There is no proof that HCG can effectuate fat loss. Period. In fact, there is a multitude of evidence that shows that HCG does nothing to promote fat loss. Specifically, the so-called “HCG Diet”, developed by British Physician, A.T.W. Simeons, is not only based on a false assumption that HCG promotes fat loss and fat redistribution, the HCG Diet is actually likely harmful. Where is this evidence? Start here:
In 1959, researchers in Israel reported that they had placed 45 patients on Simeons’ diet, giving half the patients HCG injections and the other half saline injections. The two groups both lost weight at the same rate, and all 45 participants complained of being constipated, hungry or weak.
In the early 1960s, researchers at UC San Francisco and at a U.S. Army Hospital in Fort Carson, Colo., came up with the same results. All three studies were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In 1995, Dutch researchers reviewed the results of the 24 studies that had been conducted on the HCG Diet. Of the 24, just 12 were well-designed, and of those, the 11 reported that HCG was ineffective in treating obesity. The Dutch team published its results in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
Want to read some studies yourself:
Am J Clin Nutr. 1976 Sep;29(9):940-8. (PMID: 786001 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE])
S Afr Med J. 1990 Feb 17;77(4):185-9. (PMID: 2405506 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE])
Arch Intern Med. 1977 Feb;137(2):151-5. (PMID: 836112 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE])
West J Med. 1977 Dec;127(6):461-3. (PMID: 595585 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE])
Ok, HCG does NOT work to promote fat loss, but what about the “HCG Diet”?
If patients are placed on a 500 calorie per day regimen (the basis of the HCG Diet other than HCG), these patients are going to lose weight (see above studies). But is the patient striving to lose weight or lose fat? And, is the patient striving to lose fat/weight at all costs or in a way in which the patient is not harmed?
First, with calories restricted to 500 per day, patients are going to lose weight – mainly muscle, but some fat. Does that matter? Yea! If you lose muscle, you lose the ability to burn/utilize calories. So you drop, say 20 lbs, with the HCG Diet, but now you have to eat even fewer calories (than you were already having trouble keeping under control) than you were eating before you started the HCG Diet. Wonderful. How many times will this prove to be successful, long-term fat loss? Ask Oprah, or any “Yo-Yo” dieter.
Will the Diet harm the patient? Very possibly. Certainly, it is not doing the body any benefit by robbing it of essential protein stores and driving it into a state of perpetual ketosis.
So, how did all this get started? Who knows, but here are some simple facts and comments. Dr. Simeon found that HCG helped eliminate and redistribute fat in males with Frohlich’s Syndrome – a rare disorder characterized by obesity, growth retardation, and retarded development of the genital organs reflecting a defect in the hypothalamus function leading to decreased GONADOTROPIN… So, a disorder whose symptoms are created in large part from a lack of gonadotropin release is improved by use of exogenous gonadotropin (HCG = Human Chorionic GONADOTROPIN). Big surprise? No. But, why would this reverse symptoms (fat accumulation) in a patient with no deficiency in gonadotropin, and perhaps more importantly, whose symptom of fat accumulation has nothing to do with a very rare disorder?…It doesn’t.