What is Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)?

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone produced by the placenta after implantation. Implantation simply refers to the early stages of pregnancy. Typically, the presence of hCG is detected in pregnancy strips. *There are some cancerous tumors that produce this hormone, so elevated levels measured within a patient that is not pregnant can lead to a cancer diagnosis.*

hCG is also available in various endogenous forms because of their dietary qualities. Endogenous hCG can be categorized in many ways, such as: total hCG, C-terminal peptide total hCG, intact hCG, free β-subunit hCG, β-core fragment hCG, hyper glycosylated hCG, nicked hCG, alpha hCG, and pituitary hCG. As shown, there are many pharmaceutical preparations regarding the gonatropin. Some of the gonatropin preparations are medically justified and others are of a quack, or illegitimate, nature. As of December 2011, the United States FDA has prohibited the sale of homeopathic and over the counter hCG diet products, declaring them fraudulent and illegal.

hCG History:

Human chorionic gonadotropin’s ability to aid in weight loss is due to the presence of 244 amino acids present in the hormone. During clinical work in the early 1950s, Dr. ATW Simeons, a British endocrinologist, pioneered the theory of using hCG to help people lose weight and abnormal belly fat. During pregnancy, it is produced in large amounts in the placenta, which can be extracted from the mother’s urine. Historically, it is used, in part, for the treatment of infertility in females and help them induce ovulation. Males can be given much lower doses than would be given to a female for infertility, and hCG would act as a precursor to increase low testosterone levels.

hCG positively effects the hypothalamus gland, and Dr. Simeons hypothesized that the slimming of young boys being treated with hCG was because of the positive effect hCG had on the hypothalamus gland, because this gland is responsible, in part, for the regulation of normal and abnormal body fat. After ten years of research, Dr. Simeons proved that when both the correct amount of hCG and his food plan were followed, both males and females had the ability to lose extraordinary amounts of abnormal body fat in relatively short periods of time. This technique could be used in conjunction with physical fitness, or practiced alone as a dietary method.

As word spread about Dr. Simeons work with hCG and dieting, Doctors and other Health Care Professionals from around the world traveled to Rome to learn more about his work.  Due to this extraordinary interest, in 1967 he published Pounds and Inches, a New Approach to Obesity to help Health Care Professionals and lay people alike, better understand his findings.  Following his publication, so-called “Fat Clinics” mushroomed all over Europe and the US.

Over the years, the HCG Diet popularity declined, mostly due to the attrition of practitioners who believed in and understood Dr. Simeons’ work.  Even though there were several HCG Diet studies conducted in the mid-70s, these studies didn’t follow Simeons’ protocol exactly and Simeons’ HCG Diet never received FDA approval for better weight loss results than common dieting.

In 2007, Kevin Trudeau released a book called “The Weight Loss Cure, What THEY Don’t Want You To Know”, which included enough information about the hCG Simeons diet to again create interest in Dr. ATW Simeons original work.  Shortly thereafter, a few ‘pioneer’ Professional Clinics in the US began offering hCG for weight loss.  As more people started reading “The Weight Loss Cure” and interest stirred again, the general public became eager to find a ‘cure’ to weight loss and began doctoring themselves because they couldn’t find Doctors offering the HCG Diet.

Historic Dietary hCG

hCG is often used in conjunction with very low caloric intake (recipes, diet menu, food list). The original menu was around a 500 calorie food list. A sample of the diet is as follows:

  • Breakfast: Coffee or tea without sugar; only one tablespoon of milk every 24 hours; stevia may be used.
  • Lunch: 100 grams of fresh white fish, and all visible fat must be carefully removed before cooking, and the meat must be weighed raw. It must be boiled or grilled without the addition of fat. One vegetable to be eaten with the meat (typically a dark, leafy green vegetable). One breadstick, and an apple, orange, or handful of strawberries.
  • Dinner: 100 grams of chicken breast, grilled without the skin and without the addition of fat. Sides are the same as the lunch option.

In addition to the low caloric diet, injections were administered in daily doses. The dose for Simeons protocol is 125 iu administered daily, for no more than 40 days. For females, during menstruation, no injections were administered; however the “very low calorie diet” or VLCD was still continued. One complete round of hCG diet was complete in one of two ways. The patient had lost a total of 34 pounds, or 40 injections total had been administered. The singular exception was in the case of morbidly obese individuals – they were allowed an additional 5-6 pounds of weight loss, only if this occurred before the full 40 injections were administered.

hCG Today

Similar guidelines are still followed for practitioners of hCG dieting today. The diet plan is still considered very low caloric intake, however, it is not as restrictive as the 500 calorie limit of Dr. Simeon’s first studies. This diet plan is broken down into three phases: loading, very low calorie dieting, and maintenance. Loading is the process in which endogenous hCG (given orally, typically drops) is added to a person’s normal diet for the first three days. After three days of normal eating and the addition of hCG, the person is limited to 800 calories per day. An example of food options is as follows:

  • Protein: 3.5 oz per meal, removing all fat, and not adding additional fat. The protein should be lean (fresh white fish, veal, or chicken breast).
  • Fresh Vegetables: at least 3.5 oz per meal, but do not mix the vegetables. Typically, only each dark, leafy green vegetables, and do NOT eat vegetables that are considered a starch or heavy sugar vegetable.
  • Fruit: two per day, but they must be eaten at least six hours apart. Options are exclusively apple, strawberries, orange and grapefruit.
  • Grain: one breadstick

It is important to note that a steady consumption of liquids is required throughout the maintenance of the hCG diet. Water, of course, is the primary beverage, but may be substituted with tea and coffee as long as no additional creamer is added.

Final Thoughts

Endogenous hCG in conjunction with a strict, low calorie intake diet can lead to weight loss. Much like all other forms of diet plans, it is not a one stop, turnkey solution. However, the effects that hCG has on the hypothalamus gland will affect the ways in which the body regulates fat. You can burn more normal and abnormal fat which will induce weight loss. Coupling that with a VLCD (very low calorie diet) technique will facilitate the weight loss. It is important to always do your own research, and understand the products which you’re buying. Over the counter supplements can be purchased in pharmacies, and endogenous hCG can be purchased on various websites, including Amazon, and E-Bay. You can read some reviews written by verified customers before purchasing any HCG drops online.

References:

  • http://americanpregnancy.org/while-pregnant/hcg-levels/
  • https://www.early-pregnancy-tests.com/whatishcg
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_chorionic_gonadotropin
  • http://www.doctoroz.com/article/new-hcg-diet
  • http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/expert-answers/hcg-diet/faq-20058164
  • https://www.babyhopes.com/articles/hcg.html