The full name ‘human Chorionic Gonadotropin’ is a bit of a mouthful, so this substance is commonly referred to as ‘hCG’. HCG is a hormone that occurs naturally in both men and women, but the levels of hCG in the body are highest during the early stages of pregnancy. At this time, hCG helps to protect the developing foetus, ensuring that it gets sufficient nourishment from Mom’s body – even before she realizes that she should be ‘eating for two’.
Medically, hCG has been used in the treatment of hypogonadism in young men who are experiencing late sexual maturity and it is known to boost testosterone levels. While treating overweight young men with this specific medical problem, an eminent British endocrinologist, Dr Simeons, discovered that his patients experienced enhanced weight loss on a calorie restricted diet. Intrigued by this unexpected result, he conducted a decade’s worth of research resulting in the publication of his book, ‘Pounds and Inches’ in 1967.
Although there is still considerable controversy surrounding this application of hCG, it is known that the hormone resets the metabolism of women during their early pregnancy, enhancing fat burning and that Dr Simeon’s research seemed to confirm that this effect of hCG was also applicable to men.
Another medical use of hCG that is still applied today is its use in the treatment of infertility in women. hCG has made many couples happy by helping them to be blessed with the child that they have been hoping for. It is also often used in pregnancy testing and in monitoring female health after a miscarriage. It’s also a tumour marker used in testing for certain types of cancer. It should be noted that hCG is, in itself, not considered to be harmful to the body.
Although hCG is best known as a ‘pregnancy hormone’ produced by the fertilized ovum, it is also produced in the pituitary gland of both males and females.
hCG as a weight loss aid has recently experienced a resurgence in popularity thanks to the work of Kevin Trudeau who published his own book on hCG, ‘The weight loss cure they don’t want you to know about’ in 2007. He also introduced some variants of the original hCG diet including options with less drastic calorie restrictions.
hCG supplements are administered in a number of ways for example, it can be taken in the form of drops, pills and injections.