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FDA Continues To Warn Of HCG Diet Dangers

W.L. Meyers | October 11th, 2012

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As interest in fad diets continues to grow amidst the spread of obesity in the United States and other developed countries, the FDA continues to discourage the use of the hormone HCG, asserting that the products are, at the very least, an “economic fraud.”

The products have resurged in popularity in recent years despite numerous studies that show no difference in weight loss efforts between people who ingest the HCG products while adhering to a strict diet and those who do not use HCG. The theory, which was first tested in the 1950s, asserts that the hormone could help people on a near-starvation diet not feel hungry as they are losing weight.

HCG diet side effects include malnutrition, infection

Dr. Michael Kaplan, founder of The Center for Medical Weight Loss, says about HCG diet dangers, “It is true that people on HCG diet programs do lose weight. 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.”

He also notes that the HCG weight loss plan may cause unintended side effects, such as malnutrition or infection transmissions during the injection process.

HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone that allegedly helps speed the weight loss process. It may be taken orally or administered by injection, and are not recognized by the FDA and are therefore technically illegal. When combined with an extremely low calorie diet, it is supposed to help people shed pounds quickly. However, studies show that people who stick with the low calorie diet only and do not ingest the hormone have equivalent levels of weight loss success.

HCG weight loss alternatives may be more effective

Dr. Kaplan advises that people considering using HCG as a weight loss supplement consider the possible dangers of a highly restrictive diet and daily injections of a product not approved by the FDA. Alternatively, people seeking weight loss remedies may instead want to consider a physician-assisted weight loss program, such as the one offered by The Center for Medical Weight Loss.

Fad diets do not guarantee permanent results

The physicians at the Center’s 450 facilities across the country have helped author thousands of stories of weight loss success by customizing plans to help individuals achieve their goals. A typical weight loss plan involves a healthy, balanced diet, portion control and exercise.  According to the American Journal of Medicine, the average patient at the Center loses 11.1% of total body weight in just 12 weeks. Nearly all of the patients involved in the study successfully kept weight off for at least a year after completing the program.

To find out more about how the Center can help you, type your zip code into the box at the upper right hand corner of the screen to locate a clinic nearest you. Special offers are available for first-time visitors at select locations.