HCG Drops Aren't Effective For Weight Loss, Experts Say

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Alamy
Alamy

To lose weight, some people are still buying into HCG drops and injections, which have received criticism from the FDA because they aren't proven to help people shed pounds.

As part of the HCG diet, people take drops or receive injections of a hormone (naturally produced by pregnant women) called human chorionic gonadotrophin. The drops and injections are combined with an extremely low-calorie diet -- in some cases, as little as 500 calories a day.

According to WebMD, proponents say that HCG is the key to suppressing hunger and "fixing" metabolism, for easy weight loss. U.S. News reported that proponents claim you can lose up to 30 pounds in a month on the diet.

While HCG is approved by the FDA for some infertility treatments, the FDA has not approved it for weight loss. In fact, it issued a warning late last year to seven companies that sell HCG in pellet, drop and spray form, the Associated Press reported.

"These products are marketed with incredible claims and people think that if they're losing weight, HCG must be working," Elizabeth Miller, of FDA's division for non-prescription drugs and health fraud, said in a statement, as reported by the Associated Press. "But the data simply does not support this – any loss is from severe calorie restriction. Not from the HCG."

Outside experts agree. Dr. David Katz, a HuffPost blogger and director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, told MyHealthNewsDaily that the HCG is solely the "Dumbo feather" in the diet.

"If you told people you can lose a lot of weight by eating 500 calories a day, no one would reach for their credit card," Katz told MyHealthNewsDaily. "The hormone is the excuse -- the promise of magic."

According to Dr. Oz's website, past research has suggested that HCG doesn't do any more than just plain old salt water injections.

From the website:

Every single well-done trial showed that the hCG injections were no better than injecting a salt-water placebo. In other words, people injected with hCG lost the same amount of weight as people injected with a salt-water placebo.

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