Ask the Pharmaceutical Products Experts – Ajit Johal
HCG supplementation for weight loss: scam vs magic bullet?
We always figure we have enough time to shape up and drop that winter hibernation fat. Jump on the ol’ treadmill every morning and slip right into that bathing suit from 10 years ago. Right?…. Wrong. It’s always the same pattern; long work hours, fast food, and too much time in front of the TV leaves us feeling fat, bloated and saggy. Yes such demoralizing adjectives are needed to address the FACT we NEED to shed a few LB’s.
With the need and demand for weight loss, there naturally emerges a market for fad diets. Human nature tends to guide us on the path of least resistance, where easy to follow diets, and supplements are popular. Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is but another magic bullet supplement that has generated both outstanding results and controversy. The FDA has not approved HCG as a weight loss drug , however people are losing pounds fast and furiously on it. What’s the deal?
What is HCG?
HCG is a glycoprotein that is naturally produced by the human body during pregnancy. It is best known for it’s role in fertility. There it has an initial supporting role, until the female body can produce progesterone to sustain the growing fetus. Now, a number of questions should be popping into your head, the most important being; if HCG is so good for weight loss, then why aren’t pregnant women losing weight?
Well lets rewind the clock back to the 1950’s where British endocrinologist Dr. Simeon made an important discovery of the potential of HCG. During studies on calorie-deficient pregnant women, he reasoned that HCG promoted mobilization and consumption of abnormal, excessive, adipose deposits (1). Basically protecting the fetus by burning fat instead of muscle tissue, when the body was calorie deprived. This same defense mechanism can be utilized to lose large amounts of body fat, when following a low calorie diet.
The HCG protocol
The weight loss protocol consists of low dose HCG combined with a very specific 500 calories/day diet. The low calorie diet is essential, that means no more than 500 calories per day , no fat or oil, for three to six weeks. Now, if you restrict somebody to 500 calories per day it is inevitable that they will lose weight. The problem is, without HCG it is difficult to follow such a diet. As such a caloric deprivation leads to irritability, dizziness, and fatigue to the point where people are unable to continue the diet. Also, there is the chance that the body will cause you to lose muscle mass instead of fat leaving you worse off than when you started the diet. HCG mobilizes energy from fat deposits, allowing for greater fat loss and energy levels during the diet (as fat contains the highest amount of energy per molecule, much more than proteins and carbohydrates). HCG also contains B-endorphin, which leads to enhanced mood, and less fatigue during the low calorie diet (2).
The following 3 points are essential for anyone considering the HCG diet protocol
- The HCG protocol is for people who want to lose
lots of weight (at least 15 lbs), and should be
supervised carefully by a physician.
- Effective and good quality HCG supplements are
essential! They must be by prescription only, and
made by a PCCA certified compounding
pharmacy (Note that FDA rejection was only for
“homeopathic hcg supplements – the kind of stuff
you get over the counter/internet (3)
- The HCG must be used in conjunction with a 500
calorie per day diet in order to be effective. This
is a very low calorie diet, it is advised that the diet
be constructed and supervised by a registered
So if the treadmill is not going to do it for you this season, consider a whirl of hcg supplementation to get your waistline shrinking and your friends talking…
- Dr. Simeon’s protocol http://www.hcgplan.net/Protocol.
- Psychiatry Res. 1983 Aug; 9(4): 319-27
If you require more information on quality hcg supplementation check out the following PCCA certified compounding pharmacy’s.
Lower Mainland: Laurel Prescriptions (www.laurelprescriptions.com) or Wilson Pharmacy (www.wilsonpharmacy.ca)
Nanaimo: Ram Rx pharmacy (http://www.rxram.com/)