ZocdocAnswersCan HCG help with weight loss?

Question

Can HCG help with weight loss?

I'm a 55 year old woman going through menopause. One of my friends, who's also in menopause, said that when she began taking HCG for her hot flashes, it also helped her lose a bunch of weight. Is this true? Is it safe to take HCG for weight loss?

Answer

Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for your health. I encourage you to talk to your doctor about healthy weight loss, menopause and menopause symptom control. There is no evidence that HCG is an effective way to lose weight. Firstly, HCG is the human chorinic gonadotropin, a hormone produced by the embyro and placenta during pregnancy. It is found in urine and measurement of it is the basis for the urine pregnancy test. There was initial claims it worked with a 500 calorie a day diet (a starvation diet), however any weight loss was likely from the low calorie diet. There have been many studies that looked at injectable and sublingual HCG and never showed that it helps lose weight. It was previously used in the 1950-1960s but the FDA eventually said it was not worthwhile in the 1970s. I would not recommend it. There are other medicines that one can take to help menopause symptoms. Of note, weight can is a menopause symptoms. HCG is not commonly used for menopause. More common is estrogen and progesterone. There are unfortunately risks to any hormone replacement therapy (including cancer and heart disease) that you should discuss with your doctor before taking any hormone. HCG is neither safe nor effective for weight loss. Talk with your doctor.

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