HCG stands for Human Chorionic Genadotropin. It is a glycoprotein that is made up of two hundred and thirty-seven amino acids. The main purpose for this protein is its use during pregnancy. One thing that it does during this time is allows progesterone to secrete, which in turn assists in having good blood vessels and capillaries that help to support the growing fetus. It can also be used to monitor certain diseases, and even tumors. Could it be used as a weight loss supplement as well though ?
HCG and Weight Loss
The use of this substance was first connected to weight loss through a Dr. Simmons. Which after ten years of study with both male and female subjects was able to conclude that when HCG was put together with a strict eating and exercise plan, it was possible to lose weight. Because of its effect on the hypothalamus, there is also an effect which helps curb cravings and decrease appetite. Although this is true, I was unable to substantiate these findings through actual research papers.
Studies on weight loss
There are other research studies that have been done which point toward the opposite of the HCG not being the main factor in the weight loss that was seen. In one study, which took place using obese women in a clinical setting. The subjects received the same diet and calories and were weighed on a regular basis. One group was injected with the HCG and the other was not. The end results showed HCG as having no effect on the weight reduction seen between the two groups. In another similar study, two groups were tested, one was injected with HCG, while the other was injected with a placebo. The results of this study were identical which may point toward some other factor being the cause of the weight lost. There was also a study that looked at previous studies and the methods that were used. A score from 16-100 points were given showing their level of methodology. Upon finishing the review, it was concluded that HCG has no scientific evidence for any effectivness in treating obesity and helping with weight loss.
How can it assist in performance ?
Although the main reason for this protein is what was previously mentioned, it has also been used by athletes as a performance enhancing hormone. HCG is used mainly during and after cycles in order to maintain testes size and natural production of testosterone. At some point though, after too many high level steroids have been used, this can decrease leutinizing hormone which is responsible for transporting testosterone from the pituitary gland to the testes. This is where the HCG can be used in place of LH. At some point though, a peak will be reached where your own production of testosterone will have decreased, and the effectiveness of the drugs will plateau. Using this or any other steroid for enhancing performance is only short term.
Although this may be discouraging concerning the lack of using HCG for weight loss, there are other uses for HCG as well. As mentioned before, it is a factor in the development of a fetus during pregnancy, so some of these conditions are within the field of health and wellness. This focuses more on your overall health and not only fitness. HCG plays a role in monitoring pregnancy and ovarian cell tumors. In one study HCG promoted migration of the tumors. This says that HCG may be able to regulate metastasis of ovarian cancer, and possibly be used theraputicly in the treatment of ovarian cancer. Other studies have shown similar results. In another study, it showed the influence of HCG on marking the formation of a tumor in breast cancer. It can also decrease the expression of estrogen receptors which protect against breast cancer.
These previous studies mentioned, along with many others show the impact that HCG can have on certain cancer cells within the female body and at some point may be used as a form of therapy in treating different types of cancer which is a big step in the right direction of fighting cancer.
Although the protein HCG hasn’t been shown to help in weight loss, there are other positive factors that its use can bring, including assistance in performance and workouts, as well as a possible use in treating different types of cancers that someone may have.
Overall, studies showed that HCG is ineffective when it comes to weight loss, and that the weight loss that was seen in the subjects that were being tested, probably came from other factors involved such as eating habits, as well as level of activity. Also, although many people use HCG for performance enhancing purposes, because of its effects on the bodies’ natural production of hormones, this is not advised. Also, the fact that there is a chance of HCG having a positive effect on medical conditions is encouraging and may be more promising when more research has been done.