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HCG for Weight Loss: What Does the Research Show? (Part 2)

Whitney | September 13th, 2012

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The HCG diet plan was first studied in the 1950s, and has continued to be examined since that time. In the first segment of this article, four studies investigating HCG diet pills or injections were examined. Only one of the four showed any positive benefit to using HCG as part of a weight loss solution.

With more dieters turning to the HCG diet because of internet advertising and TV infomercials, many doctors are voicing concern over potential HCG diet dangers.

“It is true that people on HCG diet programs do lose weight,” says Dr. Michael Kaplan, founder of The Center For Medical Weight Loss, the largest group of weight loss doctors in the country. “But what the ads don’t say is that along with HCG injections, drops, pills, pellets and sprays, people follow a very restrictive and nutritionally unsound 500-calorie-a-day diet plan. No wonder they lose weight! But it’s not because of the HCG, it’s because of the extremely low calorie intake.”

So what does the hard data from scientific research have to say about HCG? Here are some of the latest findings …

Second 1977 Study on HCG diet pills

In 1977, an HCG study was conducted by Drs. Frank Greenway and George Bray. The study looked at 40 healthy women between the ages of 20 and 40. The women were divided into two groups and one group was given HGC, while the other was given a placebo. The groups received daily injections for six weeks in the double-blind randomized trial. At the end of the six weeks, the women that received HCG lost approximately the same amount of weight as those given the placebo.

Birmingham Analyzes HCG Diet Reviews

In 1983, Dr. C. Laird Birmingham and his colleagues examined six double-blind studies on HCG, including four that have been listed here. The researchers determined through their analysis that HCG has no effect on fat mobilization or on appetite, asserting that more positive HCG diet reviews stating the opposite were untrue. The Asher-Harper study was the only one that showed any significant benefit of HCG for weight loss, according to these researchers.

Venter Repeats HCG Diet Plan Study with 1200-Calorie Diet

In 1990, yet another study combined daily injections of HCG with a 1200-calorie diet. This double-blind study, conducted by Bosch Venter and associates, involved 40 obese women divided into two random groups. One group was given daily injections of HCG and the other was given placebo injections. All of the women followed the same 1200-calorie diet. At the end of six weeks, Venter found no weight loss difference between women who took HCG and those given a placebo.

1995 Meta-Analysis Says HCG for Weight Loss Doesn’t Work

In 1995, researchers from the Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine conducted a meta-analysis looking at published papers from 24 clinical trials on HCG for weight loss. After careful analysis of all the HCG diet reviews compiled in these studies, the researchers concluded there was no scientific evidence showing HCG to be effective in weight loss.

Dr. Michael Kaplan, founder and chief medical officer for The Center for Medical Weight Loss, agrees with the results of these studies. Dr. Kaplan explains that most of the HCG diet dangers come from following the low-calorie diet, but he is also concerned about risks involving the daily injections of HCG as well. This concern is particularly valid in light of recent warnings by the FDA that state, “HCG has not been demonstrated to be effective adjunctive therapy in the treatment of obesity.”

Dr. Kaplan says there are much safer and more effective ways to lose weight than the HCG diet. Physician-guided weight loss programs allow doctors to customize diet, exercise and counseling to a patient’s specific needs for the greatest odds of success. Dr. Kaplan adds, “Unlike HCG diet programs, the medical weight loss approach has been scientifically proven to help people lose excess weight and keep it off.”

There are approximately 450 centers nationwide ready to help dieters reach their weight loss goals. The Center’s personalized efforts have resulted in thousands of testimonials of successful weight loss. Enter your zip code at the right to find a center near you. Introductory offers are available to first-time visitors at select locations.