The HCG diet is a radical approach to losing weight that involves take drops or injections of hCG (a pregnancy hormone) along with eating a very low calorie diet (usually 500 calories per day or less).
Human chorionic gonadotropin or human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) is a hormone produced during pregnancy.
Adherents to this diet swear by it. The idea is essentially that the hCG acts like it would on a fetus to ease the burden of the very low calorie diet by lowering hunger and preventing muscle lost while promoting fat loss.
In the most extreme form, people doing the HCG diet will actually inject themselves with HCG daily. But, more recently, products have come on the market that make taking it much easier. It is available in drops and even as a shake.
HCG is very controversial with major government and professional medical groups speaking out against it. The scientific evidence that shows HCG as effective has been debunked. Also, the amounts of HCG (if any) in many of the products now being sold over-the-counter are claimed to be so low as to be irrelevant.
Albert T. W. Simeons an endocrinologist from the UK was the first to popularize the use of hCG for weight-loss. Dr. Simeons studied woman in India and overweight young males with pituitary issues. He noticed that both groups lost fat and not muscle with treates with hCG and given a low-calorie diet regime.
Simeons lived from 1900 until 1970. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) ultimately disputed Simeons' conclusions about hCG. JAMA gave warnings that hCG is neither safe nor effective to treat obesity.
More recently, promotion of "homeopathic hCG" has become more popular on the Internet and has been attributed to shortages of hCG for other uses. The Food and Drug Administration has acted to counteract this resurgence.
The FDA has prohibited the sale of over-the-count and homeopathic diet products, saying they are illegal and fraudulent.
Tags: extreme fad hormones low-calorie
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