Human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG for short, is a hormone that is produced by the placenta and can usually be detected in high levels during the early stages of pregnancy.  The hormone has long been used as a marker in home pregnancy tests.

In addition, HCG has also been used in the treatment of fertility issues in both sexes. HCG has recently been the focal point of a diet program known as the HCG diet, and there are also HCG drops that are being produced and are meant to be taken with this diet plan.

Anyone who participates in this diet will need to adhere to a strict 500 calories per day limit. If followed correctly and when combined with a regular intake of HCG drops, this program can help you lose weight rapidly. However, this rapid weight loss comes with a fair share of risks that are worth discussing in this article.

Its History

First, let us dwell a little bit into the history of the HCG diet. This diet program’s roots can be traced all the way back to the 1950’s, when a doctor named A.T.W. Simeons started injecting HCG into kids who were diagnosed with Frolich’s syndrome. Frolich’s syndrome is a condition wherein children suffer from obesity and slow developing organs.

The children who were injected with HCG by Dr. Simeons soon began developing lean muscles and gradually lost body fat. Simeon would then inject HCG on grown men and women over the next few decades, and he would place them on a 500 calorie diet. The diet consisted of fruits, leafy vegetables, lean meats, and a piece of bread.

The HCG diet became somewhat forgotten over the years, but began making a resurgence in the 2000’s as people were now seeking a faster way to lose weight. Now that we have discussed its history, let us have a look at its benefits.

Weight Loss

People following this program have experienced dramatic weight loss. However, this quick loss of weight is due more to the strict calorie restrictions and not because of the HCG hormone, according to experts from the Mayo Clinic. A study in 1995 also pointed out how there is no scientific evidence to prove that HCG is effective in treating obesity.

As a result of the overwhelming amount of scientific evidence against the claims of HCG helping people lose weight, the FDA has now made it illegal for manufacturers to list on their products’ labels that HCG can aid in weight loss. HCG has only been approved as a fertility treatment by the FDA.


Your metabolic rate will decrease with age and occasional bouts of laziness. Taking in HCG drops can help you burn calories faster. Although there are a variety of factors that contribute to your metabolism slowing down such as muscle integrity and genetics, HCG can act as a catalyst that can help improve it? Having a great metabolic rate can help you stay fit and healthy.

Muscle Retention

As we mentioned earlier, people who are on the HCG diet can still retain their muscles despite being on a strict calorie limit. The reason for this is because HCG only acts on excess fat which it converts to energy for your body. It doesn’t affect your muscles in any way since it focuses more on fat reduction.

Appetite Suppressant

It doesn’t matter how much you exercise because you can train until get blue in the face, but still not lose weight at all. HCG can also act as an appetite suppressant and help you resist your hunger pangs.

Since you will be on a 500 calorie-a-day diet, it can be extremely difficult for you to not give in to your feelings of hunger. Taking in HCG doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be feeling any hunger throughout the day, but it can at least help suppress your appetite to the point that you’re not going to be reaching for the fridge every hour.

Increase in Energy

Your body needs energy in order to function because without it you’ll just be lying on your bed all day without the power to get up. HCG drops can help give you an energy boost which will help you become more productive throughout the day. With more energy, you will find yourself being able to do more work. This also means you won’t be feeling tired and irritable most of the time.

What Are Its Side Effects?

A low calorie diet is effective during the first few weeks but can lead to possible side effects in the long run. Any diet that is below 800 calories is considered as VLCD, which is short for very low calorie diets. Some of the following short term side effects that are associated with VLCD diets include diarrhea, fatigue, nausea and other gastrointestinal problems.

If you get off the VLCD and go back to a healthier caloric diet, you will only gain most of your weight back. A low calorie diet like the HCG diet does not promote sustained weight loss in any way. Aside from short term side effects, VLCD diets also have long term ones as well.

Side effects such as a lower immune system, bone loss, anemia, and a decrease in thyroid function are just some of the long term side effects associated with the HCG diet. This kind of diet can also lead to malnutrition because they do not provide you with enough calories and nutrition needed to get through the day.


You will increase your risk of getting gallstones once you get off the HCG diet. This is because of the rapid weight loss and subsequent weight gain that comes as a result of the diet. Gallstones are tiny clumps of solid material that form in your gallbladder usually as a result of cholesterol. Pain and indigestion is a couple of common symptoms that are caused by gallstones.


HCG drops, as well as the HCG diet both have their share of positives and negatives. It is important to study things thoroughly and to consult with your physician first before you decide to follow this program.

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