Can the Urine of Pregnant Women Help with Weight Loss?
The hCG Diet
If you or someone you love are considering the hCG Diet, this article might just save your life. Let me start with a little background.
hCG stands for "Human chorionic gondatropin." It's a hormone produced by the human placenta and it's extracted from the urine of pregnant women. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) it's approved for the treatment of "select cases of female infertility and hormone treatment in men."
It's beginnings as a weight loss miracle drug started in the 1950s because of British endocrinologist Albert Simeons. Dr. Simeons observed that when he gave obese patients injections of hCG and kept them on a near starvation diet, they saw a reduction in adipose fat.
Dr. Simeons went on a publish a booklet called, "Pounds & Inches: A New Approach To Obesity" that's become the bible of the hCG Diet movement. Simeons believed that obesity is a disorder and that anyone suffering from this "disorder" will get fat, "regardless of whether they eat excessively, normally or less than normal."
Since the publication of his book, dozens of researchers have attempted to test Dr. Simeons theories in the hope that he may have discovered a revolutionary new weight loss program and determine the underlying cause of the obesity "disorder." Unfortunately that's not what happened.
In the 1970s, several studies compared two groups of people. Both were on an extremely low calorie diet. One group got hCG injections and the other did not. What they found out was bad news.
In 1976 the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study titled, Ineffectiveness of human chorionic gonadotropin in weight reduction: a double-blind study. The researchers concluded that, "There was no statistically significant difference in the means of the two groups... hCG does not appear to enhance the effectiveness of a rigidly imposed regimen for weight reduction."
February of 1977 the Archives of Internal Medicine published the study, Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) treatment of obesity. They said that, "hCG has no effects on chemical and hormonal parameters measured and offers no advantage over calorie restriction in promoting weight loss."
Additional research was published in December of 1977 in the Western Journal of Medicine. In a double blind, randomized trial they found that, "Weight loss was identical between the two groups, and there was no evidence for differential effects on hunger, mood or localized body measurements. Placebo injections, therefore, appear to be as effective as hCG in the treatment of obesity."
As the weight of scientific evidence came down, the hCG Diet slowly fell out of popularity, but it never completely went away.
In February of 1990 another study was published in the South African Medical Journal called, Human chorionic gonadotrophin and weight loss. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Like all the researchers before, they concluded that, "Subjects receiving hCG injections showed no advantages over those on placebo in respect of any of the variables recorded. ...there is no rationale for the use of hCG injections in the treatment of obesity."
Study after study kept coming back with the same results. It's rather simple really. When you put someone on a near starvation diet of 500 calories a day, they WILL lose weight. Injecting them with hCG provides no additional weight loss benefit.
In addition to hCG being worthless for weight loss, there's also the problem of eating only 500 calories a day. A diet that low in calories puts you at increased risk of an irregular heartbeat, severe bone and muscle loss, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, an imbalance of the electrolytes that keep muscles and nerves functioning properly and gallstone formation. Any diet below 1,200 calories a day must be closely monitored by a physician
This is where the con starts. Supplement companies, weight loss clinics and less than ethical doctors figure they can promote the original claims of miraculous weight loss and ignore the clinical trials that show it doesn't work. To make money, they start putting together products that simply use the initials (hCG) and market themselves as enhanced, updated or homeopathic versions of the failed diet plan.
Now remember, supplements are NOT tested by any government agency so manufacturers can pretty much stick whatever they want in the pills, injections or drops they're peddling. Then with the explosion of the internet, thousands of websites start of appear promoting the hCG Diet while making money selling unsuspecting consumers sham treatments.
Here's where it gets really scary. hCG can cause blood clots, breast tenderness, constipation, headaches, leg cramps and temporary hair thinning. The FDA has also documented "serious adverse events associated with the use of hCG injections for weight loss including cases of pulmonary embolism, depression, cerebrovascular issues, cardiac arrest, and death."
Those are just the side effects from the REAL THING. Imagine what happens when you inject yourself with a syringe full of strange chemicals mixed together by unscrupulous scam artists. And don't delude yourself here. ANY doctor that offers to give you hCG injections for weight loss is an unscrupulous scam artist because they're giving you something PROVEN not to help. I guess the few hundred dollars profit they make from your "treatment" is worth more than your health or your life.
Several firms that sell homeopathic hCG products have been put on notice that they're violating the "Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act by selling unapproved new drugs and misbranded drugs that make unsubstantiated claims about weight loss."
The FDA also says:
FDA advises consumers who are using "homeopathic" hCG for weight loss to stop using the product, to stop following any labeled dieting instructions, and to discard the product. Consumers who suspect they have experienced adverse effects as a result of the use of hCG drug products for weight loss should contact a licensed health care professional immediately.
Just say no to the fakes, liars and frauds selling and promoting hCG Diets!
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