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A 28-year-old female asked:

Is the hcg diet healthy? a naturopath suggested it to me, but i'm skeptical. i have been hearing a lot about this lately and i've heard from some medical professionals that it's totally safe with no side effects. i want to have a baby soon but want to los

5 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mary Engrav
Dr. Mary Engravanswered
Emergency Medicine 31 years experience
There : There is no scientific evidence at this time that shows that the HCG diet (hcg is the hormone of pregnancy) is safe or effective. The HCG diet is controversial. The safest way to lose weight is eat smaller portions and exercise such as walk. Walk one mile a day in a safe area with a friend or relative. Drink plenty of water.
Dr. Pouya Shafipour
Family Medicine 23 years experience
Not recommended: I've been practicing weight loss for over 5 years and have used HCG diet but have not had good results. It's a pregnancy hormone that is not natural, in females will mess up your periods and the diet they recommend with it is extremely low calorie and not sustainable (500 calories/day). You need to pick a diet you can stick to and follow. I suggest low carb ketogenic diet or a zone diet.
Dr. Michael Rothman
Internal Medicine 35 years experience
Yes: The HCG diet was originally developed by a.T.W. Simeons M.D. During the 1940's -1950's. It has been used all over the world for over 50 years. This method is extremely safe & effective when used under the care of an experienced & trained md. Apparently HCG has an effect on your hypothalamus, increasing adiponectin levels & reducing leptin resistance. The method must be followed strictly to work.
Dr. Erik Borncamp
Wound care 25 years experience
Who knows ?: By definition, "alternative" is different than modern western medicine. Generally any drug, herb, treatment, or procedure that stands up to rigorous scientific scrutiny is included in modern medicine. The problem is that many alternative practices, herbs etc do not stand up to scientific scrutiny and cannot be shown to work. They therefore remain "alternative". Be careful. Watch your $$$
Dr. Jovita Anyanwu
Internal Medicine 30 years experience
Dangerous : This type of diet could be unhealthy due to the extreme limitations in calories makes it impossible to get enough vitamins other essential nutrients, the injection of HCG could have adverse effects, the diets work due to the severe restrictions in calories however when the person resumes regular eating the weight will pack back.

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Last updated May 15, 2017

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