HCG: A Dangerous Crash Diet?

Human chorionic gondotrophin, also known as HCG, is the hormone that home pregnancy tests detect when a woman is pregnant. HCG signals the hypothalamus, an area of the brain, to mobilize fat stores. In pregnancy, this is necessary because it helps the body bring nutrients into the placenta, which gives the fetus energy to grow. However, there is no scientific evidence supporting HCG injections as a weight loss strategy. In addition, these injections have not been approved by the FDA for use in weight loss.

The FDA even requires companies to include the following statement with all HCG-focused advertisements: 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.

So there you have it. Far from a quick fix, the so-called HCG plan is actually little more than a dangerous crash diet.