Does HCG Help Weight Loss For Men?

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I have recently received an email from a friend asking for my thoughts on what seems to be a new fad in the USA. HCG as a tool to lose weight.

With strong promotion and celebrity endorsements including the highly reputable Jenni Farley of Jersey Shore fame, many people are being drawn into what they believe is the holy grail of weight loss.

To bring some perspective to the subject I wanted to share some of the research around the use of HCG for weight loss, in particular weight loss for men.

Just so we are all on the same page, HCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin, is a hormone that is produced by the placenta when a baby is growing during pregnancy.

This is the hormone we check to see if a woman is pregnant.

It’s main role in pregnancy is to promote the production of hormones by the early placenta that help development. It is also associated with the early formation of the sex organs.

Out side of pregnancy HCG does not have a major role but can be found in men who are suffering with testicular cancer.

So How Did HCG Get Caught Up In Weight Loss?

The connection between HCG and weight loss was first made in a study done in 1973 that showed that daily injections of HCG given to women who were on extreme low calorie diets (500-550 KCalories a day!) where less hungry then their friends who were being injected with just water.

From this was the conclusion that HCG might be a useful tool to starve away hunger when people are working hard to stay on very strict diets.

It is important to note that in this particular study there was only 40 participants who participated in what is ultimately a poorly created experiment.

Subsequent studies done in 1977 and 1990 have not been able to replicate these findings at all. Interestingly studies have clearly demonstrated that one of the roles of HCG is in promotion of fat deposits in the body.

Ask your mother, did she gain any fat when she was pregnant?

So does HCG Help Weight Loss?

In one word, No. This is backed up by the fact that the FDA has required all advertising for HCG to have the following message added.

“HCG has not been demonstrated to be effective adjunctive therapy in the treatment of obesity. There is no substantial evidence that it increases weight loss beyond that resulting from caloric restriction, that it causes a more attractive or ‘normal’ distribution of fat, or that it decreases the hunger and discomfort associated with calorie-restricted diets.”

What scares me is that the Relena website (the latest pusher of HCG weight loss bullshit) has published a page titled “FDA-approved Drug Proves Effective in Fighting Obesity” still clearly shows the above warning at the bottom of the page, tho is a lighter font to make it less obvious.

The fact this company has made it “prescription only” is simply used to lend credibility to it’s claims that if a doctor needs to prescribe it, it must be effective. Thalidomide anyone?

Yea, but does it do any harm?

Most of the side effects of HCG have been studied in bodybuilders who used HCG injections with the belief that it would increase testosterone levels and was frequently used with other steroid drugs.

Common side effects in men included:

  • Development of breasts (Gynaecomastia)
  • Acne
  • Mood changes
  • Fluid retention
  • Prostate enlargement

It has also been noted that there is significant risks from counterfeit HCG sold as well as infections at the sites of injection. There is a great print out here that helps explain this well

Injections sound nasty! The stuff I have is drops.

As a way of getting around the problems with injections the promoters of HCG as a weight loss tool have developed “homeopathic” HCG. Drops that are held under the tongue and then swallowed to help suppress hunger.

They are very careful to note tho this must be accompanied by a strict very low calorie diet only 500-800 kCalories per day.

They also recommend taking a potassium supplement as the drop in potassium from this near starvation diet can cause cardiac side effects. These sort of side effects are normally only demonstrated in anorexic patients these days.

So what is the bottom line?

  • HCG is not an effective supplement when it comes to weight loss for men or women.
  • Injecting HCG can cause significant medical problems
  • Homeopathic HCG has been proven to be ineffective and when combined with a highly restricted diet can lead to extreme side effects that can include death.

Guys, don’t waste your time or your money on this bullshit.

If you would like to learn some simple, cheap and effective ways to lose weight simply join my mailing list and I can share the latest medical news that will help you gain the body shape you are looking for.

More news soon.

Regards

Dr George

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