HCG Diet FAQs

What is HCG?

HCG is an abbreviation for Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin. It is a hormone that is produced by the placenta during pregnancy. Women make the equivalent of millions of International Units (IUs) during pregnancy. It is believed that HCG maximizes the functional capacity of the body’s control centers in the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a part of the central nervous system and controls many different body functions. Dr. Simeons believed that one center in the hypothalamus, which he called the fat bank, controls the movement and distribution of fat throughout the body. HCG mobilizes abnormal fat and releases it as a source of energy and nutrients. Thus the hypothalamus ensures that the developing fetus has access to energy and nutrients even if a pregnant woman temporarily lacks access to food, thus protecting the fetus’s growth and development. Likewise, when a patient is on the Dr. Simeons HCG Protocol small amounts of HCG have been shown to mobilize abnormal fat and to make it available to the body as a source of energy and nutrients.

If this protocol is so safe and effective why hasn’t my doctor told me about it?

Medical schools and postgraduate medical education programs do not teach this protocol. Part of the reason are the numerous poorly conducted research studies mentioned above that sought to mislead the medical community.

If this protocol were to become well known and recommended on a large scale one may expect the following:

  • A drastic reduction in the demand for pharmaceutical and surgical management of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases that are linked to obesity.
  • In general, a sharp reduction in demand for a medical industry that uses drugs and surgery to mask symptoms instead of treating the underlying causes.

Wouldn’t you think that everyone would enthusiastically welcome this? It would change the lives of millions! However, there are industries and organizations that are now capitalizing on sickness that would see a decrease in influence and profitability if this were to happen.

How is it possible to be on a 500 Calorie* per day diet while on this protocol?

Some people have a hard time understanding the rationale behind the 500 Calorie per day diet. They may say that anyone would lose weight on a 500 Calorie per day diet or that it would be impossible to follow.

If somebody were to start a 500 Calorie per day diet without HCG, he or she would experience the following: hunger, cravings, feelings of misery, loss of structural fat and muscle mass, and a lack of loss of abnormal fat deposits.

When patients start on the HCG protocol they generally lose up to one pound of abnormal fat per day. Each pound of fat contains approximately 3500 Calories. If people lose one pound of abnormal fat in one day that makes 3500 Calories available to them. This is in addition to the 500 Calories that they consume through their diet, making the total 4000 Calories. If people lose one half pound of abnormal fat, that makes 1750 Calories available to them, making the total 2250 Calories. So although the oral consumption is limited to 500 Calories per day, patients have access to adequate amounts of energy because the rest of the calories is generated internally through the breakdown of fat deposits (lipolysis).

*One food Calorie (1 kcal or 1,000 calories) is the amount of digestively available food energy (heat) that will raise the temperature of one kilogram of water one degree Celsius.

Can I use an IUD or oral contraceptives while on the HCG Diet Protocol?

Dr. Simeons did not object to his patients using oral contraceptives while on the HCG Diet Protocol. However, it is important to understand that oral contraceptives and some IUDs release chemicals that are very toxic to the human body. Side effects  include weight gain, mood disorders, altered menstrual flow, and many more. For these reasons I recommend that my patients use natural family planning or barrier contraceptive methods instead of chemical contraceptive methods. In some patients the use of oral contraceptives may cause weight gain, whereas in others there may be satisfactory weight loss while on the HCG Diet Protocol.

What is the long-term success rate?

Dr. Simeons found that the long-term success rate among the patients that he treated and followed in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s was very high. I have found that many patients who start the HCG Protocol lose their desires and cravings for junk food, and that they tend to make permanent changes in their eating habits. To ensure long-term success it is important to stay away from or minimize the consumption of any foods and food ingredients which may adversely impact the hypothalamus. As much as possible, I recommend that patients choose organic, whole foods that are not processed or adulterated in any way.

Is there any research that supports this protocol?

A significant amount of research has been done that shows that the Dr. Simeons HCG Protocol is effective for weight reduction. However, sometimes patients get concerned when they learn about conflicting information from seemingly reputable sources or research that was not done performed properly. In many of the studies listed below the researchers did not follow the exact protocol that Dr. Simeons prescribed or there is not enough information to determine if they did.

Here are possible reasons that some of the articles were critical or that some of the studies failed to show that HCG was effective:

  • The dietary protocol that the researchers recommended was not consistent with the one that Dr. Simeons prescribed for his patients.
  • The daily caloric intake that the research recommended exceeded 500 Calories.
  • The research subjects deviated from the dietary protocol that the researchers and/or Dr. Simeons recommended.
  • The amount of HCG used for the research subjects was not consistent with Dr. Simeons’s recommendations.
  • The HCG was not prepared, administered, or stored properly.
  • The study was performed by researchers who had no prior experience or skill in treating patients with the Dr. Simeons HCG Protocol and who were not expert in recognizing and addressing the patients’ individual needs and concerns.
  • Researcher bias or pressure from industry or political circles.

Regardless of the existence of these articles and studies that are critical of Dr. Simeons and his HCG weight reduction protocol, I have no doubt whatsoever that this weight reduction method is the safest and most effective that I have used in my practice in my entire career. I have seen wonderful results with my patients and personally. More than 90% of the patients who take this protocol seriously, who are willing to follow Dr. Simeons’s recommendations closely, and who follow up with me regularly are very successful in losing weight quickly, safely, and without hunger.

Here is a selection of articles and clinical studies. When available, I posted links to the full article or research abstracts (summaries).

Any articles that were critical of this protocol or studies that failed to show that HCG was effective for weight reduction are in italics.

The action of chorionic gonadotropin in the obese.
A.T.W. Simeons, M.D.
Lancet II:946-947, 1954.

Chorionic Gonadotropin in the Treatment of Obese Women
Leela S. Craig, Ruth E. Ray, Samuel H. Waxlerm, and Helen Madigan
Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Mar 1963;12:230-234.
This study failed to produce good results because the diet protocol did not follow the one that Dr. Simeons recommended.

Chorionic Gonadotrophin in the Treatment of Obese Women
A.T.W. Simeons, M.D.
Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Sep 1963;13:197-198.
This is Dr. Simeons’s rebuttal of the Craig study results.

The Use of Chorionic Gonadotropin Hormone in the Treatment of Obesity – A Double-Blind Study
Barry W. Frank
Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Mar 1964;14:133-136.
This study concluded that HCG does not have a significant impact on weight loss, but used 200 IU of hCG and 1030 calories instead of the protocol that Dr. Simeons described in Pounds and Inches.

The Use of Chorionic Gonadotropin in the Treatment of Obesity
James H. Hutton
Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Feb 1965;16:277.
This Letter to the Editor explains why the Frank study failed to get good results and affirms good results using the original protocol developed by Dr. Simeons. He stresses the following: “Each case must be handled individually, and the physician must have time to answer questions, allay fears and remove misunderstandings. He must also check the patient daily. When something goes wrong he must at once investigate until he finds the reason for any gain that may have occurred. In most cases it is useless to hand the patient a diet-sheet and let the nurse give him a ‘shot’.” This may also explain why in many other studies patients failed to lose weight while using HCG. It is this personalized approach for each individual patient that is key to successful completion of treatment.

Chorionic Gonadotrophin in the Treatment of Obesity
A.T.W. Simeons, M.D.
Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Sep 1964;15:188-190.
This article is Dr. Simeons’s rebuttal of the Frank study results.

Chorionic Gonadotropin in Obesity: Further Clinical Observations
Harry A. Gusman
Am J. Clinical Nutrition, Jun 1969;22:686-695.
This is a positive article that is based on clinical work with hCG and obesity. It explains why six studies failed to reproduce good results with hCG.

Chorionic Gonadotropin and Obesity?
Margaret J. Albrink
Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Jun 1969;22:681-685.
A negative review of the Gusman article that found hCG to be effective in weight loss.

Chorionic Gonadotropin and Obesity
James H. Hutton
Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Mar 1970;23:243-244.
A Letter to the Editor refuting the Albrink article.

Effect of human chorionic gonadotrophin on weight loss, hunger, and feeling of well-being
W.L. Asher and Harold W. Harper
Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Feb 1973;26:211-218
This is an hCG study with positive results.

The treatment of obesity
Jules Hirsch and Theodore B. Van Itallie
Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Oct 1973;26:1039-1041.
Letter refuting the Asher and Harper study results.

Human chorionic gonadotropin treatment for obesity: a rebuttal
W.L. Asher and Harold W. Harper
Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, May 1974;27:450-455.
Response to Hirsch and Van Itallie’s re-examination of their study.

Ineffectiveness of human chorionic gonadotropin in weight reduction: a double-blind study (Original Research Communications)
M.R. Stein, R.E. Julis, C.C. Peck, W. Hinshaw, J.E. Sawicki, and J.J. Deller, Jr.
Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Sep 1976;29:940-948.
An attempt to duplicate the Asher and Harper study that failed to do so.

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) in the Treatment of Obesity – A Critical Assessment of the Simeons Method
Frank L. Greenway, M.D. and George A. Bray, M.D.
Western Journal of Medicine 127:461–463, 1977
This study does not provide any information about amount of HCG that was administered. Also, although the patients received instructions regarding diet and cosmetics we don’t know to what degree the patients complied with these instructions.

Human chorionic gonadotropin in weight reduction
P. Bradley
Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, May 1977;30:649-654.
Letter to the Editor refuting the Stein study results.

Human chorionic gonadotropin in weight reduction: a reply
M.R. Stein, R.E. Julis, C.C. Peck, W. Hinshaw, J.E. Sawicki, and J.J. Deller, Jr.
Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, May 1977;30:652-653.
Rebuttal of Dr. Bradley’s article.

HCG clarification: a reply (Review article)
M.R. Stein, R.E. Julis, C.C. Peck, W. Hinshaw, J.E. Sawicki, and J.J. Deller, Jr.
Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Jan 1978;31:3-4.

HCG clarification (Commentary)
P. Bradley
Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Jan 1978;31:3-4.

Chorionic gonadotropin in weight control. A double-blind crossover study
R.L. Young, R.J. Fuchs, M.J. Woltjen
JAMA, 1976 Nov 29; 236(22):2495-7
The research abstract does not provide any information about the composition or the calorie content of the diet and the amount of HCG used and the method of its administration. Considering that the study claimed that there was no statistically significant difference between those receiving HCG vs. placebo during any phase of the study, the researchers presumably did not follow the HCG protocol as it had been prescribed by Dr. Simeons.

Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) treatment of obesity
K.R. Shetty, R.K. Kalkhoff
Arch Intern Med. 1977 Feb;137(2):151-5.
This research abstract indicates that six women were placed on 500 Calorie diets and that they were given 125 IU of HCG intramuscularly. However, it does not provide any information about the composition of the diet or any other important factors such as any medications that the women were taking. Considering that the authors claimed that HCG offers no advantage over calorie restriction in promoting weight loss, they presumably did not follow the Dr. Simeons HCG Protocol accurately.

Drug treatment of obesity
G.A. Bray, M.D.
Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Feb 1992;55:538S-544S.
Mentions hCG negative studies in the Miscellaneous section.

A Forty-Day – 550 Calorie Diet in the Treatment of Obese Outpatients
Ezra Sohar
Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Sep 1959;7:514-518
An hCG study that did not follow the exact protocol, but did get weight loss results.

Follow-up of obese patients: 14 years after a successful reducing diet
Ezra Sohar and Ephraim Sneh
Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Aug 1973;26:845-858.
Follow-up that showed that Sohar’s group of hCG patients regained the weight.

Human chorionic gonadotrophin and weight loss. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
B. Bosch, I. Venter, R.I. Stewart, S.R. Bertram
S. Afr. Med J., 1990 Feb 17;77(4):185-9
Another study that sought to mislead the medical community by claiming that there is no rationale for the use of HCG injections in the treatment of obesity. The diet used in this study supplied 5,000 kJ per day (1194 Calories per day) instead of the highly specific 500 Calories per day diet that Dr. Simeons prescribed. The research abstract does not provide any other specifics about the diet and the amount of HCG that was administered is unknown.

The effect of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the treatment of obesity by means of the Simeons therapy: a criteria-based meta-analysis
G.K. Lijesen, I. Theeuwen, W.J. Assendelft, and G. Van Der Wal
Br. J. Clin Pharmacol. 1995 September, 40(3):237-243
The authors concluded that there was no scientific evidence that HCG is effective in the treatment of obesity. However, an important problem with this meta-analysis is that many trials were conducted poorly and did not follow the Dr. Simeons protocol accurately, thus rendering its conclusion meaningless.

Use of oral hCG for treatment of obesity: A double-blind study
Photographic documentation.

Utility of an Oral Presentation of hCG (human Choriogonadotropin) for the Management of Obesity: A Double-Blind Study.
Dr. Daniel Belluscio, Dr. Leonor Ripamonte, and Dr. Marcelo Wolansky.

Utility of an oral formulation of hCG for obesity treatment: A Double-Blind Study.
Daniel O. Belluscio, M.D. and Leonor E. Ripamonte, M.D.

Successful study with before and after photos
Trudy Vogt, M.D., Daniel Belluscio, M.D.

hCG Obesity Physiology
First International Workshop on hCG and Obesity
September 24-26, 2004, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
International Foundation for Choriogonadotropin and Obesity Research (IFCOR)

Oral hCG Research Center Bibliography

Does HCG cause cancer?

Individuals (including health professionals) who don’t understand the Dr. Simeons HCG protocol or who are biased against the use of HCG for weight reduction may say a variety of things with the purpose of discouraging people from using HCG for weight reduction.

One of the things that they may say is that HCG causes cancer.

Here are the facts about the relationship between HCG and cancer:

  • HCG does not cause cancer or stimulate growth of tumors.
  • There are some tumors that produce HCG (but HCG did not cause these tumors). They include choriocarcinomas, germ cell tumors, teratomas, and islet cell tumors.

It appears that some individuals have a double standard with regard to the medical use of HCG:

  • Mainstream medicine has approved and accepted the use of HCG for use in fertility treatments. The dosages used for fertility treatments are significantly higher compared to those used for weight reduction.
  • Mainstream medicine has approved the use of HCG for boys who are sexually underdeveloped.

Pregnant women make the equivalent of millions of units of HCG. Pregnant women do not have an increased risk of cancer during or following pregnancy. If HCG causes cancer, why aren’t we advising expectant mothers of this danger? BECAUSE HCG DOES NOT CAUSE CANCER!

Disclaimer:
These statements are not approved by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Although great care has been taken to provide the above material, please note that the information provided is for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician and in no way should be taken as Medical Advice. The decision to quit any medication should be discussed with your doctor as a “risk/benefit” discussion.