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HCG Diet is Dangerous, Experts Say
A newِ diet craze, theِ hCG diet, isِ unsafe andِ unsustainable forِ long-term weight loss, health experts warn.
People whoِ goِ on theِ fad diet eat aboutِ 500 calories a day andِ take supplements (either viaِ drops orِ injection) ofِ human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) severalِ times a week.
But eating soِ fewِ calories a day isِ dangerous andِ puts theِ body inِ a starvation-type state, saidِ Katherine Zeratsky, a registered dietitian atِ the Mayo Clinic.
500 calories a day
The onlyِ reason whyِ anyoneِ loses weight offِ this diet isِ becauseِ they’re eating 500 calories a day, Zeratsky said.
While calorie intakes areِ different fromِ person toِ person, mostِ nutrition information atِ the grocery store isِ based offِ a 2,000-calorie diet.
I thinkِ there’reِ moreِ reasonable, sustainable andِ healthier ways toِ control yourِ weight, sheِ said.
The ‘Dumbo feather’
So what’s the purpose of the hormone?
It’s theِ so-called Dumbo feather thatِ makesِ you thinkِ you canِ fly, Katz said.
As farِ asِ the actual injections ofِ hCG go, risks areِ — asِ far asِ experts knowِ — relativelyِ small.
Right now, hCG isِ only approved asِ one part ofِ a fertility treatment forِ women, soِ that theِ body canِ mimic theِ state ofِ pregnancy.
Origins of an idea
So where did the idea that hCG can help with weight loss come from?
In theِ 1960s, a doctor working atِ a Roman clinic wasِ treating men withِ a rare endocrine disorder, inِ which theirِ bodies wereِ missing hormonal signals toِ trigger production ofِ normal male hormones, Cohen said.
As part ofِ the treatment forِ this rare hormonal deficit inِ men — whichِ oftenِ resulted inِ the patients becomingِ overweight — thisِ doctor injected themِ with hCG.
That doctor thenِ questioned whetherِ hCG wasِ a viable option forِ weight loss forِ other people withoutِ theِ rare endocrine disorder.