Although almost 50 years old, the hCG diet protocol triumphed by Dr. Simeons has experienced a resurgence in popularity of late, possibly due to the success of such books as “The Weight Loss Cure They Don’t Want You To Know About” by Kevin Trudeau. Prominent media coverage of the diet hasn’t hurt either.
Although I’ve covered this more thoroughly in the hCG diet review, this protocol refers to a weight loss regimen that involves…
- Daily injections of hCG (or human chorionic gonadotropin)
- A restrictive VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet; in the case of the Simeons protocol diet is restricted to 500 calories daily).
- Regular follow ups with a monitoring physician or professional (since hCG genuine is a prescription drug, hCG must be administered by a qualified professional). This introduces an element of “accountability” into the diet, which can help with its success; if you have to answer to someone else other than yourself, you make a greater effort.
There’s a real problem with the hCG diet protocol, however. Although an early study (the Asher-Harper study, performed in 1973) found the hCG diet protocol to be helpful, all other follow up studies have shown it does not outperform a placebo (a placebo, in this case, includes a VLCD and regular monitoring, but no hCG injections).
This study, for example, sought to duplicate the results of the Asher-Harper study, but in the end concluded…
“hCG does not appear to enhance the effectiveness of a rigidly imposed regimen for weight reduction.”
A more recent meta analysis published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology concluded…
“…there is no scientific evidence that HCG is effective in the treatment of obesity; it does not bring about weight-loss of fat-redistribution, nor does it reduce hunger or induce a feeling of well-being.”
So what’s all this got to do with hCG diet drops for weight loss?
Well, here’s the thing…
Genuine hCG is a prescription drug. It needs to be prescribed by, and administered by a physician.
If you’ve seen hCG drops or homeopathic hCG drops for sale online, rest assured, these do not contain prescription hCG. Homeopathic preparations are extremely diluted—often to the point where the active ingredient can no longer be detected using conventional technologies. And there’s absolutely ZERO evidence they work.
Numerous scientific studies (see Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2002 December; 54(6): 577–582 and Mayo Clin Proc. 2007 Jan;82(1):69-75 as examples) confirm this; homeopathic preparations are no more effective than a placebo (for more on homeopathy, see CBC’s MarketPlace investigation).
Even if you wanted to argue the merit of homeopathic preparations, there’s no evidence extremely diluted hCG preparations would have the same effect as the prescription drug administered in a dosage of 125-200 iu daily; a very obviously “un-diluted” dosage.
And remember; if these products actually contained hCG in any significant amount, you’d need a prescription to get it.
To my knowledge, hCG cannot by administered effectively by sublingual means, nor is there a genuine, prescription alternative to injections.
Even worse, hCG drops might very well be the “ultimate scam.”
Why is that?
Because when administered alongside the Simeons diet protocol and the VLCD that accompanies it, homeopathic hCG drops will work just as well as prescription hCG.
That is, they won’t “work” at all.
Oh, you’ll lose weight alright. Probably lots. After all, Very Low Calorie Diets DO work. But your weight loss will have absolutely nothing to do with the hCG drops you’re consuming and everything to do with the fact that you’re consuming minimal calories.
Now we realize what we’re telling you here may run contrary to what you’ve read elsewhere online.
The fact is, many of the folks who are going on about the benefits of hCG drops versus injections have a financial conflict of interest—they earn commissions on referred sales (go to Google and perform a search for “hCG drops + affiliate program” (without quotes) and see what you find). That calls the credibility of their recommendation into question.
The fact is, hCG drops may not require a prescription, they may be cheaper and more convenient than injections, but there’s no evidence they do anything.