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HCG Weight Loss Products Offer Delivery Variations

Whitney | July 6th, 2012

The HCG diet has been highly touted by some as a way to lose weight fast by ingesting the hormone in a variety of forms. The program began with dieters receiving injections of HCG, but soon the fad diet expanded to include additional delivery methods such as drops and pills. Though  medical experts debate whether HCG has any demonstrable effect on weight loss at all, selling HCG in any form over-the -counter remains illegal in this country. The FDA only approves HCG for the treatment of infertility as prescribed by a doctor.

HCG injections rumored to help dieters lose weight fast

When the HCG weight loss products were first introduced on the market, they were sold as injections. Since doctors are permitted to prescribe FDA approved drugs for any off-label purpose, the hormone was finding its way into the hands of dieters seeking the rumored benefit of weight loss.  It is widely believed that the injections carry the most potent concentration of the hormone and other forms reportedly carry only trace amounts of HCG.

HCG weight loss products sold in this form must be refrigerated and have a shelf life of anywhere between 30-60 days. Other equipment is also required for injections, including sterile syringes, pads and mixing syringes. If the formula is not handled correctly, there is a possibility the HCG could be tainted and rendered ineffective. There are also potential side effects from the injections, including pain, swelling and bruising at the injection site and infection.

Other forms of HCG weight loss products

To make HCG more appealing to the masses, additional forms of the weight loss products began to emerge. Drops could be placed under the tongue to be absorbed into the bloodstream.  Next, pills often referred to as “HCG pellets” were introduced. These weight loss products were the most convenient of all, since they could be easily swallowed, and did not require any special storage.

Though the alternatives made obtaining HCG more convenient, the delivery methods had their drawbacks as well.  Unlike once daily injections, pills had to be taken two or three times a day. And since more product was required, pellets were often more expensive than injections. Like the HCG drops, pellets were also sold over the counter without any FDA regulation over the “weight loss products.”

In fact, FDA Health Fraud and Consumer Outreach Branch head Brad Pace has warned consumers that vendors cannot “sell products claiming to contain HCG as an OTC drug product.”  He adds, “It’s illegal.”

Trend: Dieters seeking medical assistance with weight loss

Whether or not HCG remains a viable method to lose weight fast or is simply another fad diet, a trend seems to have emerged with regard weight loss as more people head to their doctor for assistance achieving weight loss goals.  Physician-assisted weight loss programs are popping up all over the country.

One such group, The Center for Medical Weight Loss (CMWL), is one of the largest networks of weight loss physicians in the country. Dr. Michael Kaplan, founder and chief medical officer of CMWL believes that a healthy diet and proper physical exercise offer a safer and more effective method for weight loss than any form of HCG or other fad diet craze.

Dr. Kaplan reminds patients to steer clear of HCG weight loss programs. According to Dr. Kaplan, “Not only are they expensive and unproven-they’re dangerous.”  Instead of unproven hormones, CMWL doctors prescribe a customized weight loss program that focuses on the individual needs of the patient based on a thorough evaluation of the patient’s current health condition, fitness level, and weight loss goals.

Elizabeth Miller of the FDA offers her own take on the rumored weight loss products.  “[HCG] products are marked with incredible claims… But the data simply does not support his; any loss is from severe calorie restriction. Not from the HCG.”

To learn more about physician-assisted weight loss, speak with a specialist in your area. With over 450 locations around the country, there may be a Center for Medical Weight Loss near you. To find out, simply enter your zip code in the box provided.  Special incentives are often available to first-time callers.