Is the HCG diet safe and effective?

When something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. There are many claims that using HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) hormone which is made by the placenta in pregnant women, will help with weight loss. The evidence has not shown this to be the case. 

The weight loss claim has been marketed since the 1950's but controlled studies have shown that HCG works as a placebo only, when used in this regard. Injectable HCG has been approved for the treatment of infertility in both women and men. However, some physicians are prescribing HCG oral drops and sprays for the purpose of weight loss. This hormone is being combined with a 500 to 800 calorie diet to acheive this weight loss. This is too restrictive and is not nutritionally sufficient to support healthy brain function. 

The use of HCG for weight loss is not supported by scientific research. The product may contain contaminants and there is a risk of infection with any injectable. The common side affects of HCG include headaches, mood swings, blood clots, depression, and dizziness.

Since 1975 the FDA has required all marketing materials for HCG to include the statement, "HCG has not been demonstrated to be an effective adjunctive therapy in the treatment of obesity. There is no substantial evidence that it increases weight loss beyond that resulting from calorie restriction".

The only plan for weight loss should be a healthy food intake control and a planned exercise routine. This will provide long term results.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.