Natural Weight Loss or HCG?

You may have heard about the “hCG diet,” or know of people using hCG injections for weight loss. It is important to understand all of the risks and benefits of this diet and the medication before starting a program.

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone released by the embryo and placenta in pregnant women. During pregnancy, hCG helps to maintain the uterine lining by increasing progesterone production. This hormone can be used to induce ovulation in the ovaries, and also increases testosterone production.

Human chorionic gonadotropin was first promoted as a weight loss aid in the 1950s by Dr. Albert T. Simeons. Simeons stated that hCG would help to mobilize and burn stored fat, when combined with a 500 calorie-per-day diet. This diet is very restrictive, and includes a set number of calories from protein per meal, to help burn fat while attempting to protect muscle.

Since Simeons first introduced the concept of using hCG injections for weight loss, there have been approximately 50 years of extensive, double-blind research studies performed to test its efficacy. There is a significant amount of weight loss that typically occurs with this diet, with most people losing about 5 pounds per week.

There are still some questions about the safety and efficacy of hCG for weight loss. Some studies have shown that hCG is no more effective for weight loss than the 500 calorie diet alone. The FDA has not approved hCG for weight loss, and there is not enough safety data to know whether hCG may have long-term side effects or health risks.

I put the health and safety of my patients first at all times. Because hCG has not been tested for long-term safety, and because there are so many other safe and effective weight loss methods, I have chosen not to use hCG for my patients. The weight loss options I do use with my patients not only help people lose weight, but also assist in controlling diabetes, balancing cholesterol, and improving your energy and mood.

There are many safe and natural products and methods available that are effective for weight loss, while also improving your overall health and energy. If you are curious about different weight loss plans or products, talk to us about tailoring a program that is perfect for your body and your lifestyle. As naturopathic physicians, we can sit down with you to discuss all of your options, and help you to find the best plan for you.