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HCG Injections for Weight Loss? Nope.

Posted Dec 30 2008 10:27am 3 Comments

It’s desperation time for many people.  The new year is almost here, and people are trying to find that quick fix to lose weight in the coming year.  Most certainly, some people will turn to the HCG diet.

I’ve heard a lot lately about how HCG ( human chorionic gonadotropin, the pregnancy hormone) injections can help people lose weight.  When I heard about it I was surprised that so many people swear by it and love it.  I even saw a sign promoting HCG weight loss at a local “medical spa” (pictured below).


The HCG diet is basically this:  Eat 500 Calories per day from specific foods, inject yourself with a shot of HCG each day for 6 weeks, and don’t exercise.  According to one web site promoting this diet, you can lose 1-2 pounds per day.  The HCG (allegedly) helps you not to be hungry. 

Does this sound ridiculous to anyone else? 

Let’s see what others have to say.  I included the sources in the footnotes so you can check out the details on your own. 

A meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Pharmacology stated:

“We conclude that there is no scientific evidence that HCG causes weight-loss, a redistribution of fat, staves off hunger or induces a feeling of well-being.” 1

Another study published in The Western Journal of Medicine says:

“Weight loss was identical between the two groups, and there was no evidence for differential effects on hunger, mood or localized body measurements. Placebo injections, therefore, appear to be as effective as HCG in the treatment of obesity.” 2

Even a dietician at weighed in:

“Years ago, researchers studied HCG injections as a possible weight-loss aid. Results of most studies weren’t promising, however. In fact, HCG injections seemed to be no more effective than were placebos in promoting weight loss. Today, HCG injections are primarily used to treat fertility issues.” 3

Not enough for you?  Here’s an article called Weight loss is hard, and human pregnancy hormone won’t change that  from a board-certified internist about why HCG is not the answer.  It’s a great read from over at CalorieLab.

The Bottom Line?  There’s no benefit of injecting yourself with HCG.  If you eat 500 Calories per day you will lose weight, but you know that’s just not healthy.  Instead of wasting hundreds of dollars on HCG injections, maybe buy some healthier foods, join a gym, or hire a good trainier/nutritionist to help you lose weight the healthy way. 

Again, I don’t care that the HCG diet does in fact help you lose weight.  It’s not healthy and there are better uses for your money. 

Healthy lifestyle changes will help you lose weight and keep it off for a lifetime. 

Well, I guess if you really want to spend the hundreds of dollars, just send it to me and I’ll send you some saline injections that will have the same effect.   

  1. W.J Assendelft, G.K Lijesen, I. Theeuwen and G. Van Der Wal, “The effect of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the treatment of obesity by means of the Simeons therapy: a criteria-based meta-analysis,” The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 40 (1995): 237-43.
  2. G.A Bray and F.L Greenway, “Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the treatment of obesity: a critical assessment of the Simeons method,” The Western Journal of Medicine 127 (1977): 461-3.
  3. [Web Site] (2008); available from; Internet; accessed 30 December 2008.
Comments (3)
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Hello everyone,

I am really frustrated to hear about so many people going on the HCG Diet because they take the "research" the people that sell this stuff post on their website as facts.

In 2009, the American Society of Bariatric Physicians issued a position statement which stated:"Numerous clinical trials have shown HCG to be ineffectual in producing weight loss"

If someone achieves any permanent weight loss by using it, I would say it is probably a case of their being at a point  when they are emotionally and physically ready to drop the weight, and the HCG is just a mental tool they use to help themselves do it.

However, the extremely low calorie limit is what concerns me the most about the HCG diet. Nearly all medical experts agree that it is not safe to eat only 500 calories a day for an extended length of time. It can cause all sorts of health problems.  Please do not risk your health on their theory about the HCG only causing your body to burn fat and not muscle!

I've noticed LOTS of people that sell HCG products are filling up the diet-related health forums with "success story" posts about how great it is and how much weight they supposedly lost, along with a link to a website where you can order it. I would be very skeptical about dealing with any of those companies.

One place that has unbiased reviews and information about HCG and other diet plans is   

You can also read it about it  at Diet Scam Watch

where they have several links to scientific research on the subject.

The HCG hormone is a major component in the HCG weight loss plans, but so are the strict dietary guidelines and 500 calorie per day diet for a major duration of the program.  It is important to understand that the HCG diet is not simply a magic fix.  Using the HCG weight loss plan forces you to be mindful about the quality and quantity of food you eat and make healthy lifestyle changes.
HCG injections?  Why don't we spend more time and money on understanding effective treatments of migraines?  Doing that will make a marked difference in the world.
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