Fads and HCG “weight loss” are not what you think they are. Believe in yourself, not a nonsensical product or program…
The Florida Board of Medicine, the AMA, the Federal Trade Commission and the drug’s manufacturer (amongst many others) warn against its false and deceptive use as a weight loss drug.
Due to many popular misconceptions and lack of understanding (even amongst well-meaning practicing physicians) we have put together this web page on Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG, or pregnancy hormone) and how it is NEITHER SAFE NOR EFFECTIVE to use in weight loss. Do not risk the complications or your hard-earned-money on a nonsense treatment that does not address the real issue with weight loss anyway: Keeping the weight off (without hunger) and changing your lifestyle.
Everyone wants for something that is too good to be true. Unfortunately this is just what it is. There are no miracles. This is a fact and it is liberating: Because, if your weight loss and lifestyle change program has its foundation on evidence-based-medicine, then it has been proven safe and effective… In any case, make your own judgment as to the facts and what you will allow to be done to your body…
Recently, using or referencing HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin is a big trend with certain weight loss center models (particularly those concerned with selling patients long-term contracts to come in for daily or weekly injections). True HCG can only be properly absorbed by the body if it is administered through injection. Any oral, sublingual or other type of HCG supplement cannot be made adequately and accurately bio-available to the body.
1. PLEASE ASK ANYONE WHO PRESCRIBES HCG FOR THE STUDIES AND THE EVIDENCE THAT SHOWS HCG IS HELPFUL IN WEIGHT LOSS – THEY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PRODUCE THIS BECAUSE IT DOES NOT EXIST. IN FACT THERE ARE NO SHOTS OR HORMONES OR PILLS – INCLUDING PHENTERMINE – THAT HAVE BEEN SHOWN TO HELP PEOPLE LOSE WEIGHT AND KEEP IT OFF.
2. PLEASE ASK ANYONE WHO PRESCRIBES HCG WHY THEY ARE PRESCRIBING HCG IN VIOLATION OF THE FDA WARNING AGAINST USING HCG FOR “WEIGHT LOSS,” AND AGAINST THE POSITION OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, THE ENDOCRINE SOCIETY AND THE OBESITY MEDICINE ASSOCIATION (FORMERLY THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF BARIATRIC PHYSICIANS).
3. PLEASE ASK ANYONE WHO PRESCRIBES HCG ABOUT INCREASED RISK OF: OVARIAN HYPERSTIMULATION SYNDROME (CAN REQUIRE HYSTERECTOMY TO TREAT); DEEP VENOUS THROMBOSIS; PULMONARY EMBOLISM; MENINGIOMA; HORMONE RESPONSIVE BREAST CANCERS; AND PROSTATE CANCER.
4. DO NOT TAKE CHANCES AND NEEDLESS RISKS WITH YOUR BODY AND HEALTH.
5. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY.
Where the myths about HCG come from:
This all started more than 50 years ago. A British physician, Dr. Albert T. Simeons, said that HCG injections would help dieters lose weight on a 500 calories a day diet. It turns out (as common sense would suggest) that the 500 calories a day was the only thing that caused weight loss…
Here are the facts: HCG is a hormone produced at first during pregnancy in a structure called the corpus luteum of the ovary and then later by the placenta of a pregnant woman. This hormone in females stimulates the production of progesterone. This is what enables a female to carry on a pregnancy. HCG is currently used with great success in the treatment of infertility in females. In males, who do not produce HCG naturally, HCG is an unreliable stimulator of testosterone production in the testicles (HCG does this by loosely mimicking luteinizing hormone which is produced in males). Due to the weak specificity and variable response of HCG in males results are unpredictable. This can result in loss of ability to produce testosterone, testicular atrophy (shrinkage of the testicles), gynecomastia (development of enlarged mammary gland breast tissue in males) and/or infertility. Also, for people with a history (or even a family history) of certain androgen-sensitive cancers – e.g., prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women – there is a theoretical increase in risk of recurrence or development since HCG elevates testosterone and can cause estrogen fluctuation.
Other than frankly faked product and possible microbe contamination from dirty third world sources, the main risk of HCG is disruption of the delicate sex hormone balance.
If any patient, female or male, has a hormone deficiency the proper way to address this is through the direct, safe and natural replacement of the hormone: testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, etc. This is commonly done with very satisfying results with bio-identical hormones through many responsible physicians in our community.
The primary article on HCG and weight loss is a double-blind, placebo controlled, crossover study that showed there is no difference between HCG and placebo (Young RL, et al., Chorionic gonadotropin in weight control. A double-blind crossover study. JAMA 1976 Nov 29; 236(22):2495-7). Basically, this type of study keeps the drug and placebo doses secret (“blinded”) from both the investigators and the patients. As well, at some point in the study the drug and placebo doses are switched (“cross-over”) so that all patients have received the drug and the placebo. There are no stronger methods of confirming the efficacy of a drug.
Remember, you know there no shortcuts or miracles. There are, however, our evidence-based approaches to losing weight without hunger, keeping it off and living a better, healthier and more satisfying life. If you have any questions about any of this or any of our programs and how we can help you, please give us a call or send an email anytime.
On the medical side of this equation (the end of the equation, as always, comes down to who is making the “fast money?”… see, below…) the FDA, as early as 1975, has required the following indication warning on all legitimately produced HCG: “HCG HAS NOT BEEN DEMONSTRATED TO BE EFFECTIVE ADJUNCTIVE THERAPY IN THE TREATMENT OF OBESITY. THERE IS NO SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE THAT IT INCREASES WEIGHT LOSS BEYOND THAT RESULTING FROM CALORIC RESTRICTION, THAT IT CAUSES A MORE ATTRACTIVE OR “NORMAL DISTRIBUTION OF FAT, OR THAT IT DECREASES THE HUNGER AND DISCOMFORT ASSOCIATED WITH CALORIE-RESTRICTED DIETS. (see, e.g., http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2007/017692s018lbl.pdf)
The Obesity Medicine Association [(formerly the American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP)] – this is a society of doctors who are always looking for and researching toward the best way to treat and control obesity – states that the HCG approach does not work and should be avoided (see: Obesity Medicine Association, Position On: Use of HCG in the Treatment of Obesity https://obesitymedicine.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Use_of_HCG_in_the_Treatment_of_Obesity.pdf and https://obesitymedicine.org/use-of-hcg-for-weight-loss-inappropriate/).
The American Medical Association (AMA) (https://www.ama-assn.org/) House of Delegates has also adopted an official policy against the use of human chorionic gonadotropin for weight loss. One Delegate stated: “Nevertheless, many ‘medical’ weight loss centers claim that HCG is a miracle treatment. They continue to offer HCG, deceiving individuals to spend money on a treatment that doesn’t actually work.” (see page 11 of 22: https://www.ama-assn.org/sites/default/files/media-browser/2016-interim-csaph-report-4.pdf).
The Endocrine Society (100 year old membership society for endocrinology physicians) warns against the use of HCG for weight loss and through the Society’s consumer portal lists the risks of HCG use including: blood clots; male breast enlargement; and possible increased long-term risk of breast cancer for pre-menopausal women. (see: http://www.hormone.org/hormones-and-health/myth-vs-fact/hcg-diet)
Incidentally, Dr. Simeons’ original article can be found here: Simeons A.T.W., The action of chorionic gonadotropin in the obese. Lancet 2:946-947. This was unique and brilliant science for its day, but the state-of-the-art in medicine has evolved much since then and will continue to advance.
The latest generation of this fad has been propagated by the popular author Kevin Trudeau (see: Trudeau K., The Weight Loss Cure They Don’t Want You to Know About. Alliance Publishing, 2007). Mr. Trudeau was himself the object of federal action to cease and desist his deception; which he then used to garner more publicity for himself (see: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2007/09/ftc-marketer-kevin-trudeau-violated-prior-court-order). Mr. Trudea was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his fraudulent actions relating to HCG and other scams (see: http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/03/17/usa-trudeau-pitchman-idINL2N0ME1LF20140317).
So, what does this equation all add up to and who is making “easy money” off this false weight loss approach: unscrupulous business people, scam companies and charlatan infomercial book peddlers… Dr. Simeons and any legitimate doctors are nowhere in sight. Well meaning and trusting patients are the victims. Be careful.
P.S. For those of you who want to know the real story (it’s just a little bit of reading and knowledge is power)… So what happened to Dr. Simeons and his false notion? It has gone through no less than three generations of promotion. Although he was not directly involved, Dr Simeons’ name is often associated with the HCG false promise. The first generation of this fad was in the 1960’s and then it resurfaced in the 1970’s. This second generation of this diet was big business and started in California. Eventually, the string of eventually-disgraced conglomerates of weight loss centers and companies that supplied them (some of which even used Simeons’ name to lend apparent legitimacy) were shut down due to their deceptive advertising practices (see: http://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/commission_decision_volumes/volume-87/ftc_volume_decision_87_january_-_june_1976pages_1184-1278.pdf; this was reaffirmed and ordered in the additional court cases: http://openjurist.org/532/f2d/708 and http://openjurist.org/579/f2d/1137). As well, since this imposter advertising and marketing campaign was so egregious it made it into the big leagues: The Federal Trade Commission Official Policy Statement on Deception, in 1983-1984 (see page 15, note 56: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_statements/410531/831014deceptionstmt.pdf).