The Case Against HCG in the Treatment of Obesity

Posted: Mar 03 in Medical Weight Loss News by

Human Chorionic Gonadotripin (HCG) is a hormone normally secreted by the placenta during pregnancy. It has come to my attention that increasing numbers of individuals are seeking out providers of HCG injections for the purpose of weight loss. Is this an effective treatment for obesity?

HCG was first studied by Dr. Simeons in 1954, and became popular in the 1970’s. At that time, a series of trials were performed to assess the effectiveness of HCG. The studies conclusively demonstrated that HCG is NOT effective. A subsequent review in 1995 suggested that “…the use of HCG should be regarded as an inappropriate therapy for weight reduction…” In the author’s opinion, “Pharmacists and physicians should be alert on the use of HCG for Simeons therapy. The results of this meta-analysis support a firm standpoint against this improper indication. Restraints on physicians practicing this therapy can be based on our findings.” (reported in the British journal of clinical pharmacology, 1995; 40: 237-243. PMCID: 1365103)

The American Society of Bariatric Physicians has issued the following policy statement regarding HCG use:

1. The Simeons method for weight loss is not recommended.

2. The Simeons diet is not recommended.

3. The use of HCG for weight loss is not recommended.

I urge all of our patients to steer clear of hocus-pocus methods of weight management. Let’s use science to improve our health and wellness and not embrace magical thinking.

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