What Does HCG Stand For?
The scientific name for the HCG is Human chorionic gonadotropin. It is produced by the placenta and fetus during pregnancy, it positively affects the hypothalamus in the pregnant woman, and supports the growth of the sexual glands in the fetus. Although it is most popularly known as the pregnancy hormone, it has been a notable ingredient in many weight loss products. So what is HCG doing in weight loss products?
How HCG Found Its Way to the Weight Loss World
In the 1940’s Dr. ATW Simeons pioneered the idea and use of HCG injections for weight loss. It all started when he recognized patterns with overweight pregnant women losing weight or staying the same weight during and after pregnancy. By him studying the miracle of pregnancy and what is different for the woman during pregnancy, Dr. Simeons began to ask questions like: what is HCG, and how does it affect the woman?
What he found was that the Human chorionic gonadotropin is at its highest levels in the woman’s body during the first trimester. Basically, it triggers the hypothalamus to clean all the unnecessary toxic fat that she has and use that now clean fat for energy. That fat was a major source of calories used to produce the baby. The sickness she experiences during the first trimester or so is the cleaning of toxic fat; we call this morning sickness, but really it is detox. After the detox is over women usually have that glow because she is cleaned out and feeling good.
So what is HCG doing in with weight loss? After years of studying what the body does when deprived of calories, and finding out exactly what HCG is accomplishing in the pregnant woman’s body, Dr. Simeons began applying the same concept to men first and then non-pregnant women. He gave them HCG, put them on a low calorie, low fat diet which stimulated the body to use the stored unnecessary fat for energy. These people were losing weight consistently, but not just losing weight, they were losing bad fat they didn’t need, not eating away at good fat or muscle.
HCG Joined Olympics But Was Banned
So what is HCG doing on the banned substance list for the Olympics? “HCG is also regularly used by many anabolic steroid users as a secondary item alongside anabolic steroid use or after use has been discontinued. During anabolic steroid use, the idea behind supplementation is to combat hormonal suppression that occurs due to steroid use. Use after anabolic steroid use is implemented in order to enhance or produce a more efficient recovery.” (Steroid.com) Although HCG itself does nothing to enhance muscle or power in athletes, the committee put HCG on the list because if they found HCG in the athlete, they knew he was using steroids – there would be no other reason for the athlete (especially male athletes) to have HCG in their blood stream.
FDA Bans Homeopathic HCG for Weight Loss
The FDA restricts the use of HCG in any OTC drug or product. They have also restricted the use of homeopathic HCG being marketed as a weight loss product. Elisabeth Walther, a pharmacist at FDA, explains that “the agency does not evaluate homeopathic drug products for safety or effectiveness, and is not aware of any scientific evidence that supports homeopathy as effective. However, those that meet certain conditions set by FDA can be marketed.” (fda.gov). She goes on to say, “HCG is not on this list and cannot be sold as a homeopathic medication for any purpose.”
The use of HCG has been limited by the FDA to doctors only. They are the only ones who can legally prescribe HCG. The American Medical Association and American Society of Bariatric Physicians have been highly critical of the HCG diet. Both organizations have stated the only reason weight loss occurs is due to the starvation that often accompanies such a plan. HCG diets are often comprised of a total caloric intake of only 500 calories per day. Currently there is no solid evidence that the HCG diet itself is the reason for such patients experiencing weight loss that would not occur without HCG use if the same starvation plan was implemented. However, numerous physicians have reported success with the HCG diet, but the starvation factor is met with a lot of criticism as this in of itself cannot be deemed a healthy long-term practice. (Steroid.com). The debate is on-going and will probably continue for decades because there are thousands of successful cases of lasting weight loss due to going on the HCG protocol.
Naturopaths have been asked about their use of homeopathic HCG and what is HCG doing in their product. First, they are doctors and are allowed to use the product. Also, they do not promote the VLCD (very low calorie diet) for extended periods of time. They understand, and so do their patients, that this diet will NOT be a lifestyle, it will be a jump start to help get the person the physical and emotional clean slate they need. They will lose the right kind of weight, which many times they have not been able to do on any other plan, and they will continue on with the great habits they established using the Dr. Simeons protocol and HCG weight loss supplement. The diet and protocol is a holistic perspective to weight loss. It encourages all whole food eating, nothing processed, lots of water drinking, focuses on lowering stress and being mindful about eating triggers – especially emotional ones. The patient is eating nothing but fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Yes it is low calorie, but many argue that most Americans are not even coming close to eating 500 calories of healthy whole food on a daily basis, so this diet is an upgrade!
One doctor also did say that they do not market their homeopathic HCG as a stand-alone weight loss product. It is an entire package deal. In his estimation, the dilution of HCG in his product is a catalyst for the other ingredients, not necessarily the cause of his patients’ great weight loss success. Either way, doing this diet could prove to be a success for you, but of course check with doctor first before doing any diet or exercise program.