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HCG for Weight Loss: Fad or Good Medicine?

September 28, 2010 |

You’ve tried everything to lose weight. You’ve tried the latest and greatest diet or fat-melting workout. You’ve tried weight-loss supplements and prescription medications. No matter: You’re heavier than ever. You now hear about this new treatment called HCG and want to know if it works. Sound familiar?

I am asked about HCG every day; interest is soaring. HCG weight loss training for Physicians continues to be a hot commodity.

Physicians are using human chorionic gonadotropin, known as HCG, to help individuals lose weight. This is not a new therapy. It was originally used for weight loss in the 1950s after a study demonstrated its effectiveness.

There has been some controversy regarding its effectiveness because a few studies did not show significant benefit with its use, but a subsequent double-blind placebo-controlled study found that, compared with placebo, the use of HCG resulted in significantly more weight loss, reduced appetite and an improved sense of well-being and energy. It has also been shown to selectively reduce fat, producing a healthier weight loss that spares muscle and boosts metabolism.

Safety has not been a significant concern because HCG is normally produced in large quantities by the placenta during pregnancy. In comparison, the doses used for weight loss are very small. There are over 1,000,000 units of HCG produced per day during pregnancy, while the dose used for weight loss is typically 125-150 units per day. At this dose, side effects are very uncommon, and hundreds of thousands of patients have been safely treated with HCG for weight loss over the past 60 years.

HCG can help balance metabolic factors that hinder weight loss. When patients claim that they must have a metabolic imbalance because they continue to gain weight despite eating very little, they’re often met with skepticism or ridicule. But we have found that such claims are not exaggerated, as most obese patients who have difficulty losing weight do have reduced metabolism and usually have leptin resistance or low tissue thyroid levels (not detected by standard blood tests) that make it very difficult to lose weight.

This phenomena has been documented in the medical literature as well, but has been largely ignored by most physicians. A study published in the journal Metabolism, entitled “Diminished Energy Requirements in Reduced-Obese Patient,” compared the basal metabolic rate in individuals who had lost significant weight with those of the same weight who had not lost significant weight in the past. The authors found that those who had dieted and lost weight in the past had, on average, a 25 percent lower metabolism than the control patients who had not lost significant weight. Chronic dieting lowers metabolism, making it harder to lose weight and more likely to gain it back.

Our center has also found reduced basal metabolic rates among those who chronically diet, with many such individuals having a 20-40 percent lower metabolism than expected for their body mass index. With such a reduced metabolism, you must eat 500-1000 fewer calories per day or burn that many calories per day to just stay even and not gain weight.

Does nobody believe how little you really eat? Are you made to feel like a failure despite doing everything right? While diet and exercise are important components of successful weight loss, they will certainly fail to achieve long-term success if metabolic abnormalities are not addressed.

Many patients will find that metabolic balancing with therapies that include HCG can be very helpful. A good percentage will experience dramatically successful weight loss. In short, HCG is one more valuable tool that physicians can use to help patients lose weight.

Source:  By Dr. Kent Holtorf September 16th, 2010 at

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