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HCG Safety for Weight Loss

The HCG diet has generated a lot of hype because of its promises of rapid weight loss. But leading health authorities—including medical journals, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Dr. Michael Kaplan, the founder of the The Center for Medical Weight Loss—have all raised serious questions about the HCG diet’s methods and long-term results. What is the truth about HCG safety for weight loss?

History of the HCG diet

The HCG diet has actually been around for a long time. In 1954, a physician from England named A.T.W. Simeons published “Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity” to promote his idea that combining doses of HCG with a diet of extreme calorie restriction would lead to fast and substantial weight loss.

HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin. It’s a pregnancy hormone produced in woman’s placenta and excreted in the urine. Though it has been approved by the FDA as a treatment for infertility in both men and women, HCG has never been approved as an agent for weight loss. In fact, the FDA requires that the following warning appear on the label of any product that contains HCG: “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.”

In 2007, an infomercial salesman named Kevin Trudeau began to promote the HCG diet plan as a way to achieve massive weight loss in a short period of time. Since then, many patients have been paying $500 or more per month for an HCG regimen, taking it orally, through a cream, or through an injection. Some proponents of the HCG diet even promise that injections in parts of the body that tend to accumulate fat—such as the upper arms or belly— can lead to a “redistribution” of fat that will make the recipient more attractive.

Trudeau fined $37 million for false HCG diet claims

So what do various authorities have to say about HCG and weight loss? In 2008, the Federal Trade Commission fined Kevin Trudeau $37 million for making false and misleading claims about HCG and fast weight loss.

Additionally, studies have been published in leading medical journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association, and Archives of Internal Medicine which have found that HCG has no effect whatsoever on weight loss, and that any weight loss generated by the HCG diet plan is due solely to the crash diet. In the great majority of cases, patients quickly gain all the weight back once they return to regular eating habits.

The $500 a month “program” of hormone injections? Many medical authorities view it as nothing more or less than a scam.

Physician directed weight loss programs can help you lose weight quickly, and safely

The Center for Medical Weight Loss is the largest network of non-surgical weight loss physicians in the United States. Founder and chief medical officer Dr. Richard Kaplan cautions patients looking to lose weight that the HCG diet is “extremely unhealthy,” and that its low-calorie meal plan triggers the body’s starvation response, leading to muscle and bone deterioration instead of fat burning.

“Bottom line: Don’t look to a HCG weight loss program to lose weight,” says Dr. Kaplan. “Not only are they expensive and unproven – the HCG diet is dangerous. On the other hand, patients following a medical weight loss program like the ones used by The Center for Medical Weight Loss not only lose weight quickly, they do so safely. And unlike HCG diet programs, the medical weight loss approach has been scientifically proven to help people lose excess weight and keep it off.”

Dr. Kaplan further warns that the pharmacies that extract the HCG hormone from the urine of pregnant women do not test for infectious diseases, including hepatitis and HIV. The result? Any one injecting HCG may be unknowingly exposing themselves to these dangerous disease, which are transmitted via bodily fluids.

The physicians at The Center for Medical Weight Loss understand the difficulties and frustrations experienced by people trying to lose weight, especially those patients with health issues such as diabetes and heart problems. They’ve developed a safe and proven way to lose weight fast—without having to resort to crash dieting.

A study published in the American Journal of Medicine on the CMWL diet program found that the average patient who weighs 250 pounds will lose more than 50 pounds in 12 weeks (that’s more than 11% of the person’s body weight). Best of all, the weight stays off: 95.3% of people in the program maintained weight loss after one year. These results are even more impressive given the fact that the majority of people who follow weight loss programs often regain all of the weight back, and more.

If you’re looking for a safe way to lose weight quickly, there are over 450 centers in the nationwide. Find out if there’s a Center near you by entering your zip code into the search box above. Special introductory offers are available for first-time visitors.