Human chorionic gonadotropin is NOT efficacious for weight loss. Period.
But what exactly do I mean by "not efficacious for weight loss"? I mean that a large amount of very good science has demonstrated that hCG is no more effective for weight loss than placebo. In other words, injecting people with fake hCG, colored water for example, works just as well as hCG does. People lose the same amount of weight and report the same amount of hunger. There is no difference between hCG and a shot of water.
How do we know that hCG is Bogus?
We know that because over the last fifty years since Dr. Simmeons first proposed the diet, there have been about twelve large "placebo-controlled" double-blind and peer-reviewed clinical studies that showed that people injected with placebo (fake hCG) couldn't tell the difference. They were just as hungry and lost just as much weight. Over, and over and over again, in studies done by different groups at different times and in different parts of the world there was simply no better result from hCG than from an injection of saline water. None.
Then Why Does it SEEM to Work?
Why does hCG seem to work for weight loss? Because it is usually accompanied by a very low calorie diet. Very low calorie diet DO work for weight loss. There is no question about that.
Why Do People Seem to Be Less Hungry With hCG?
There are two answers to this question. The first is this: people are less hungry because the hCG diet is ketogenic. Ketosis always reduces hunger. In other words, ironically and counterintuitively, when people starve or almost starve, they become, after several days, less hungry. Ketone bodies in the blood suppress appetite. This is all because of the diet, not the hCG.
The second answer isn't really an answer but another question and it is this: why do people being injected with placebo get exactly the same benefit as people being injected with hCG? Well, folks, that's the placebo effect for you. I'm not trying to argue that the placebo effect isn't real, just that it doesn't discriminate. It works equally well (or poorly) provided that the patient doesn't know and cannot tell the difference. It's the power of the mind to experience what it believes..
But if it 'Works', Who Cares Why?
The short answer is that doctors care why. Scientists care why. We care why because science, medical science above all, is about truth. It's about trying to determine what really works and what is only placebo. We care about this because things that really work, that have a real effect independent of the mind's expectations, save lives. Think of antibiotics. They really work and they really work because they are chemicals that mess-up the way bacteria reproduce and live. They work even if the patient taking them believes that they will not. That's why it matters.
Science is not some conspiracy of technocrats. Science is probably the most radical and beautiful invention of the human mind in history. It is a way to see outside, beyond our prejudices, into the world out "there" and to probe it and question it and learn from it. It is what built the modern world with all its horrors and miracles. It is what really works every time in every place and it is why we no longer believe that lightening is sign of some God's anger or that statues of stone can cry, why we know there is no such thing as a witch or a demon and why we know that water cannot turn into wine, that effects cannot precede causes and that no matter what we believe, there really is something solid beyond that veil that we can touch and learn from if we have the courage.
In other words, the hCG diet is nothing more than hocus pocus and a rip-off. It's snake oil. You deserve better.
Here is What the US Food and Drug Administration Has to Say About hCG for Weight Loss
Weight Loss Rip-Offs >