Endocrine and Bariatric Physicians Support FDA Effort to Ban HCG Weight Loss Products

HCG Not Proven Effective for Weight Loss
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The US Food and Drug Administration has taken its first steps to remove unproven homeopathic over-the-counter diet drugs from the consumer market. Seven companies have been warned to discontinue selling human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) due to potential dangerous side effects. The move has the support of The Endocrine Society and the American Society of Bariatric Physicians.

HCG is a naturally produced hormone made in the human placenta and detected in the urine of pregnant females. It was first recommended as a weight loss “cure” by Dr. ATW Simeons who noticed that the hormone took fat reserves from the body and moved it to the placenta to feed the growing fetus. Dr. Simeons predicted that healthy, non-pregnant people who took the hormone could “drain” their fat cells, especially those in the hips, waist, thighs, and buttocks.

Because there are no clinical trials that have proven the safety and effectiveness of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin as a weight loss treatment, it is not approved by the FDA. HCG is, however, approved for usage in some cases of female infertility and male hormone treatment. The drug is most often given by injection, but there is an oral form available.

The companies receiving warning letters from the FDA include:
• HCG Diet Direct, LLC. Product name - HCG Diet Homeopathic Drops
• HCG 1234 LLC (The hCG Drops LLC). Product name - Homeopathic HCG
• HCG Platinum, LLC. Product names - HCG Platinum, HCG Platinum X-30, HCG Platinum X-14
• Hcg-miracleweightloss.com. Product name - HCG Extra Weight Loss Homeoapthic Drops
• Natural Medical Supply, LLC DBA HCG Complete Diet. Product name - HCG Extra Weight Loss Homeoapthic Drops.
• Nutri Fusion Systems, Inc. Product names - HCG Fusion 30, HCG Fusion 43

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The Endocrine Society has published a fact sheet for the public entitled “Myth vs. Fact: The Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) Diet.” The fact sheet explains how HCG is intended to work in the body and the inherent risks in using HCG to lose weight.

“hCG is ineffective in achieving weight loss and can be dangerous,” said Bradley Anawalt, MD, chair of The Endocrine Society’s Hormone Foundation Committee and one of the authors of the new fact sheet. “There are a number of potential risks associated HCG including blood clots, decreased sperm production, vaginal bleeding, ovarian cysts and breast enlargement in men.”

The American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP) also support the FDA’s decision to remove HCG weight loss products from the market. ASBP Trustee and spokesman Craig Primack MD stated, "As a society, we continually strive to find better weight loss treatments. Obesity is a chronic disease which is best treated by a physician who specializes in weight loss and practices medicine based on sound scientific principles. Unfortunately, HCG does not live up to those standards."

The ASBP's full position statement on HCG can be found at www.asbp.org.

“Many people hoping to lose weight will be attracted to a program like the hCG diet because of its quick weight loss promises, but these promises are hollow,” said Anawalt. “Doctors agree the best way to lose extra pounds and keep them off is to eat a healthy diet with plenty of whole grains, vegetables and fresh fruits, and to limit fried foods or fatty meat products. Drink water instead of sugary sodas and be sure to exercise for 30 minutes a day, most days of the week.”

SOURCES INCLUDE:
US Food and Drug Administration
Federal Trade Commission
The Endocrine Society
American Society of Bariatric Physicians

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Comments

There was an interesting article a while back at the Health Journal Club that took the position that you just should avoid anything that wasn't actually a food one hundred years ago - reading this, it makes a lot more sense
While I am glad to see that HCG is being taken off the market because of so much medically unsupervised use, I must take this opportunity to correct Ms. Reynolds. HCG is not a hormone. Dr Simeone was incorrect in his evaluation of this substance. Dr Atkins did further study and found that HCG is a fat-mobilizing substance not a hormone. He dubbed it FMS and discovered that it is in every living cell that exists not just pregnant women and human placenta. It is a complex amino peptide.
HCG is a hormone. Any substance that is used as a signaling molecule, produced by one cell to exert an effect on another cell distant from the original cell, is a hormone. A hormone may be a peptide hormone (such as HCG, growth hormone, thyroid-stimulating hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone) or a steroid hormone (e.g., testosterone, progesterone, beta-estradiol, aldosterone, cortisol)