HCG - Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, more commonly known as HCG, is a naturally occurring glycoprotein hormone produced in the human body during pregnancy. First discovered in 1927 by Selmor Samuel Aschheim and Zondek Bernhard, a team of German obstetrician-gynecologists, detection of HCG can be done by blood test and using a urine kit to confirm pregnancy. This principal hormone has various functions. Aside from promoting a normal and healthy pregnancy, the discovery of HCG's function in mobilizing fat for use as a source of energy is helping to change treatment approach in obesity.
The importance of HCG in fat loss was first publicized by Dr. A.T.W. Simeons in his 1954 report entitled, "Pounds & Inches." HCG injections have been shown in clinical studies to have an effect on preservation of lean muscle mass with a reduced calorie diet, anti-inflammatory properties, loss of inches, appetite suppression, improvement in fibromyalgia, and improved sense of well-being.
The use of HCG for weight loss has generated some controversy since it was first introduced in the 1950’s. Through our own research and experience with patients, we believe that HCG can be a safe and effective part of an overall plan of physician-directed weight loss treatment. The research of other physicians confirms this as well. Nevertheless, you should be aware that not everyone agrees. Some within the community of physicians treating weight loss do not believe that the use of HCG is effective for weight loss.
HCG is FDA approved in the treatment of infertility and certain other conditions, but it is not FDA approved for weight loss. Regarding its being used for weight loss, the FDA-approved prescribing information states: “HCG has no known effect on fat mobilization, appetite or sense of hunger, or body fat distribution. HCG has not been demonstrated to be effective adjunctive therapy in the treatment of obesity. There is no substantial evidence that it increases weight loss beyond that resulting from caloric restriction, that it causes a more attractive or “normal” distribution of fat, or that it decreases the hunger and discomfort associated with calorie- restricted diets.” It is important to note that their evaluation was based upon the Dr. Simeon protocol. WE DO NOT USE THIS PROTOCOL.
80% of the 180,000 patients treated by Dr. Girouard and his team of weight loss experts continue to request HCG in their weight loss treatment due to it’s effectiveness in losing body fat, especially in hard to lose places. So effective is the protocol used at Let’s Get Thin, MD that we have patients fly to our clinics from all over North America, South America, and even Europe. Because of this overwhelming positive response, we are convinced by patients’ testimony of its efficacy in many people and are proud to offer HCG in our comprehensive medical weight loss program.
HCG - Safety and the FDA
Even though the FDA has not approved the use of HCG for the treatment of obesity or the maintenance of weight loss, federal regulations allow medications to be used "off label" to treat other diseases or symptoms in addition to the ones for which the medication is approved. For example, medication such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Lexapro are FDA approved for anxiety and depression, but are often used "off label" to treat fibromyalgia (by the way - HCG works very well in many of our fibromyalgia patients), and Wellbutrin is FDA approved for treating depression, but is frequently used "off label" in the treatment for nicotine addiction.
As Dr. Daniel Bellucio, renowned HCG researcher in Argentina notes, "Since HCG is secreted in extremely large amounts during nine months of pregnancy (up to a half million units per day), were it dangerous, we would have had Adam and Eve and no one else!"
Comparing the small dosage we use, a patient would have to take weekly injections in our office for over a thousand years to equal the amount of HCG received during one pregnancy.TOP
HCG - Basic Questions
- Will HCG interact with other medications?
- HCG will not interact with other medications.
- How often and how much HCG do I take?
- The initial HCG study, conducted by Dr. Simeon in 1954, reported daily use of high dose intramuscular injections. Based upon more recent studies and Dr. Girouard’s 30 plus years of clinical experience using HCG (extending back to his initial research in 1981) has shown that low dose subcutaneous injections actually work better with far fewer side effects and can be used long-term. Approximately 70% of patients prefer once a week injections. A number of patients experience greater benefit using bi-weekly or every other day injections. High dose HCG promotes pre-adipocyte formation (i.e. more fat cells)! Your Weight Loss Expert will prescribe the best plan for you.
- Is HCG safe for men?
- The HCG used for the HCG weight loss protocol is actually already found in men. In fact, it is present in every human tissue, including males and non-pregnant women, as well as, pregnant woman. The HCG injections in men also have the added affect of increasing endogenous testosterone production. The higher testosterone levels also help to increase lean body mass in males.
- What is the best time to take HCG injections?
- HCG injections are not restricted to any particular time of day. Patients can administer their HCG injections at a time most convenient for them.
- Will I lose more weight in the area I take the injection?
- The HCG injection can be conveniently administered on either sides or below the belly button, and its effects will not be restricted to the site of injection.
- Do I get the injections at the clinic or can I take the injections home with me?
- You will have the option to stop by the clinic to receive your HCG injection or to take the injections home with you for your convenience. Our staff will properly guide you in the correct way to administer you own injections, if you wish to do so. Please note that HCG injections must be kept refrigerated.
- Do I have to take the injections? If so, for how long do I take them?
- HCG is an optional tool that can assist you in meeting your weight loss goals. You may elect not to use HCG. You may continue to use HCG after you reach your weight and size goals. Many patients opt to continue HCG injections as part of a maintenance program and receive good results. Many patients continue to use HCG for its benefit as an anti-inflammatory treatment for their arthritis, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, etc.
- Will HCG injections make me more fertile?
- The very low dose used for weight loss will not cause you to be more fertile. When used for infertility treatments, HCG is used in significantly higher doses (about 140 shots all at once) to achieve any increased fertility effect. On the other hand, losing weight can improve your chances of becoming pregnant, with fertility increasing by 50% for every 5 pounds lost. TAKE PRECAUTIONS!
Special note: increased sensitivity of modern home pregnancy tests may cause false positive results - even in our male patients!
- Are there side effects to be aware of?
- Side effects using HCG injections are rarely noted. Possible side effects while taking the hormone include: menstrual irregularities (20%) & breast tenderness (5%), ovarian pain in patients with a history of polycystic ovaries, and acne.
- Do HCG injections work for everone?
- HCG works on about 80% of our patients. Patients who experienced weight gain after a hormonal change such as pregnancy (especially late or second pregnancy), hysterectomy, tubal ligation, miscarriage, menopause or peri-menopause, seem to get the most benefit.
- Who should not take HCG?
- Patients with a history of testicular or ovarian cancer and possibly prostate cancer cannot take HCG. It may not be appropriate for some people with a history of blood clots, especially those related to a hormonal influence. The use of HCG in patients with a history of breast cancer remains controversial. Patients with a history of cancer may need clearance from their oncologist.
- What about HCG and breast cancer?
- Studies have shown that women with breast cancer experienced a reduction in tumor size or complete remission during pregnancy when enormous amounts of HCG are secreted (one million units/day). Two human studies and one animal study also resulted in similar beneficial effects when high dose HCG was given to females with breast cancer. This new data seems to indicate that HCG may have a beneficial effect in patients with breast cancer. Nevertheless, we still require a medical clearance from an oncologist prior to starting HCG if a patient has a history of breast cancer.
- What are other benefits of HCG?
- For over 30 years Dr. Girouard has noticed his patients enjoyed other benefits from HCG including: reduction of cravings (especially chocolate), increased libido (especially post-menopausal women and men over 40), and strong anti-inflammatory effects which helped patients with fibromyalgia, arthritis, chronic pain, MS, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus and even migraines!