HCG, which stands for human chorionic gonadotrophin, is a hormone produced in women during preganancy. In theory, the hCG hormone is supposed to suppress hunger and consume the body’s fat stores for fuel. When a woman is pregnant the hCG hormone can make her fat stores available as nutrients for her baby, so that the baby has nutrients to grow, even when the mother isn’t consuming sufficient calories or nutrients. It sounds promising enough, right?
The sale of over-the-counter and homeopathic hCG diet supplements has been prohibited by the FDA and have been declared fraudulent and illegal as of December 2011. That should be enough to answer your question, however I’m going to explain in a little more detail exactly what the hCG diet is and how it works.
The hCG diet requires an extremely low calorie intake along with injections of the hCG hormone. The calorie intake is around 500 calories for most people. That calorie consumption alone will cause most people to lose a substantial amount of weight. The original hCG diet required prescription only injections of the hormone. The hCG diet soon gained popularity on the Internet and companies began selling alternative, homeopathic forms of hCG, which only contained trace amounts of the hCG hormone. These are the forms of hCG that have been deemed illegal by the FDA due to the fact that they are fraudulent weight-loss products. The only form of hCG that may have any effectiveness are prescription only injections.
If you see any hCG for sale on Internet it is a scam. The only hCG available now is by prescription only. Any hCG products that you can buy online contain no actual hCG anymore. Since alternative supplements containing hCG were made illegal (due their ineffectiveness) the companies that sold them switched to using a blend of amino acids containing none of the hCG hormone. They are still selling it under the hCG name, but don’t be fooled, these products do not contain any hCG and do not work. These supplements are most commonly sold as drops, so watch out for them.
Do the injections work?
Just the fact that you’re supposed to be on a 500 calorie/day diet while taking the hCG injections makes it impossible to tell whether the hCG is even playing any role in the weight loss. 500 calories per day is about one fourth of the total calorie intake an average person should be consuming. Calorie consumption that low will cause your body to shed pounds, however it is not a safe way to lose weight. When calorie consumption is that low the body goes into starvation mode. After the 45 day hCG diet is complete you will quickly gain back any weight you have lost when you resume a normal calorie consumption.
Since the body is starving during the diet, as soon as a normal calorie level is consumed again the body will store as much body fat as possible. This is a defense mechanism that the human body has against starvation. The body thinks it’s going to be starved again, so it stores excess fat for later. You will likely end up with a higher body fat percentage after you come off this diet, than you had before you started it. Not only that, but you’ll likely have no energy on this diet and you will likely be deficient in a range of vitamins and minerals.
People do best with diets that they can stick with. Most people will have no chance of sticking with an extreme diet like this. On top of that, hCG is a hormone. This is just like taking steroids or human growth hormone, which are also only available by prescription. We all know that there are potentially serious side effects to introducing hormones to the body. The body has a very delicate balance of hormones that it must maintain, and messing with that could have serious consequences. Finally, since it’s available by prescription only you probably won’t be able to get your hands on it anyways.
There are no FDA approved hCG products and there are various clinical trials that conclude that hCG is ineffective as a weight loss aid. Basically, the hCG diet consists of starving yourself and injecting yourself with potentially dangerous hormones that are not even proven to promote weight loss. Needles to say, this is an easy one to pass on.