Benefits and Risks of HCG Diet

Written by Expert Review. Posted in HCG Diet

The HCG diet comprises of consuming diet hormone, also called as Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, in liquid drops form or via injections. Participants of this diet plan are on a strictly limited consumption of calories. Dieters are to consume approximately 500 calories a day. In addition to quick weight loss, there are many health risks and dangers associated with this diet plan.

HCG dietHistory Of Diet

This diet plan can trace back to a British health care specialist by the name of A.T.W. Simeons. During the 1950s, Dr. Simeon would inject this diet hormone into kids suffering from Froehlich’s Syndrome, a situation where children suffered from obesity and slowed developing reproductive organs. The children start to develop lean muscle and reduce body fat. Over the subsequent few decades, Simeon would inject this hormone into obese male and female. Furthermore, he would place these male and female on a restricted 500-calorie diet which comprised of lean meats, leafy vegetables, fruits and a bread stick. In the 2000s, the HCG diet sees a resurgence, as dieters look for the ideal way to reduce weight in a fast way.

Weight Loss

Individuals following this diet plan experience a dramatic decline in weight while on this diet. Though, the weight loss is because of the lower amount of calories and not due to HCG hormone, according to an experienced nutritionist Jennifer K. Nelson. Also, research published in the “British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology,” demonstrated that there is no scientific proof that Human Chorionic Gonadotropin can or does treat obesity. As a result of the devastating scientific proof against the claim that HCG leads towards weight loss, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Authority has made it prohibited for HCG diet formulators to list on the product label that HCG supplements lead towards weight loss. The FDA only supports this as a treatment for fertility.

Short-Term Side Effects

Low calories diets might be useful over a few weeks but can lead towards many side effects. Diets below 800 calories considered as “Very Low Calories Diet” or VLCD. These VLCD diets can present the following short-term side effects: gastrointestinal and fatigue problems like nausea or diarrhea. Moreover, once you get off of a VLCD and back to a healthier intake of calories, you gain most of your weight back. Low calories diets do not promote sustained weight loss.

Long Term Side Effects

VLCD diets can also lead towards the following long-term side effects: decrease in thyroid function, anemia, bone loss and a decline in the immune system. Furthermore, VLCD can lead towards malnutrition, as these diets aren’t very well balanced and do not supply sufficient calories, strictly depriving people of the nutrients that the body requires.


Besides gastrointestinal and fatigue problems, this diet can also lead towards gallstones. The quick weight loss and consequent weight gain after getting off this diet can boost chances of developing gallstones, which are tiny clumps of solid material that form in the gallbladder and consist of cholesterol. Gallstones can lead towards several symptoms like indigestion and pain.