Sunday, April 18, 2010

HCG & Weight Loss Fads

A number of patient have heard and asked me about Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG). It is a hormone normally secreted by the trophoblastic cells of the placenta during pregnancy. It was first described as a treatment for obesity in conjunction with a very low calorie diet by Dr. A. Simeons in 1954.  Dr. Simeons reported weight loss success combining HCG with a very low calorie diet.  Multiple subsequent studies revealed that this method has been ineffective and that there has been no significant effect of HCG over placebo.  It appears that the weight loss occuring in these patients was due to the very low calorie diet used at the time and not the HCG; however, it has also since been shown that the diet used by Dr. Simeons was deficient in protein content based on current standards accepted in the bariatric (weight and metabolism specialist) community. 

The American Society of Bariatric Physicians released a position statement on HCG including the following summary and conclusions:
"Numerous clinical trials have shown HCG to be ineffectual in producing weight loss. HCG injections can induce a slight increase in muscle mass in androgen-deficient males. The diet used in the Simeons method provides a lower protein intake than is advisable in view of current knowledge and practice. There are few medical literature reports favorable to the Simeons method; the overwhelming majority of medical reports are critical of it. . .
It is the position of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians that:
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."

It is important that you consult your doctor before you begin any weight loss program and that you are aware of the recent data on current fads like the use of injectible and subligual HCG.

Dr. Nally is a member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicans and adheres to the metabolic and weight managment guidelines set forth by this medical society.

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