What is Wrong with HCG Weight Loss?

The hCG weight loss fad has been around since the 1950s but more recently has become the latest weight loss craze. Advocates, primarily those who stand to profit from the sale of hCG products, claim that users will experience significant weight loss as fast as a pound per day. However, the cheap and widely available versions of hCG weight loss products violate many FDA safety regulations and seem to be intentionally misleading users with false labels.

While it is FDA approved as a fertility treatment for women trying to conceive, the human chorionic gonadotrophin hormone is also being administered for weight loss purposes. Legally any FDA approved treatment can be prescribed by doctors for other medical purposes weight loss is considered an “off-label” use of the hormone. The doctors visit and supply can cost over one thousand dollars but that has not deterred some women who are looking to lose weight fast.

The claim is that taking hCG will help suppress appetite and discomfort associated with extremely limited food intake. Participants of the hCG diet are limited to 500 calories per day and the hormone is suppose to help a person stick to the caloric restriction.

There are products that claim to be the oral version of the hCG hormone and are made widely available particularly online. These supposedly homeopathic products are offered in the form of drops, sprays or lozenges but are not recognized by Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia. Also, there is no scientific evidence that hCG taken orally has any effect since it becomes digested by stomach acid.

According to FDA warnings, many of these products that claim to promote weight loss are fraudulent and illegal. Since they are not FDA approved and only FDA approved drugs can make medical claims, hCG sprays and drops cannot make medical claims that have not clinically proven to be accurate. The FDA warns that hCG provides no weight loss benefit beyond the effects of the extreme calorie deprivation. The near starvation restrictions put anyone trying the hCG diet at significant health risks. There are safer ways to lose weight fast than forcing your body to near starvation.

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