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The following information is for educational purposes only. Due to new FDA Compounding Guidelines and Telehealth Certifications,
Nu Image Medical no longer offers the HCG Weight Loss Program. GOOD NEWS! We have developed something better and easier: WAYT-less!

About Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)

About Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)

About HCG

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is the hormone used in the HCG diet, and it is regularly used as a safe an effective weight loss aid. The hormone is produced by the placenta during pregnancy and it supports the development of the fetus. HCG has several clinical applications and it has been used to treat obesity and infertility in both men and women, as well as pituitary gland disorders. HCG plays many different roles for a pregnant mother, many of them which are still being researched, but one of its most important functions is to provide the developing fetus enough energy it needs to grow throughout the entire pregnancy and even if the mother is unable to eat for a period of time.

HCG is able to do this by releasing fat reserves in the pregnant mother, and the levels of HCG peak at around 8 to 11 weeks of pregnancy. HCG levels double ever 48 to 72 hours in the majority of pregnancies, and as HCG levels continue to increase the rate of doubling starts to slow down to every 96 hours [1]. It is thought that HCG levels peak early on in pregnancy as an evolutionary protection. Before modern pregnancy tests women would often not know that they were pregnant. The presence of HCG would ensure that the embryo had sufficient nutrition in the circumstance that the mother neglected her nutrition as a result of not knowing she was pregnant.

HCG is proven to be effective as a weight loss aid

Studies have shown that HCG is an effective weight loss aid compared to a placebo. Although hundreds of thousands of people have successfully used the hormone in accordance to the Simeons protocol to lose weight, scientific studies have also proven that HCG works in the body to accomplish several important weight loss goals and increase the rate of fat loss. Specifically, HCG is shown to increase weight loss on a very low calorie diet compared to a placebo [2]. It also reduces the appetite and contributes to a feeling of well-being while on a very low calorie diet [2]. So far, HCG has only been proven to increase fat loss in combination with a 500 to 550-kcal diet that is essentially free of fat, sugar and starches. This is why the Simeons protocol for the HCG diet is still used as the basis for modern HCG diets.

Any deviation from the protocol in terms of increasing fat intake or ingesting any form of oil may interfere with HCG and cause weight loss stalls. Diets that have attempted to change the Simeons HCG diet protocol too much end up being ineffective. The Simeons protocol carefully selects the foods for the diet so that they don't interfere with HCG, and the food choices allow HCG to metabolize abnormal fat at the highest rate possible during a 23 to 43 day VLCD. The 43 day VLCD is selected by dieters who want to lose more than 15 pounds, and weight loss of anywhere from .2 to 1 pound per day can be seen on either diet. After the diet has been completed, a 6 week break is taken before the next optional cycle.

HCG corrects an incorrectly functioning hypothalamus

The hypothalamus is the center of the brain that has several functions including regulating appetite, thirst, sleep cycles, body temperature, mood, hormone production and much more. The hypothalamus influences fat metabolism and it maintains homeostasis in the body, and it controls many complex feelings and motivational states that affect appetite. During infancy to early childhood the hypothalamus is operating in an optimal state and it remains that way until environmental influences affect it. Several different influences are thought to affect the functioning of the hypothalamus including stress and trauma, food choices, substance use, and other behavioral and environmental influences.

If the hypothalamus stops functioning properly there are both psychological and physical consequences including a negative mood and a perpetual feeling of dissatisfaction as well as an impaired fat metabolism. Negative moods can lead to food addictions or cravings for unhealthy foods, and the unhealthy foods continue to contribute to improper hypothalamus function. A vicious cycle is created that results in the hypothalamus operating abnormally consistently. It is thought that both the HCG diet and the HCG hormone help to reset an abnormally function hypothalamus which results in an improved feeling of well-being and appetites for healthy foods instead of sugars, fat, and starches.

HCG targets only abnormal fat

The ability for HCG to target abnormal fat makes the HCG diet a viable and effective very low calorie diet. Abnormal fat is stored by the body in undesirable locations such as the stomach, neck, thighs, buttocks and other areas when fat metabolism is slowed down and when a diet is higher in starch and sugar, both of which are readily stored by the body as fat when consumed in large quantities. Abnormal fat is the unsightly fat that dieters struggle to get rid of, and most diets unfortunately do not target this fat but instead break down important reserve fat and structural fat. Other diets also result in muscle breakdown in a process called gluconeogenesis, and the loss of lean muscle, reserve fat and structural fat is far from ideal in any circumstance.

Reserve fat is used by the body for extra energy during periods of fasting after glycogen reserves are depleted in the liver, and having reserve fat does not make a person obese or unhealthy. In addition to this fat, structural fat is used by the body to insulate organs and connective tissue, and is also a necessary type of fat as it protects the organs and cushions the feet among other important purposes. HCG specifically targets abnormal fat which is completely unnecessary and contributes to numerous health problems including a predisposition to diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses. HCG works in healthy people much the same way as it works in pregnant women by specifically breaking down abnormal fat reserves to fuel the body and converting it into a ketogenic or fat burning state.


1. American Pregnancy. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG);The Pregnancy Hormone. Jan, 2013.

2. Asher, W.L. Effect of human chorionic gonadotrophin on weight loss, hunger and feeling of well-being. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Feb, 1973.



About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

7 min read