Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Holistic Hottie™: The HCG Diet - What is it? Is it worth it?

The HCG diet has been a popular subject recently - especially after being featured on a recent Dr. Oz episode.  If you missed the episode, you can check out a clip here:  

So, should you or shouldn't you? Is it really worth it?

Here is some information directly from Ray Peat, PhD, a biochemist who has been studying nutrition and human physiology for many decades.  I have added bold highlights for emphasis:

"Many reducing clinics are using injections of the pregnancy homone, Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin, for the purpose of making reducing diets easier and possibly improving fat distribution. This hormone shifts energy metabolism toward the use of fat rather than sugar, and so allows the blood sugar level to rise. This suppresses the appetite".

"The hormone is produced by the placenta to make sugar available for the growing fetus. It helps the placenta to develop fully, and has been shown to have a profound influence on the development of the brain and fetus. HCG and similar hormones produce more intelligent offspring both in animals and humans...

"Recently, Dr. G.G. Costa and others at the Medical College of Virginia developed a test for cancer which probably involves this "pregnancy metabolism". They feed the patient some radioactive fat, and a person with even a very small cancer will breathe out about 3 times as much radioactive carbon dioxide, showing that the metabolism shifts towards fat mebolization at an early stage of cancerization.

"Cancers, like emryos, live mostly on sugar. High blood sugar is maintained by causing the body to consume itself (fat and protein) while leaving sugar for the growing tissue.

"HCG is very important for health and intelligence of babies. It certainly should make reducing easier, but at present it seems risky, since it could promote the growth of a hidden cancer.

"Until it can be shown that this doesn't occur. I think HCG should be used only during pregnancy, when it is helpful in strengthening the placenta. Some cancers are caused to grow faster by pregnancy, and HCG might have the same effect... It should not be promoted mindlessly".

And being promoted mindlessly is exactly what we're seeing now.


HCG encourages the metabolism of fat instead of sugar AND it suppresses the appetite.  This all sounds great - BUT -  do you really want to take a hormone that might increase your own chances for developing cancer?

I understand that a lot of people just want RESULTS and they'll take their chances.  To me, it doesn't seem worth it.

Besides, In a recent double blind study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (, it was determined that using HCG was ineffective in promoting weight loss.  But if it HAS been effective for some people, could it be due to a recommended diet of 500 kcalories a day?  I'm not recommending such extreme caloric restriction by any means.  But, really, who WOULDN'T lose weight on a diet like that?


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  2. I don't think this is a good idea at all! Tetanus shots laced with HCG have caused reproduction problems with women in the past. If you are trying to reproduce i wouldn't touch HCG.