, jojoba (pronounced ho-HO-bah) is an ingredient in dietary supplements that go by such names as Projoba Slim and Jojoba Diet. Native American tribes used the seeds from the plant—a shrub that grows in arid regions worldwide—as an appetite suppressant in times of food scarcity. But the only pub­lished studies of jojoba as an appetite suppressant and weight loss aid (including ones on a patented jojoba extract called simmondsin) have been in animals. There’s no evidence that it is safe and effec­tive for people. The animal studies showed adverse effects, includ­ing damage to the digestive tract, changes in hormone levels, and other potentially serious problems. No responsible researcher has ever recommended jojoba for weight loss in humans.

Our take: Until well-designed clinical studies show that jojoba supplements are safe and effective for weight loss, don’t risk it.