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?

18 comments:

L I said...

Dr. Oz,

Thank you for taking this issue of hCG for weight loss up on your website.

After recent news about failure of oversight and conflicts of interest involving the FDA, I would trust neither.

hCG is a prescription medication which should be "prescribed" only by a phycician trained and experienced in its use for whatever indication.

It should not be sold over the internet, and in this sense I would not argue with regulation of its sale and use, permitted only by qualified physicians. Testosterone was abused by entrepeneurs, and is now regulated.

We use many medications "off-label" everyday. Many of these uses have been determined by clinical observation.

Clinical observation of hCG for weight loss has been positive, and trials which have been done in the past which are not of the quality expected today, are either positive or neutral, ie. hCG works as well or better than the comparative regimen.

Clinical trials would be beneficial, however there are financial and political barriers which interfere with medical progress.

This is similar to the controversy about "diets for weightloss". There is science behind low carbohydrate and low fat, however clinical trial design has not always been "unconflicted" or truly "unbiased". Low carbohydrate diets, when formulated properly, and physician directed are now becoming accepted, despite being "banned" and "panned" in the past, as hCG has gone through the same pattern.

It is time for well designed, unbiased, clinical trials. In the meantime, it is difficult to find any published evidence that hCG in the doses and method recommended is harmful.

If such exits, I would appreciate the opportunity to review it. My email is posted, please forward any published articles to me.

In the meantime, my recommendation for patients is that the first line approach to weight loss should be therapeutic lifestyle changes with diet and exercise.

The question of which diet and what exercise is determined by the patients‘ own metabolic and hormonal mileu, which must be determined by the prescribing physician. The patient's religion, culture, psychology and philosphy must also be respected to ensure long term compliance.

Until physicians are compensated appropriately for the time involved with properly investigating, diagnosing and counseling the patient, and insurance companies are willing to pay for the "screening" often necessary, this will remain an underserved need.

It is substantiated in the medical literature that the epidemic of obesity and diabetes, super-imposed on the "epidemic" of an aging population has not been resolved, and in fact probably exacerbated by the guidelines calling for a "low fat diet" for all.

The popularity of anoretic medications and bariatric surgery are accompanied by substantial side effects, short term risks, and long term complications which are more abundant than with hCG in the dose, route, and methodology recommended in the original plan.

I believe there is a role for hCG in selected patients, and that should be at the discretion of the prescribing physician and the well informed consent of the patient.

FLAMMC.INFO@gmail.com

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John said...

I do not care about any negative connotations of hcg on here. It works, and with no bad side effects. I started @ 320 on Nov 1, and now weigh 279. The drops quash your appetite. Drops, and a gallon of water! I am one of four guys I know who have had great success. If you can be disciplined, and follow the protocol, you will achieve amazing results.

Annieka said...

I did it for two weeks then took two week break did it again for another two weeks. Lost 25 lbs and 5 months later I have yet to gain any weight back. I recommend to anyone trying to lose weight. And I only tried it after I changed my diet and started running a mile every day for a month and didn't lose not 1 lb not 1! This is a firm believer in the HCG here!

nancysid said...

would all of you send me your names and addresses so i can take out life insurance policies? thanks!

rene said...

HCG is unknown by most physicians in the use of weight loss. Why? Because no clinical protocol exists besides the outdated 1950 HCG protocol by Dr. Simeons.

Diet Doc HCG Weight Loss Program works with 30 physicians and 20+ locations. We use use hcg and a 1,000 calorie per day diet to achieve rapid, safe weight loss. Those same doctors modernized the old hcg protocol to one that is safe, effective and it works!

We train dozens of doctors across the USA on our protocol.

Here is how our program works:

hcg is given at 15 units/day for 6 days and 7th day is skipped (although you remain on the diet)

Diet consists of eliminating sugar and carbs and limited dairy (egg white omelets are okay, after you get into ketosis)

Two support products are taken with the diet, one is a blood sugar stabilizer shake (chocolate or vanilla) that is drank 3x per day. This shake tastes very good and it's role is to help you feel full and to stabilize blood sugar.

Another product is MCT oil which is clinically proven to help people lose weight. http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00207272?term=mct+oil&rank=2

Ketone strips are used each morning to test the rate you are burning fat. Ketones are passed through the liver during the fat burning process.

Our program is medically supervised. We work with "big name" physicians who wholeheartedly believe and can tell anyone who asks how and why HCG works with weight loss.

We are putting together a clinical trial to demonstrate the effectiveness of our hcg weight loss protocol.

Visit our website www.hcgtreatments.com or call us for a free consultation 888-934-4451

http://www.hcgtreatments.com/how-it-works/

USLoanMods.com Team said...

Several members of my family have lost weight with HCG. They experienced less hunger than on any other diet they tried before. They took Lean HCG (they have a great deal on 3 bottles!).

HCG is a natural human hormone. As it can't be patented, it will never make millions for a drug company. Generic drugs like this are never as widely publicized as the ones making billions for big pharam. But if you read the online reviews, people are having great success with it.

joe said...

It is truly amazing how anything the pharmaceutical companies can't make money on is automatically bad. I personally have followed Dr. Simeons protocol and lost 40 lbs. in about 3 months and not regained the weight. My wife lost over 100 lbs. in approx. 6 months. Neither of us suffered any side effects and both of our respective physicians had no problems or concerns with our participation in the protocol.

The hCG, as documented by Dr. Simeons, inhibits hunger and the relatively high protein intake during its use helps to preserve muscle tissue while on the 500 calorie per day diet.

What happens here is that your body chemistry is recalibrated after what is, for many, years of poor eating habits and food intake. Following hCG, it is much easier to maintain healthy eating habits and thereby your weight level.

I stringly recommend those interested in the hCG protocol to consult a doctor/naturopath prior to initially engaging it.

Phooey on the AMA and others who slam the hCG protocol - it works!

Richard bacon said...

Hello,

Without controlling over your daily diet the HCG can not give you better result regarding weight loss, according to Kevin Trudeau it is safe for us from all point of view. Thanks a lot.

Simeons HCG Diet

johnweberg said...

John writes..

I have tried many different diets and exercise plans, I did this diet for 30 days and lost over 35lbs. I have kept it off for over 3 months now - longer than any other diet or plan that I have stuck with. I was not hungry! I did research this well and read many of the so called controlled studies that tried to replicate dr, Simeon's work. If you read through the protocols of these studies there is only one of the 14 that were mentioned that actually followed the diet protocol correctly as prescribed by dr. Simeon with no substitutions. That study confirmed the results that Dr. Simeon's manuscript provided! Dont listen to the people who do not properly research this through. I agree with Dr OZ that a well controlled protocol that follows the diet explicitly!!!! be done- no substitutions, no alterations etc. the proof is in the pudding.

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ChicaV said...

The HCG diet is not just 40 days of VLCD. There are 3 weeks of learning to stabilize your loss while eating a low carb diet that is not VLCD. Then the weeks following you slowly add carbs and learn how to eat. All the foods recommended on this diet are foods you cook yourself, whole foods. Packaged foods, fast foods, premade shakes are all not recommended. I chose this diet because it gives me hope and real results. This keeps me motivated to change my life, not just lose some poundage.

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