Is the Hcg Diet Safe for Weight Loss? Hcg Weight Loss Safety Facts.

Hcg Diet 169

Prescription HCG hormone is safe, according to the FDA.

The Hcg Diet is known for combining hormone therapy with a very specific low calorie diet ranging from 500 to 1600 calories for approximately 30 days. A daily dose of hCG (also known as human chorionic gonadotropin) is prescribed on the protocol; a natural hormone produced in women during pregnancy. According to endocrinologist, Dr. Arnold Simeons, the hCG hormone is responsible for abating hunger, despite the calorie restrictions, as well as triggering fat cells to release stored fat, while the low calorie diet keeps the body from replenishing the lost fat.

According to Dr. Sharon Emma, the hCG hormone also has an effect on muscle follicles, which ultimately results in muscle retention during the low calorie phase of the diet. This in turn, allows the body's metabolism to continue running at optimum efficiency, instead of going into anabolic state (otherwise known as starvation mode, where the body burns muscle for energy when fat and carbohydrates are not available.)

The foundations of the Hcg weight loss theories include:

  • Muscle retention
  • Release of stored fat
  • Stimulated metabolism through muscle retention
  • Effects on hunger

 

The question remains:  Is the Hcg hormone safe to use for weight loss?

While there is no doubt that the Hcg Diet works, based on the significant number of success stories on tv and the internet, the fact is, the FDA has not yet been unable to approve the use of hCG for the treatment of obesity due to lack of research.  The FDA has however, approved hCG in the use of other treatments, and in significantly larger dosage amounts.

Comparing Hcg Dosage Amounts by Treatment

When comparing hCG hormone dosage amounts for various treatments, the hCG used for weight loss is the lowest and quite minimal. As evident in the numbers below, the FDA has approved hCG hormone at significantly higher dosage amounts for various medical treatments and is considered safe for use. 

  • Hcg for weight loss:  A typical Hcg hormone dosage for diet injection is 125iu – 150iu (maxed at 250iu) 
  • Fertility treatments:  hCG 5000 iu to 10,000 iu
  • Mens testosterone treatments: hCG 500 iu daily
  • Boys (ages 13 to 17 years old) with delayed puberty: 1500–2000 iu twice weekly for 6 months.

(Sources: embryology.med.unsw.edu, menshormonalhealth.com, Oxford Academic International Journal of Medicine) These amounts are based on treatment averages but can range higher and lower based on the patient's medical profile and treatment.

 

Does the Hcg Diet Work?
Based on the testimonials of patients, there is no denying the success of the diet. Particularly with the success stories featured on the internet and on various TV shows (including Dr. Oz and various morning shows for example.) Patients reported significant weight loss rates averaging over 20 pounds in a single treatment round (approximately 29 days.) They also report a lack of hunger on the Hcg Diet and proof of muscle retention based on their own BMI and Body Fat scale tracking.  One gentleman reported losing 59 pounds in a “long round” of treatment of 40 days.  (To read 10 years of these experiences, please visit the Hcg Diet Forums results section here.

 

Is the Hcg Diet Program Safe?

While the hCG hormone in itself is not considered dangerous for weight loss, the restrictive diet does come into question. The original protocol calls for a 500 calorie, very specific low calorie diet.  More modern version of the protocol have raised the calorie intake to 800 calories, while others allow up to 1600 calories for individuals based on their specific profile.
 

What foods are allowed on the Hcg Diet Plan?

 
The original protocol is defined by vegetables and lean proteins as the primary food intake. Specific fruits are eaten at each meal as well, with limited grains.  Absolutely no processed or prepackaged foods are considered acceptable.  The Hcg Diet is NOT a low carbohydrate diet, despite much misunderstanding: the allotted fruits and vegetable portions contain an amount of carbohydrates that do not allow the body to go into a state of ketosis, nor is it claimed that this could be beneficial to the protocol.
 
This is the original 500 calorie diet menu as described by Dr. Simeons to be eaten daily.
 
Breakfast:
  • Tea or coffee in any quantity without sugar. Only one tablespoonful of milk allowed in 24 hours. Saccharin or Stevia may be used.
Lunch:
  • 100 grams of veal, beef, chicken breast, fresh white fish, lobster, crab, or shrimp. All visible fat must be carefully removed before cooking, and the meat must be weighed raw. It must be boiled or grilled without additional fat. Salmon, eel, tuna, herring, dried or pickled fish are not allowed. The chicken breast must be removed from the bird.
  • One type of vegetable only to be chosen from the following: spinach, chard, chicory, beet-greens, green salad, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage.
  • One breadstick (grissino) or one Melba toast.
  • An apple, orange, or a handful of strawberries or one-half grapefruit.
Dinner :
  • The same four choices as lunch (above.)
 
 
See: 500 calorie diet, vlcd menu for protocol-specific eating guidelines.  See the Hcg Diet Food List here, for exact foods and portions allowed on the protocol.
 

The higher calorie protocols:  800 calories and up

There are a number of modern protocols that have emerged and allow for an increased calorie allowance. While most individuals report slightly slower loss rates, this has become a popular option for the diet. Most providers prescribing the higher calorie plans, simply increase the portions of foods from the original food list (linked above.) Other protocol variations include the use of protein shakes and various foods not on the original foods list.  Again, these report slower loss rates, however they have been growing increasingly more popular as a safe and reliable option for addressing obesity.
 
 

Hcg Hormone Products

The primary concern of the FDA has been the marketing of nontraditional Hcg products. The FDA has been very vocal about their rejection of hCG sprays, lozenges, and hormone free “diet drops” sold over the counter.  The FDA.gov continues it's disapproval of any homeopathic products as well, including homeopathic hCG drops.  They have banned these products from being sold in stores and Amazon has also excluded these products from their marketplace.
 

Which hCG products are considered acceptable on the protocol?

The only hCG form that widely accepted as a legitimate option for the protocol is prescription hCG through a licensed medical doctor (either local doctors or through an FDA-approved telemedicine company.) Overseas “hCG” is considered unsafe and dangerous, as well as illegal to import. Read more here: Dangers of Buying hCG from India and Overseas.
 
Homeopathic hCG:  There is a growing population of those who advocate Homeopathic hCG (HhCG) in addition to Rx hCG. HhCG should not be confused with hormone free diet drops, as these have no hormone in them and are considered unsafe for the Hcg Diet protocol. In contrast, genuine homeopathic hCG drops do in fact have hCG hormone in them as an active ingredient.  Read: Hcg Diet Drops Guide to see labels of real homeopathic Hcg drops.

 

Hcg Hormone Side Effects

Prescription Hcg hormone used for weight loss, is considered to have a very low risk of side effects. Hcg hormone used for other medical treatments are also considered low risk for side effects, even given their much larger dosage measurements.

To keep risks low, patients are advised to only purchase legitimate prescription hCG through FDA approved sources in the USA. In addition, it is advised to avoid hormone free “diet drops” and similar products such as sprays and creams.  It is important to follow a physician supervised Hcg weight loss program, with access to medical staff for professional support.

When considering a weight loss plan, the first priority should always be safety. It is extremely important to a medical doctor when considering a medical weight loss plan in particular.

Is the Hcg Diet Legal?

The Hcg weight loss protocol is lawful in all states. In fact, private physicians and those working through FDA-approved telemedicine companies are permitted to prescribe hCG for weight loss, and oversee patients who wish to address their weight and overall health with the protocol.  

While telemedicine companies have made it simple to enroll in Hcg weight loss programs online, it is not a guarantee that the individual will be approved for the diet.  In fact, telemedicine works with the same laws and ethics as a local doctor's office, where the patient completes an online medical questionnaire which is then reviewed by a licensed medical doctor.  The doctor then reaches out to the patient for a 1 on 1 consult via phone or video chat, going over the patient's medical background, the protocol, and any questions the patient may have before approving the prescription.  If approved, the doctor will then send the prescription to their pharmacy, who then ships the hCG kits directly to the patients door.

Telemedicine and Telehealth and a growing practice and now considered the future of medicine. Health insurance companies, such as Health Net, have even established their own telemedicine programs to address the increasing costs of healthcare in the USA. 

 

The best way to determine whether or not the hCG diet is safe for you, is to speak with your doctor or talk to an online hCG weight loss clinic: you can visit one here for more information.

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