Wednesday, March 3, 2010

hCG Diet Dangers

It's been a while since my last update and it's amazing to see how much has changed in the weight loss world. Something thats recently come into vogue is the hCG Diet. hCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, a hormone found widely in pregnant women, but also produced in smaller amounts by men.

What does hCG do?

hCG has multiple roles in the human body, however for the purpose of this article we will focus purely on its role in weight loss. Dr A.T.W. Simeons observed that when administering small amounts of hCG to malnutritioned patients that they actually continued to lose weight. The amazing thing is that they lost fat instead of muscle mass, which is not what you would expect with very low calorie intake. Eventually this caused some further research into its effect of weight loss and the hCG Diet was born.

How does it work?

Now before you rush out to ask your Doctor for hCG, please note that the diet only works when accompanied by a very low calorie diet, or VLCD. A VLCD alone would shed pounds off your body in the vast majority of people. Adding hCG to this mix will shed even more by helping your body shed fat rather than muscle.
Taking hCG without changing your diet will not yield weight loss!

Is hCG safe?

This is the million dollar question, is hCG safe for consumption when used for weight loss? According to the FDA, the answer is no. According to author and infomercial salesman, Kevin Trudeau the answer is yes. It's entirely up to you whether you take the world of a salesman over the Food & Drug Administration.

Final thoughts

The jury is still out on the long term side-effects of consuming hCG while adopting a VLCD. Considering that you need to drop your calorie intake to ~500 per day for the hCG diet to be effective, it seems like you're getting little return for the risk. 99% of people will lose weight on a VLCD, even with no exercise, so why spend money and risk long term health on hCG?