'HCG diet' stirs debate over weight-loss claims
April 20, 2008
Ask an obese man to take a pregnancy test and there's a chance
he'll test positive.
That's because men and women throughout the country are latching on
to a weight-loss craze—the HCG diet—and injecting themselves with
pregnancy hormones in order to shed pounds.
Logically speaking, the diet makes sense, said Robert Kushner,
professor of medicine at Northwestern University, who studied the
weight-loss method. But he doesn't support it. "It's a waste of
money, time and effort," he said.
HCG, which stands for human chorionic gonadotropin, is the hormone
that pregnant women produce. During a pregnancy, the fetus needs an
abundance of calories to grow, and HCG is believed to mobilize fat.
In other words, the hormone converts the mother's abdominal fat into
calories for the baby to use, essentially stimulating her
metabolism, explained Brock Dunn, a counselor at Native Healing
Ways, which sells HCG nationally by mail.
"We have thousands of people getting it from us," Dunn said. "You
get to the point where it's a last chance for people, and it's
Those who inject the hormone when they're not pregnant lose about a
pound a day, Dunn said. The weight-loss method costs about $60 a
week, taking six weeks to complete.
Shalom Shick, a 51-year-old from Tennessee, said she tried more than
100 diets before discovering HCG in September. "I was already obese,
and I was headed for morbid obesity," Shick said. "I was really
scared, and I was praying that some solution would come my way."
That solution came in the form of a late-night infomercial about the
hormones. She got a prescription from a doctor over the phone whom
she hadn't met in person and eventually started ordering HCG from
overseas because of the low price. Shick said she has lost 45 pounds
in five months. She takes HCG twice a day, which she said blunts her
hunger, making it possible for her to stick to a 500-calorie-a-day
The online health message boards are buzzing with the news of the
hormone, even though the Food and Drug Administration doesn't
approve of HCG for weight loss and the few doctors administering HCG
in Illinois quickly closed their doors and disappeared once their
names became popular through word of mouth.
Furthermore, Kevin Trudeau, author of "The Weight Loss Cure" and a
key HCG diet advocate, was charged in September by the Federal Trade
Commission with deceptive practices and earlier accused by the New
York State Consumer Protection Board of selling names and contact
information to telemarketers.
Now, the only place to get the hormone locally is online, but that
may not stop Julie Bronski of Chicago, who said she's determined to
lose at least 100 pounds.
After reading the reviews of Trudeau's book on amazon.com, Bronski
said she will ask her doctor about the weight-loss hormone in the
hope of losing as much weight as the publicized claims.
"One guy said he lost all this weight after two weeks," Bronski
said. "I'm the one who always tries everything, so I'm hoping this
diet will work."
The HCG diet was actually created decades ago in Europe, and
although it moved through the United States about 30 years ago, it
has been resurrected in recent months because people are looking for
a quick solution more than ever before, said Kushner, who reviewed
the studies when they arrived here in the 1970s.
Although using HCG for weight loss hasn't been shown to do any
damage, Kushner said, it doesn't have any effect on losing the
pounds. What did have an effect, he said, was the 500-calorie diet
that many of the HCG patients adhered to, in addition to the
"There are so many people who are struggling to manage their body
weight, and they're frustrated, anxious, desperate to get their
weight under control," Kushner said.
John Bersin, co-owner of HCG Medical, a consulting company that
connects doctors with HCG-hungry patients, said that although the
hormone shouldn't be considered a "magic pill," he has thousands of
people waiting to try it.
"It's a national phenomenon right now," he said, adding that the
hormone can cause people to feel less hungry and more regulated."
Copyright © 2008,
My personal commentary:
Firstly, a man using hCG for weight reduction is
NOT going to test positive for pregnancy! The Protocol simply
doesn't use a dosage anywhere near high enough for that to happen.
Dr. Gedde had already been treating me for
hypothyroidism, adrenal issues, Hashimoto's and other hormonal
irregularities for quite some time. My patient relationship with
her as my doctor was prefaced by intensive scrutiny of blood, saliva and
other test results as well as extensive personal interviews that took
far more time than any other doctor has spent with me that I can
HCG doesn't just 'blunt' hunger. It actually
enables the body to access the 'stubborn fat stores' to the tune of
approximately 2000 calories a day, so that one is receiving nutrients
more than sufficient to prevent hunger in addition to the 500 calories
allowed per day. The 500 calories are from specified food sources,
ensuring that adequate protein is consumed daily.
Kevin Trudeau was charged for making the statement
in his infomercial for his book 'The Weight Loss Cure They Don't Want
You to Know About' that, after completing the Protocol, one can eat
anything they want. I do not consider this fraudulent. The
key word in his statement is 'want'. The hCG enables the body to
re-set the hypothalamus such that one no longer 'wants' the same kinds
of foods the same way one did prior to taking the hCG in the prescribed
manner. Further, his previous 'debt to society' has been paid for
other charges in the past and is irrelevant to the current discussion!
He has done a great service to the public bringing this Protocol to
light after it has been suppressed by the FDA and who knows what other
accomplices. That suppression has been downright sinful, in my
opinion, considering all those who have needlessly continued to suffer,
or have even died, due to obesity and related complications!
On April 29, 2008, Shalom Shick appeared
on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, a nationally syndicated
television program through Fox. Her doctor, Dr. Margaret Gedde, as
well as a couple who have done the hCG Protocol together with success,
were all interviewed. There was a doctor and a dietician who had
opposing viewpoints. The producers were unable to find anyone who
could come on the show to state that they had had poor results or were
damaged in any way by the Simeons' hCG Protocol! You may see the
footage of that show and the 'Green Room' videos as well here:
National Televison NYC