Update: The FDA is now warning consumers that over the counter HCG drops, sold as a weight loss aid, is unproven and illegal. Harmful effects should be submitted to the FDA and your health care provider.
I’ve been watching the HCG for weight loss trend grow, and I’ve yet to make any comment on it. I’ve had clients ask me about it, and I was still relatively quiet about it. While I tend to have a pretty good feel for when things are bad or good for an individual, I give myself time to study up on it before I make a final decision/stand on a subject. But with all the articles I’ve written on various weight loss topics, I would have to say this is one of the most important articles I’ve ever written. One of those reasons it is so important is because no one is talking about it. I’m going to dig in to some facts about HCG, and let you decide if it’s worth it or not.
First off, HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. As advertised, it is produced naturally in the body. HCG is very important. When a woman is pregnant her body produces more HCG in order to protect the baby. Our body’s immune system is amazing at fighting off foreign objects in the body, but a pregnant woman obviously doesn’t want this to happen. The elevated HCG is a wonderful thing because it gives the baby time to develop in the womb. What does this have to do with weight loss though?
British Endocrinologist, A.D.W. Simeons, found that when putting patients on a 500 calorie a day diet, the HCG helped them preserve muscle mass (a common problem with people on low calorie diets) and still lose weight. Calorie intake at such a low level allowed people to lose a lot of weight quickly, and thanks to Kevin Trudeau (I’ll leave that subject alone for now) the weight loss method has spread rapidly. What kind of results do people see? 1-2 pounds A DAY. Pretty remarkable, isn’t it? So what’s the problem?
We measure HCG for more than one thing. Pregnancy is one, which we’ve already covered, but we also are alarmed when we see it in relatively healthy people. The reason is, there’s often a connection between elevated HCG levels and tumors in the body. Does the elevated HCG levels cause the tumors or the tumors cause the elevated HCG levels? As far as I can tell, that’s still a mystery. But it brings up something very important.
Our body is pretty amazing. It is constantly fighting off things like cancer cells. Personally, I appreciate the fact that it protects itself. Now I mentioned that elevated HCG levels allow foreign objects to grow in the body. So if elevated HCG levels allow foreign cells such as cancer to grow in the body, we just potentially set ourselves up to develop cancer. Brilliant!
So here are some quick facts to end this:
- In 1962 the Journal of the American Medical Association said this about HCG, “continued adherence to such a drastic regimen is potentially more hazardous to the patient’s health than continued obesity.
- In 1974 the FDA required HCG producers to label the drug as not for us for weight loss or fat redistribution.
- Physicians can still give medication for prescription medications that are not FDA approved, which is why people can get away with promoting it like they do.
Final thoughts: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The worst case scenario is that this drug will cause an increase in cancer and deaths related to cancer. Best case scenario is that people will lose weight, but will either become dependent on it or gain all of the weight back because they never learned new lifestyle habits. My prediction is that there will be television commercials in the future that will allow you to file a lawsuit because you took a terribly harmful drug called HCG. Only time will tell.