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 find the debate on HCG rather interesting. Some people absolutely love HCG and others hate it, but the biggest question people want to know is, “Is HCG safe?”
I haven’t been secretive about my personal feelings of HCG. In fact, I was more surprised that no one was talking about HCG and it’s side effects. I understand some people love it because it promises them that they can lose weight, but for me, I can’t imagine taking the risks of side effects. When we know that exercise and nutrition works, why take the chance of putting a foreign substance in our body that the FDA said, back in the 70’s, wasn’t safe for weight loss? I know weight loss is hard. I’ve had to struggle with it in the past too.
The reality is that cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and proper nutrition is hard work. It takes a lot of time and effort. Yes, we know it’s good for us, but it’s time consuming and you do get sweaty. =) No matter what route you choose to use, even if you take HCG, you still need to take the time to exercise and eat right. But let’s get back to the HCG debate for now.
First off, there are two different ways to take HCG. One is with injections through a physician, and one is with over the counter drop. Dr. Oz did a interesting segment on HCG recently and I’d like you to see what he said about the side effects of HCG and the debate about which type of HCG is best to take.
(Opens in new browser, I’m sorry I can’t embed it.)
As you saw from the video clip, the HCG drops are pretty useless. And the side effects of HCG are bad, but not as bad as it can be. Again, as I mentioned in my other article, the side effects of HCG can be really bad for some people. I warned of potential cancer risks, and Dr. Oz confirmed it in the following video clip. Also, I normally tell people that if they want to only eat 500 calories, they would lose weight even without the HCG. Was I right? Watch the video below. (It will open in a new browser, I’m sorry I can’t embed it.)
So what was Dr. Oz’s verdict with HCG?
#1. The 500 calorie diet people are put on is dangerous. There are numerous studies on the dangers of a very restrictive calorie diet. Even sudden death in some cases.
#2. The HCG drops are a waste of money because they often times do not even contain HCG.
#3. It has the potential for some very serious side effects, such as certain types of cancer that spread easily due to the HCG injections.
#4. There are double blind studies that show HCG is no better than injecting a saline solution for weight loss. There are about 14 different studies confirming this. And these is not new information. Some of the studies date back to 1990 and even 1976. Why HCG is still being pushed, I’ll never know.
#5. Crash diets don’t work. You can lose weight on the restrictive diet, but after returning to eating a “normal diet” (most likely unhealthy, because it was most likely the trend before the HCG) you will easily gain the weight back.
#6 This does push us to open our minds and explore possibilities for helping people. You can tell in his clips that he’s not very excited about HCG, but he tried to at least portray an open mind.
My final thoughts (hopefully) on this. I want there to be something to make it easier for people too. I know people with knee replacements and hip replacements, and trying to exercise is extremely hard for them. I would love to see them lose weight and take some of the stress off their joints so they can exercise easier. However, I also don’t want them to put them at risk for developing something like cancer. They are going through enough already…why add something else on to them? So until something safer comes around, I won’t recommend HCG. I know some people love taking HCG for weight loss, but studies are showing that you can just cut your calories, get the same results, and save several hundred dollars. I fear this will eventually end up in court with a class action lawsuit.
If you are debating taking HCG, it’s ultimately your choice, but you owe it to yourself to make an informed decision.