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Between the Master Cleanse, the cabbage soup diet, no-carb, low-carb, and the all-juice diet, one enduring quick weight loss scheme has persisted among the fads: The HCG diet. Numerous products label their weight loss aids as the “HCG Diet”, and enough people who have used them swear by their effectiveness that these products have maintained popularity. What many people do not know is that the use of HCG as a weight loss aid is neither approved by the FDA, nor is it legal to sell the hormone over the counter at all. The Federal Drug Administration is now cracking down on companies that market these products by sending them written orders to cease production and marketing of the aids, while sending a message to the public that these diets are both dangerous and ineffective.

From ABC News:

Human chorionic gonadotrpin (HCG), otherwise known as a fertility hormone, is produced in women’s placentas and is also found in pregnant women’s urine. The hormone is FDA-approved only as a prescription injection drug to treat some cases of infertility and for select male hormone imbalances. Some studies suggest that HCG can also absorb excessive fat tissue. Many companies also claim the hormone can curb appetite and speed metabolism. HCG products sold online or in stores are not approved for weight loss. Still, so-called homeopathic versions of the hormone — found as oral drops, sprays, and pellets — are marketed by many companies as a weight loss supplement.

It is unknown how much HCG, if any at all, if contained in these products because they are “herbal supplements” and not regulated for efficacy by the FDA. But one of the FDA’s key concerns is that HCG products recommend a 500 calorie a day diet in conjunction with the prodcut itself; in other words, any weight loss is due to very low calorie consumption and not the product itself. In turn, low calorie consumption can lead to a multitude of health problems ranging from heart arrhythmia to gallstones.

Do you think the HCG diet is safe and effective? Or should the FDA continue chasing after companies that may be guilty of fraud?

 

 

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  • Hi Thembi, i wonder if people who are suffering infertility problems and are using HCG diet products to lose weight have a better change to get pregnant. For it is a fertility hormone maybe it could be a help getting pregnant. I wonder what a study of this case would bring.

    Regards,

    Patrick Gloover

  • whilome

    A lot of sistas on youtube were doing hcg challenges for weight loss, with various results.

    I, for one, was leery about buying some chemical from the fly-by-night pop-up internet shops of natural hair gurus.

    I was like, “Dang, I thought you sold Kinky-Curly and barrettes and you dealing HCG now?!” Umm…no ma’am.

  • I work at a medical weight loss clinic in Illinois (Complete Clinics), and we do offer HCG. The FDA did crack down on mail order sites and retail outlets, and we’ve seen many patients that have tried those sites before. One of the main reasons the FDA expressed as a cause for concern was the whole 500 calorie diet associated with the “HCG Diet”.

    We do not condone such a low calorie diet, and although we do administer HCG on patients, it is not some magic pill or injection. We have a non-calorie restrictive diet, and with the assistance of medications, including HCG, we’ve seen great results in our patients. The HCG seems to help them mobilize fat in harder to lose places. However, we do tell all patients that HCG is not FDA approved for weight loss.

    One thing to be careful about, if you are still looking to order online, is that there are synthetic versions of HCG (including most oral versions) that are a lot less effective, and many times cannot be monitored for authenticity. I would recommend going to a medically-supervised clinic and asking them if they have a Certificate of Authenticity for the HCG that they are using.

  • The Comment

    I wish the FDA would look into food makers adding additives that create powerful cravings. My moms generation told me that they only had 2 fat people in the highschool. That the cafeteria ladies home-made potatoes, dough and greens…cooked in LARD.

    I see too many poor people working themselves to death. I be damned if I call them lazy. Maybe if you attack the food makers….you would have to worry about all these crazy diet fads hitting the market.

  • chanela

    i know someone who has used it for 2 months so far and shes gone from a size 17 to a size 11. and a DDD to a D. she SWEARS by it!

    i’m surprised nobody came down on “snooki” from jersey shore. she lost a lot of weight from HCG and diet pills