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FDA Says HCG Diet Plan is Fraudulent and Illegal

Ava Lawson | November 8th, 2012

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Human chorionic gonadotropin, more commonly known as HCG, is a hormone produced during pregnancy by the human placenta. It has been approved by the FDA as an infertility treatment, as it helps stimulate ovulation in women who have difficulty conceiving on their own.

FDA HCG approval for infertility treatments

While HCG is an effective medical treatment for infertility, weight loss products with the hormone have come under scrutiny for their dangerous side effects and false claims. Individuals contemplating an HCG diet plan for easy weight loss should first consider the risks involved, as most are marketed in conjunction with a low-calorie diet that is extremely restrictive at less than 500 calories a day. Dieters seeking a healthier and more sustainable weight loss solution may want to consider a physician-assisted weight loss program, such as those offered by The Center for Medical Weight Loss.

How is HCG harvested?

Approved by the FDA, HCG is typically harvested in pregnant woman during their first trimesters, when the hormone amounts are at their peak. The hormone is first extracted from the urine and then separated from any contaminants through a sterilization process, in which the urine is filtered and purified. Once extracted from its source, HCG is then reduced to a concentrated form and usually bottled as a liquid, or freeze dried into a powder. 

FDA says HCG diet plan is fraudulent and illegal

In December 2011, the FDA condemned all weight loss products containing human chorionic gonadotropin. According to the FDA’s Ilisa Bernstein, “These HCG products marketed over-the-counter are unproven to help with weight loss and are potentially dangerous even if taken as directed. And a very low-calorie diet should only be used under proper medical supervision.”

Moreover, the FDA cautions that people on such extreme diets have a bigger risk of developing heart arrhythmia, gallstones and electrolyte imbalances. Presently, the agency has not approved any weight loss plan containing HCG, and they caution consumers who have purchased HCG for weight loss to throw it out and discontinue the product completely.

HCG diet reviews

HCG weight loss supplements claim to reset your metabolism and shave 20 pounds off in 30 days, but is this assertion even true? Dr. Michael Kaplan, founder of The Center for Medical Weight Loss, offers his advice :

“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.”

Dr. Kaplan warns patients on the dangers of daily injections of a product that is not approved by the FDA. He also stresses the risk for adverse side effects including infection transmissions during the injection process and malnutrition.

Weight loss success, without needles or HCG injections

When consuming less than 500 calories a day on an HCG plan, dieters submit their bodies to near starvation levels, which results in short-term weight loss and potential health problems. For those who are searching for a lasting weight loss solution, one that is healthy and easy to maintain, the physicians at The Center for Medical Weight Loss are helping thousands of people produce successful weight loss stories — and keep the pounds off for good.

Unlike the HCG diet plan, the Centers use physician-supervised methods that never endanger a patient’s health. The average patient in the program loses 11.1% of their body weight in just 12 weeks, according to a published medical study. The Center for Medical Weight Loss has over 450 locations nationwide. To find one near you, enter your zip code in the space above. Special introductory offers are available for first-time visitors at selection locations.