The hCG Weight Loss Program: Common Facts And Fictions
Also known as the “Simeons Protocol”, the hCG Weight Loss Program was originally developed in 1954 by Dr. Albert T. Simeons, a British-physician. He believed that injections of hCG (or human chorionic gonadotropin—a hormone produced during pregnancy) would allow dieters to easily manage an extremely low calorie diet (we’re talking a mere 500 calories per day). He made other claims too; that hCG could suppress appetite, and both burn and redistribute stored fat.
Recently, the hCG weight loss program has experienced a resurgence in popularity, spear-headed by Kevin Trudeau’s 2007 publication “The Weight Loss Cure They Don’t Want You To Know About.” Given its growing popularity, hCG is now administered and prescribed with a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) by hundreds of clinics and physicians across North America. Online, merchants selling “homeopathic hCG drops” claim to deliver identical results as the Simeons protocol, without the need for regular injections and prescription drugs.
Given the current obesity crisis and the huge amounts of money to be gleaned from an audience desperate to lose weight, we thought it would be prudent to provide our readers with a complete overview of “facts” and “fictions” regarding hCG. Keep in mind… we don’t sell hCG or any other products; our only interest is to help you make informed dieting and weight loss supplement decisions. You will read—or have read—information that runs contrary to what you will read in a moment, so remember the vast amounts of money involved mean many advocates have a financial conflict of interest in presenting you with a certain “perspective” on the hCG weight loss program.
With that said, let’s present a “quick and easy” series of facts and fictions as they pertain to the hCG Weight Loss Program:
Fact: Over the years, tens of thousands of individuals have undergone this diet protocol.
Fiction: Published clinical evidence confirms the Simeons protocol “works”.
Fact: One study, the Asher-Harper study (performed in 1973), showed the combination of hCG injections in conjunction with a 500 calorie diet was beneficial for dieters.
Fact: A follow up study, created to duplicate and confirm the results of the above mentioned Asher-Harper study (see American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol 29, 940-948) was unable to do so, concluding that hCG does not enhance the effectiveness of a VLCD.
Fact: All other existing clinical data has concluded the same thing; the hCG weight loss program does not outperform a placebo (see JAMA 236:2495–2497, 1976, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 29:940–948, 1976, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 12:230–234, 1963, S Afr Med J. 1990 Feb 17;77(4):185-9, West Journal of Medicine 127:461–463, 1977, Archives of Internal Medicine 137:151-155, 1977).
Fiction: The clinical studies are old, and therefore flawed.
Fact: Even much newer studies have echoed their conclusions. There is no reason to believe that the various studies’ methodologies were flawed and that newer ones would present different conclusions.
Fiction: hCG suppresses the appetite.
Fact: Medical professionals at UCLA have determined that even on a Very Low Calorie Diet alone, most people are no longer hungry after several days. It appears a suppressed appetite is a physiological response to low caloric intake—not an effect of the hCG.
Fact: The diet protocol is administered by doctors and professionals in a clinical setting and includes regular intra muscular injections, a very low calorie diet, and personal consulting and follow ups.
Fiction: Because the hCG protocol is administered by doctors and professionals, it must be a credible diet program.
Fact: Professionals fall prone to faulty thinking, and some are no less motivated by profit than “ordinary” people.
Fiction: The drug companies, motivated by profit and whose only interest is keeping you sick and fat, know how effective the hCG Weight Loss Program is, and are doing everything in their power to suppress it.
Fact: hCG IS a prescription drug. Novarel is made by Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Ovidrel is manufactured by EMD Serono (a division of Merck). The drug companies do profit from the Simeons protocol.
Fiction: Thousands of online testimonials validate the effectiveness of hCG.
Fact: None of the testimonials viewable online can be authenticated. Some are certainly fabricated or solicited. Others exaggerated. Many come from folks with a vested interest in the protocol; either puritans, or friends, family, fans and spouses of the hundreds (possibly thousands?) who prescribe this protocol in their practice.
There’s no doubt that some are genuine (after all, participants of the hCG Weight Loss Program are only consuming 500 calories per day, so of course they are going to experience some success) but which ones?
Fact: Kevin Trudeau recommends the Simeons protocol.
Fact: Kevin Trudeau is a well-known con-artist, willing to capitalize on any misconceptions people may have to profit and he has been targeted by the authorities in the past.
Fact: Dr Oz. advocates for the use of hCG.
Fact: A short time ago, he was against its use.
Fact: No new studies have been performed on the Simeons protocol that would provide Dr. Oz with a reason for this reversal. His critics argue he has sold himself out to non-evidence based nonsense.
Fact: Online retailers sell homeopathic hCG drops as an alternative to expensive prescription drugs.
Fiction: Homeopathic preparations offer a credible alternative to prescription drugs.
Fact: These homeopathic solutions are extremely diluted and do not contain any prescription hCG.
Fact: All clinical studies performed on hCG—including the single positive Asher-Harper study—were performed with daily injections of prescription hCG, in a dosage of 125-200 IOUs.
Fact: Clinical evidence has confirmed homeopathic solutions are no more effective than a placebo (see Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2002 December; 54(6): 577–582 and Mayo Clin Proc. 2007 Jan;82(1):69-75).
And there you have it; the quick and easy overview of the most common facts and fictions regarding the hCG weight loss program. If you`re interested, check out the full hCG review, or the homeopathic hCG diet drops review.