HCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is a hormone that we all have in our bodies. However, quite recently HCG has been used in fad diets and has been either taken orally or injected to help people lose weight. The theory is by taking this hormone artificially people can stick to a lower calorie diet without feeling hungry. There is no science that this actually works- it is a medical theory without being backed by much proof behind it. Obviously, the 500 kcal diet will make people lose weight but having HCG has not been proven scientifically to improve weight loss. HCG has been getting much more publicity recently with the weight loss clients. Technically, it's the same hormone that is present in the human body just in different dosing and purpose. In medical science, it has been primarily been used on male patients with testosterone replacement.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin(HCG) is essentially a hormone produced by a female placenta during pregnancy. The levels of HCG production are very high and often fluctuate in pregnant women. It can be detected in their urine and it is actually the same hormone that is measured by a home pregnancy testing kit. In fact, doctors prescribe HCG in high doses for patients dealing with fertility issues. More recently, this drug has been used in an "off-label" way for people dealing with obesity and aiding weight loss.
Does HCG help in Weight loss?
The diet structure for HCG recommends daily doses of oral HCG drugs or injections along with a severely calorie-restricted diet of around 500 kcal per day. Now, if we look at it scientifically, people lose weight when put on an HCG diet because of the fewer calories they eat. There's hardly any medical proofs to substantiate that HCG injections make people lose weight.
What is the Infamous HCG diet?
Although pieces of evidence of this diet date back to the 19th century but have gained momentum in the past 10 years. Dr. Albert T.W Simeons was a famous British endocrinologist who conducted extensive research on the significance of HCG and weight loss. He noticed that when HCG was injected into male patients with a low level of testosterone or the male hormone, the patients lost body fat. Dr. Simeons also discovered that at low doses HCG hormone is effective in mobilizing body fat breakdown and protects the patient from muscle loss that accompanies low-calorie diets. It helped in suppressing appetite and combat the decreasing energy levels that patients always feel when eating very-low-calorie diets.
Several studies provided no evidence that adding HCG to a strict diet helped patients to lose more weight. The original HCG diet required patients to take daily injections in addition to a very low-calorie diet.
What can you eat on an HCG diet?
The protocol of the diet with the injections often lasts from a period of 21 days to 40 days depending on each patient. Additionally, sufficient water intake is crucial when placed on an HCG diet plan.
Vegetarians And HCG diet?
Most vegetarians cannot safely participate in the HCG diet as they would have too little protein intake. However, replacing lean meat with tofu or cottage cheese is a good alternative. They can expect to lose around half the weight as promised by the HCG diet protocol. They are also required to drink 500 ml of skim milk to level up their protein intake. Other vegan options like beans, wheat flour, nuts, and raisins are not allowed in the diet plan.
Where is the HCG drug derived from?
Most of the HCG drug which is available over the counter is extracted from the urine of pregnant females. These preparations are highly purified and are free from any bacteria. Alternatively, some brands also use recombinant DNA technology to produce HCG doses. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued warnings to companies making false claims that their products aid weight loss. Mostly, homeopathy HCG is considered illegal by the FDA. The organization also advises you to discontinue immediately if you happen to consume or purchase any product like oral HCG pills, drops, sprays marketed as homeopathy HCG.
Word of Caution- Side Effects of HCG Diet plan
HCG diet plan has potential side effects which cannot be overlooked despite its benefits. The low-calorie diet can often induce blood clotting, gall bladder stone, and electrolyte problems due to insufficient fluid intake and dehydration, extreme fatigue, and depression. It can also lead to cardiac arrest and eventually death. Hence, you are advised to consult your obstetrician or doctor before hopping on to any diet plan to check if it would be recommended for you.
Some HCG Drugs are Listed Here and Availabe at V Care Pharmacy