The pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is the latest victim of scams that claim to create “miracle” weight loss. Now that the homeopathic human growth hormone (HGH) scam has been busted, the spotlight is on so-called hCG products that contain no actual hCG.
This latest scientific-sounding weight loss scam is supposedly based on the work of British endocrinologist A.T.W. Simeons, who published articles on achieving weight loss with hCG injections in the 1950s and 60s. The Simeons protocol also includes seven weeks of a 500 calorie-a-day diet, which explains why people can lose weight with this approach!
Simeons claimed that the hCG helped people stick to the extreme low calorie diet by suppressing appetite. He also claimed that it helped the body to utilize stored fat. Simeons’ work was controversial, but for many years he had a loyal following that went to his clinic in Rome for daily visits of hCG injections and weigh-ins.
A number of researchers tried and failed to replicate the work of Simeons, but he claimed that was because they didn’t follow his protocols exactly.
The fake hCG protocol being aggressively marketed on the internet today is not hCG injections, but “homeopathic” hCG drops. I put the “homeopathic” in quote marks because a real homeopathic physician would have nothing to do with these products. The word homeopathic in this context is code for: “this product does not contain any actual hCG” and it gives homeopathic medicine a bad name.
Real homeopathic remedies are required by the FDA to be registered with the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (with the unfortunate acronym HPUS), which the bogus hCG products are not. I’m usually railing against the FDA, but now I’m waiting impatiently for them to bust these folks. Or how about the FTC, couldn’t that agency get the job done?
In the meantime, the hCG weight loss scammers will use lots of exclamation marks, large red type and fake testimonials to rake in millions of dollars from naïve consumers, selling products for $30 to $60 that cost pennies to throw together.
Whether or not the Siemons hCG injections protocol was effective, I guarantee (!) that “homeopathic” hCG will not help you lose weight. A 500 calorie-a-day diet will cause weight loss but will not make you healthier.
It’s too bad that Dr. Siemons is not alive to defend his work!