According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC,) in 2016, 39.8% of adult Americans aged 20 and older were living with obesity (clinical diagnosis weight levels.)
This harrowing statistic perfectly captures the dire state of affairs that is the country’s substantial (and rising) obesity epidemic. It also highlights the need for even more urgent concern on the matter and better gameplans to tackle this issue at the national and personal level.
Obesity is arguably one of the worst (preventable) physical states for your overall health and wellbeing.
According to the available research, being obese dramatically increases your risk of developing severe health conditions like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney and liver disease, respiratory problems, several cancer types, fertility issues, and depression.
Unsurprisingly, studies also show that obesity is a significant contributor to early mortality. One 2017 preliminary investigation carried out by researchers at Cleveland Clinic found that obesity is now the top cause of preventable life-years lost, displacing top contenders like tobacco use, diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension.
Consequently, there never was a time that it was more critical to figure out the weight-loss puzzle than it is today.
However, the weight loss industry is heavy with endless methods, diets, diet pills, gym programs, and all types of experts, charlatans, and fads. Shortage of techniques has never been the problem. Finding one that works is the issue.
HCG drops are another one of the many weight loss aids, with many proponents swearing by its effectiveness. The theory held by HCG promoters is that this hormone can help to help you “reset your metabolism” and activate systems that trigger rapid weight loss.
How effective is HCG for weight loss, and what are the best HCG drops you can try?
Do HCG Drops Work For Weight Loss?
The best way to figure out if HCG drops are a viable option for supporting weight loss is to examine the arguments for and against its use.
The theory that proponents of HCG (use for weight loss) extol claims that, in pregnant women, the hormone, HCG, enhances metabolism and fat oxidation, reduces appetite, and increases satiety.
Hence, these folks believe that exogenous HCG can reduce hunger pangs and cravings and lead to rapid weight loss in any individual.
However, this theory comes with a twist.
According to British endocrinologist Albert T. W. Simeons, the first physician to recommend HCG for weight loss (in 1954,) to enjoy the purported benefits of HCG-fueled weight loss, you also have to adopt a unique calorie-restrictive diet known as the HCG diet.
Proponents of HCG often use one study into the effect of the HCG diet, the Asher-Harper research of 1973, as backing for this theory. In this study, the researchers placed twenty women with obesity on a 500-550 calorie diet while giving them injections of 125 IU of HCG 6 days each week for six weeks.
At the end of the research period, the researchers found that patients in the group that received HCG supplements, on average, lost more weight and reported fewer feelings of hunger and discomfort than the control group who were on a similar diet but only got placebo injections.
The researchers concluded that the results were statistically significant and indicated the potential benefits of HCG use.
However, this study remains unreplicated.
Info: Historical Basis
HCG first gained its reputation as a purported weight-loss agent in 1954, when physician Albert T. W. Simeons suggested that injections of HCG could stimulate rapid weight loss.
He based his claim on the result of then-existing treatment schemes that used HCG as an adjunct for treating children with Fröhlich’s syndrome, a pituitary condition with symptoms like obesity malformation of the reproductive organs.
The physician posited that exogenous HCG might help other obese individuals (those without pituitary problems) lose weight. However, after running a few (unreplicated) tests, he suggested combining HCG injection with an extreme calorie-deficit diet (now known as the HCG diet.)
Simeons based his recommendations on his claims that the hormone was a potent appetite suppressant that made subsisting on such a restrictive diet possible.
The HCG Diet
While there are now many variants of the HCG diet, the core tenet that remains the same across all formulas is restricting your calorie intake to only 500 calories per day over eight weeks. During this period, you receive HCG either via shots or a homeopathic HCG product such as HCG drops.
The original HCG diet recommended by Simeons in his 1954 book, Pounds and Inches, is a 500-calorie-per-day setup with high-protein and low carbohydrate and fat consumption.
However, today, you can find variants of the diet that include vegetables, fruits, and bread.
Nevertheless, the diet plan’s defining factor is that you can only consume around 500 calories each day, a far cry from the official diet recommendation of between 2000 to 3000 calories per day for adult men and 1600 to 2400 calories for adult women.
Some physicians recommend extreme low-calorie diets for some people with moderate to severe obesity as a drastic solution for mitigating life-threatening symptoms like high blood pressure and stroke.
However, in this case, healthcare practitioners often follow such diet plans with strict (and continuous) medical supervision.
Most experts will consider subsisting on only 500 calories each day a very unhealthy way to live outside these controlled situations. In some cases, especially for those with preexisting health issues, such diets might even be dangerous.
People on very-low-calorie diets may experience deficiencies in many vital nutrients that are essential for proper bodily function. Possible complications that may result from such a restrictive diet include increased predisposition to falling ill, irregular heartbeat, electrolyte imbalance that can impede muscles and nerves function, gallstone formation, and even death.
The U.S Food and Drug Administration, FDA, warns vehemently against extreme calorie restrictions like the HCG diet.
Scientific and Regulatory Overview
The scientific issues with the HCG diet and HCG used for weight loss begin with Simeons’ original HCG diet.
After Simeons published his recommendations in 1954, several other researchers tried but failed to confirm his conclusions with independent experiments. However, this fact did not stop the diet plan’s spread, and supplementation as the fad quickly caught on here in the U.S.
In 1976, the Federal Trade Commission pursued legal action against Simeons’ Corporation, and during the proceedings of this investigation, independent researchers were unable to validate Simeons’ original conclusions.
Consequently, the FDA mandated a disclaimer for all HCG diet advertisements that still hold to this day. The release includes warnings that the HCG weight loss techniques like HCG injections and the HCG diet are unapproved and considered unsafe by the FDA for weight control and the treatment of obesity.
Furthermore, the disclaimer highlighted that:
- There is no substantial scientific evidence backing claims that HCG enhances weight loss.
- No scientific backing to the claim that HCG decreases the discomfort and hunger pangs that should stem from such a restrictive diet
- Any eventual weight loss from these plans is most likely due to caloric restriction.
Aside from the regulatory framework, all available scientific literature also bears a similar consensus on HCG use and the HCG diet.
In a landmark 1976 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the researchers concluded that HCG isn’t any more useful for promoting weight loss than practicing dietary restriction without the supplement. The researchers attempted but failed to replicate the results from the now infamous Asher-Harper study of 1973.
Further buttressing the scientific against HCG use for weight loss is a 1995 meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
In the meta-review, the researchers concluded that all the studies supporting the use of the hormone for weight loss were dreadfully inadequate. They pointed out that studies like the Asher-Harper study lacked methodological quality and did not present any clear-cut scientific evidence that the remedy works for weight loss or reducing hunger pangs.
Today, the consensus in the scientific community is that the report of this 1995 analysis holds.
All the available research points to the fact that HCG is ineffective for treating obesity. According to the literature, there is no evidence that HCG affects fat management or hunger-reduction.
Many researchers in the field also consider the use of this hormone therapy inappropriate and potentially dangerous. Researchers in one 1977 study went as far as to speculate that people promoting the HCG hormone for weight loss could only be financially-motivated charlatans.
Consequently, several major health organizations like the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Society of Bariatric Physicians have spoken against HCG for weight loss. The AMA has also passed policies to mitigate its use or recommendation.
Homeopathic HCG Drops
The current classification of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) by the FDA is a prescription drug that is unapproved for over-the-counter sales anywhere in the country.
While the agency has approved the use of HCG injections for fertility treatments and therapy for certain hormone disorders, the FDA strongly kicks against its use for weight loss. This designation that the hormone currently bears has made it exceedingly difficult for proponents of this therapy to get HCG supplies.
Consequently, in recent years, there has been a rise in marketing (especially on the internet) of homeopathic HCG versions for rapid weight loss. “Homeopathic HCG” manufacturers claim to sell products made via the homeopathic dilution of the hormone and hence contain only trace amounts of HCG or none at all.
Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine developed based on a series of ideas by Samuel Hahnemann, an 18th Century German doctor. Proponents of the practice believe that you can make the body heal itself by introducing highly diluted versions of certain substances.
The majority of the scientific community considers homeopathy to be a pseudoscience with a zero chance of effectiveness.
Similarly, a 2010 report by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee in the U.K established that homeopathic remedies were no better than placebos for treating health conditions. The reviewers went on to state that the founding principles behind homeopathy are scientifically unsound and implausible.
However, the Simeons’ HCG diet plan that requires a minimum intake of 125 IU of HCG per day has been invalidated repeatedly by scientific research. Hence, it is almost impossible to make any reasonable case for a homeopathic version of the hormone that contains little or no HCG at all.
Plus, even this corner of the market has not been exempt from regulatory scrutiny.
In 2011, the FDA officially deemed all over-the-counter HCG for weight products, including homeopathic solutions, ineffective, fraudulent, and illegal. In the same year, the FDA began taking action against many of these homeopathic HCG manufacturers and pulling their products from the market.
On the heels of this crackdown, many manufacturers started switching to alternatives like “hormone-free” versions they claim could stimulate HCG production and weight loss.
Hormone-Free HCG Drops
With the massive clampdown on HCG products here in the U.S., many companies now focus instead on creating “hormone-free” HCG drops. These products do not contain HCG at all.
While manufacturers may market these options as solutions with “HCG essence” (whatever that means) or ones containing the “energy of HCG” transferred through radionics, at their core, these products are simply a market filler for the space left by banned HCG products.
With most of the items, you are getting an unproven mix of amino acids, and in the best case, you get an excellent general nutrient supplement.
HCG for weight loss and HCG diet plans are arguably some of the most controversial weight loss systems of all time.
On the one hand, you will find hundreds of brands and modifications to the formula that all promise efficacy for rapid weight loss. Furthermore, if you scour the web for content, you will get reviews from tens of thousands of people who swear by the effectiveness of these formulas in their weight loss journey.
However, on the flipside, the expert consensus on the matter is that these systems do not work and that any weight loss gained from using HCG and associated formulas stems from the calorie-restricting diet and not the products.
Knowing the amount of hogwash that abound in the weight loss industry, we will have to err on the side of caution and side with the experts on this one.
Nevertheless, it is not easy to dismiss a movement with such a large following over the past few decades as nonsense without a second look.
If you don’t mind enjoying the placebo effects that may come with a system back by so much belief, or would like to try out these formulas for yourself to see what the fuss is about, we have handpicked some of the best options of the market for you.
4 Best HCG Drops for Weight Loss
1. HCG Warrior
HCG Warrior is currently one of the largest homeopathic HCG manufacturers worldwide, with their website reporting total sale numbers of around 100,000 bottles. Hence, HCG offers one of the first stops for people seeking homeopathic HCG.
According to the product information, HCG Warrior’s formula is a homeopathic solution of real HCG hormone, available in 6X, 12X, 30X, 60X hormone-to-solution variants. Plus, this mix also includes a selection of amino acids that further increase adsorption and promote fat burn.
From their base in Canada, HCG Warrior ships their products in options for a 27-day or 40-diet plan, complete with meal instructions to help you meet your weight loss goals.
For the best results, the manufacturer recommends placing 10 to 15 drops of HCG Warrior under your tongue three times each day. The company also recommends pairing the supplement with potassium pills and Vitamin B12.
2. Official HCG Diet Drops
Official HCG is another famous diet drop formula that promises a faster track to lose all of that extra weight. This supplement formula ships with a 45-day diet plan that claims to help you shred the fat and match your weight loss goals without the need for rigorous exercise.
With Official HCG Diet Drops, aside from their well-recommended product, you also get some of the best addons you will find on any product in the space.
Each purchase grants you access to PDFs of an official HCG weight loss guide that walks you through the 45-day program, the original Pound and Inches book by Dr. Simeons, an HCG Recipes book for easier meal prep, and a weight loss log to track your gains.
Official HCG Diet Drops also ship with a 90-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee.
3. The HCG Solution
The HCG Solution from NiGen BioTech takes a different route to their own formula.
Here, the manufacturer opts instead to create an original legal HCG-Esque formulation that matches the full spectrum of the HCG by replacing each amino acid isolate in the hormone with a matching substitute drawn from a host of certified grade raw materials.
Consequently, with the HCG Solution, NiGen BioTech aims to give you a substance that isn’t the actual HCG hormone yet packs all of the chemical markers, and by extension, its positive impact on weight loss.
The HCG Solution from NiGen BioTech is also unique among most formulations in the category as it is one of the few that packs a pleasant taste. Other ingredients in the formula include alcohol, sucralose, malic acid, gum arabic, natural and artificial flavors, and water.
4. Complex Diet Drops
Originally marketed as "HCG Complex," complex diet drops was one of the original hormone-free diet drops that sought to mimic the purported weight-loss powers of HCG via a mix of metabolism-boosting supplements.
Today, complex diet drops are still raking in sales as a top-rated, all-natural diet drop that is hormone-free, alcohol-free, and made entirely of herbal extracts.
Complex diet drops feature a formula that packs over 25 amino acids, vitamins, and a host of natural extracts to provide you with superior weight loss support for a risk-free alternative to HCG injections.
Like most regular HCG weight loss products, Complex diet drops ship with a proprietary extreme low-calorie diet. Here, you get more varied options, including a 500, 800, 1200 calorie diet with match 23-day or 40-day plans.
Complex diet drops are made in the USA in cGMP-certified manufacturing facilities that assure superior quality checks.
Each batch of this product has a shelf life of 2 years and ships with a 30-Day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee.