Just when you think you've heard it all, along comes something new to show you haven't. This time it is something called hCG which is a hormone derived from the urine of pregnant women.
There are at least seven companies touting hCG as a weight loss regimen. It is either injected or taken as drops under the tongue. This is supposed to kill appetite and increase the burning of fat in your body.
By the way, I found several legitimate experts who warned that the oral drops may contain no hCG at all.
But even if you are getting the promised amount of hCG, does it work? That's what I wanted to know, too, so I started looking for bone fide research to back up the hCG claims for weight loss magic.
I'll tell you what found in a minute. But first let's take a look at the hCG program itself, or at least the way hCG is being promoted as a diet "discovery."
I first became aware of hCG as a weight program from the ads I was seeing everywhere on the Internet, with headlines like "The Weight Loss Cure They Don't Want You to Know About," which is based on hCG use.
It seems that claims for hCG as a weight loss panacea are not that new. Back in 1995 the prestigious British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published an analysis that failed to find any benefit from the use of hCG in weight loss diets.
The American Society of Bariatric Physicians issued a position paper in December 2009 stating that they did not recommend hCG as a weight loss aid.
More recently the director of Quack Watch.org, Stephen Barret, MD, was quoted on WebMD saying that "scientific studies have demonstrated that hCG injections do not cause weight loss."
It seems clear to me that claims for hCG in weight loss have no substance, and there are at this time no FDA-approved hCG weight loss products. What's more, the fact that both the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission are coming down on hCG weight loss promoting companies should give anyone pause.
If claims for hCG are baseless, it may if fact be that injecting hCG could be harmful. I don't know that for a fact, but I would be extremely cautious about getting a shot of anything that has not been thoroughly tested. I would include the hCG drops in this precaution.
Furthermore, the diet being promoted as part of the hCG program looks dangerous to me. The hCG diet plans I saw restrict dieters to 500 calories per day along with the hCG injection or drops.
I can almost guarantee anyone who weighs more than about 40 pounds will lose weight on a diet of only 500 calories per day and the hCG won't have anything to do with it.
I'd call 500 calories a day a starvation diet! Literally! You just cannot meet all your nutritional needs on such a diet and you probably would create vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Unless it is all a big lie – which I doubt – there have evidently been some people who followed the hCG diet and lost weight.
Here is why I think there has been some success with the hCG diet: Suggestion!
Over the years I have conducted numerous research projects in which placebos (substances with no active ingredients) were administered and subjects responded according to what they thought they were getting.
Hypodermic injections and, to a lesser extent, oral droplets, can act as powerful placebos and I think that is why the hCG diets work, if they work at all. The hCG administrations acted as suggestions which in turn made it possible for people to stay on the 500 calorie per day diet.
So you don't need hCG or any other urine serum. All you need is a good application of suggestion, and if you don't know how to do that, I recommend you get one of my books because I'm all over that subject which, unlike hCG, works. Ω