Does the hCG Diet work?

Advertisements

Does the hCG Diet (Simeon’s Diet) work?

In this article, we will discuss whether the hCG diet works and whether it is safe. As with most of my articles I will try to keep this article as brief as possible.

What is hCG?
First discovered in 1920, it stands for human chorionic gonadotropin. It is produced by the placenta’s syncytiotrophoblast cells during pregnancy. It is the pregnancy sustaining hormone. It is used to judge whether a pregnancy will be viable or not. It is what is tested when using the urine pregnancy test. That is as brief an introduction I could make it.

What is the hCG diet?
The diet was popularized in 1954 by a Dr. Simeons. It was widely used in the treatment of obesity. This diet entails severe calorie restriction (500 calories a day – most humans need 2000 calories a day) and hCG combined. That is the premise to the diet.

The reason behind hCG’s proposal for weight loss is that it shares a similar structure to thyroid stimulating hormone and thus boosts metabolism. This is seen in women with molar pregnancies when hCG is so high that they have high levels of thyroid hormones. Furthermore, people claim that hCG inhibits your appetite.

Advertisements

What does the science say?
Recent comprehensive investigations show that hCG does not increase your metabolic rate and does not decrease one’s appetite.

Does the diet work?
It does result in weight loss but…that’s due to the severe calorie restriction and is not related to the hCG in any capacity.

Is it safe?
No it is not. Severe calorie restriction causes the body to obtain protein from muscle and organ tissue which is dangerous. In fact The United States Food and Drug Administration (The FDA) issued the following statement in 1974: “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.”
Despite the above, this diet is still promoted.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s