The Hormone Foundation, the public education affiliate of The Endocrine Society, has published a fact sheet called, “Myth vs. Fact: The Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) Diet”, in order to clear up confusion surrounding the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) diet. The report details how hCG is designed to work in the body, as well as the risks in taking hCG to assist weight loss.

During pregnancy hCG is produced in order to help maintain pregnancy. hCG for infertility treatment has been approved by the The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but it has not been approved for weight-loss purposes.

In the past few years, hCG has been marketed by some companies to be taken in conjunction with an extremely low-calorie diet to lose weight. However, according to decades of research, hCG can be dangerous and is not an effective treatment to lose weight.

The FDA and the Federal Trade Commission issued a news release warning companies who market over-the-counter hCG products labeled as “homeopathic” for weight loss that they are:

“…violating federal law by selling drugs that have not been approved, and by making unsupported claims for the substances.”

Bradley Anawalt, MD, chair of The Endocrine Society’s Hormone Foundation Committee and one of the authors of the novel fact sheet, explained:

“hCG is ineffective in achieving weight loss and can be dangerous. There are a number of potential risks associated hCG including blood clots, decreased sperm production, vaginal bleeding, ovarian cysts and breast enlargement in men.”

The very low-calorie diet recommended in conjunction with hCH may not give individuals over 40 different nutrients that are vital for good health. Individuals who are considering embarking on a very-low calorie diet should consult a physician before as very-low calorie diets can cause an irregular heartbeat, gallstones, as well as other health problems.

Anawalt, said:

“Many people hoping to lose weight will be attracted to a program like the hCH diet because of its quick weight loss promises, but these promises are hollow. Doctors agree the best way to lose extra pounds and keep them off is to eat a healthy diet with plenty of whole grains, vegetables and fresh fruits, and to limit fried foods or fatty meat products. Drink water instead of sugary sodas and be sure to exercise for 30 minutes a day, most days of the week.”

Written by: Petra Rattue