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A 45-year-old member asked:

I know someone who wants to use hcg human chorionic gonadotropin diet. is it safe?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Namey
Rheumatology 49 years experience
No.: And little evidence that it works. And it is not safe.
Dr. Jay Rosenfeld
A Verified Doctor commented
A US doctor answered Learn more
Restricting someone to 500 calories a day will cause rapid weight loss but will likely slow the metabolism so much that as soon as you go off the diet, you gain back all the weight and even more. This HCG diet was promoted back in the 50s. It didn't work then and it doesn't work now.
Jul 30, 2012
Dr. Michael Sinclair
Family Medicine 39 years experience
500 cal/day ??: The weight loss is due to the severe caloric restriction. In men with low testosterone and normal testicles, it may work better because the HCG will increase the testosterone level. In women, HCG may increase progesterone. Higher Progesterone may lead to less anxiety and therefore less eating. Overall, smart eating plus increased activity is a better choice.
Dr. Jay Rosenfeld
A Verified Doctoranswered
33 years experience
See below: This was a diet that was promoted in the 1950's and then someone "rediscoverered" it and it has become just the latest diet fad. It did not work then and it does not work now. It restricts calories to 500 per day which is basically a starvation diet. This will cause weight loss initially but as soon as you go off of it the weight will rapidly come back due the suppressed metabolism.

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Last updated Jun 30, 2014
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