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HCG- Good Or Bad?

By Dr. Fitness Body Fat Reduction Expert

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I have spoken with many people over the years that have used HCG to assist with their weight loss. My primary concern has always been the 500 calorie meal plan. Apparently I am not alone; If you are deciding whether or not to do use it please read my article. Did you know the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) issued a warning stating that HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), a hormone found in some weight loss products, could be very dangerous, not to mentioned ineffective and illegal? HCG is found naturally in pregnant women’s urine, and touted as an active ingredient in various over-the-counter weight loss drugs in the form of sprays, tablets and oral droplets.

Seven weight loss product companies, all of whom have received warning letters from the FDA and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), sell over-the-counter products containing HCG, advertising them as “natural” metabolism boosters.

500 CALORIES OR LESS?

According to Elizabeth Miller, an FDA spokesperson who announced the warning, the first red flag indicating the ineffectiveness and danger of HCG-containing products is the fact that their packaging recommends a daily caloric intake of 500 calories, maximum. She said that any weight loss resulting from the use of HCG would likely stem from the fact that the user was consuming fewer than 500 calories per day, and not any effect derived from the HCG itself.

Further, Miller warned of the dangers of consuming so few calories. Not only would such a calorie-restricted diet fail to deliver sustained weight loss (see “Nutritional Strategies – Common Misconceptions No. 1″) by disrupting metabolism, but it could result in serious health conditions including electrolyte imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, heart arrhythmias and gallstones.

COMPANIES SELLING WEIGHT LOSS DRUGS CONTAINING HCG

The seven companies to receive cease-and-desist letters from the FTC and the FDA include the following:

  • HCG Drops, LLC

  • HCG-MiracleWeightLoss.com

  • HCG Diet Direct

  • TheOriginalHCGDrops.com

  • HCG Platinum, LLC

  • Natural Medical Supply, LLC DBA HCG Complete Diet

  • Nutri Fusion Systems, Inc.

Assistant director Richard Cleland of the FTC said that any other companies marketing a product containing HCG should similarly cease operations or face legal action.

AN INDUSTRY “DRIVEN BY FRAUD”

Cleland said that the weight loss industry, historically, has been driven by fads and fraud. Weight loss seekers are often desperate and feel they have exhausted other options, so they resort to a drug with no real foundation in science and no proof as to its effectiveness or safety. He mentioned other fad weight loss products including those containing Acai berries and Hoodia gordonii, ingredients often billed as “natural miracles” by the weight loss drug industry despite undergoing little scientific research.

It should be noted that Acai berries, at least in their raw form, have an antioxidant-rich nutritional profile similar to that of pomegranates. Although Acai berries are certainly nutritious, little existing research indicates their efficacy for weight loss.

THE BOTTOM LINE

If you currently use any products containing HCG, discontinue them immediately. The FDA is currently issuing warning letters to the makers of HCG-containing weight loss products, due to the fact that HCG has not been scientifically verified as safe or effective. Consuming a diet restricted to 500 or fewer calories per day, as some HCG weight loss companies suggest, could be very dangerous to your health.

Fitness Pursuits team believes that the safest, most natural and most effective path to weight loss is a combination of a healthy, balanced, calorie-conscious diet and regular physical activity. Although some overweight and obese individuals may benefit from the use of weight loss pills, this decision should never be made without consulting your doctor. This applies to both over-the-counter and prescription drugs.