FDA Declares HCG for Weight Loss Fraudulent and Illegal

On December 6, 2011 officials at the FDA announced that they now consider the use of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) for weight loss fraudulent and illegal. The FDA has ordered all companies involved in manufacturing and distributing HCG products for weight loss cease within the next 15 days. An official at the FDA’s fraud unit for over-the-counter products told reporters “There is no substantial evidence HCG increases weight loss….” FDA approved HCG for injection to treat infertility remains on-market.

Most of you know that Dr. Hendricks has never recommended or condoned its use for weight loss, always maintaining that HCG for weight loss was ineffective, was dangerous because of the typical HCG diet, and that providers of health care who treated patients with it were misguided.

We can expect that after a few weeks any patient taking HCG drops, pellets or sprays will no longer be able to obtain these products. Some clinics and offices that have offered HCG treatment will likely close down. Others will try to turn their patients to other methods of weight loss including HCG by injection.

Frequently Asked Questions about HCG:

Q: I have a friend who has been treated with HCG and has lost weight. What should she do now?

A: Patients who lose weight with HCG, with or without the HCG diet, typically regain the weight lost soon after discontinuation of HCG. Some patients maintain the weight loss for a while but maintenance is made very difficult because they have lost muscle mass and therefore have a greater decline in metabolic rate than would occur with a diet with more protein.

To recover from HCG weight loss programs and maintain any weight lost these patients should be put on a low carbohydrate diet with optimum protein. Some will do better if long-term phentermine or other obesity medicine therapy is added.

Q: Will you accept patients and help patients recover from HCG treatment?

A: Yes, of course.

Q: Will people who did a HCG weight loss program have lingering effects?

A: No. HCG is a natural protein hormone that is degraded quickly. There will be no lingering effects from the HCG but lingering protein deficiency may occur. HCG administered as drops or pills typically degrades in the mouth and never gets into the bloodstream. Injected HCG is also rapidly degraded.

Q: Should my friend go back to the same clinic for HCG injections?

A: I wouldn’t recommend it. HCG injections have proven to be ineffective for weight loss and are no better than the oral products. Health care providers who pushed HCG for weight loss were more interested in profit than in good patient care. I wouldn’t recommend going back.