HCG Oral Drops vs HCG Injections – What Works?
One of the many ways hcg selling websites have tried to make money off trusting consumers in recent years, is by packaging HCG, Human chorionic gonadotropin, in a variety of useless forms like pellets, oral drops and sprays and market them for weight loss.
Thankfully, the FDA is taking measures to protect consumers. They have started issuing warnings to companies that have been marketing these OTC HCG products. Drops and pellets of HCG are not approved by the FDA as “homeopathic” aids against weight loss. There hasn’t been enough research into how effective and safe they are.
The question that’s naturally going to come to mind now is whether or not the HCG Diet is all bunk. Are HCG injections just as bad as drops? You’ll notice that the FDA has not said anything about HCG shots in their warning notices. They are available (against a prescription).
Here’s a look at how HCG drops vs shots compare, how they are different from drops, and how they may be effective to promote weight loss.
What is HCG?
HCG, human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone that’s produced naturally in the body. It’s produced by the placenta in pregnant women and circulated through the body of the women and the fetus. HCG helps keep the levels of progesterone high, which is necessary for a safe and successful pregnancy.
Now, it may seem unusual for a natural hormone that the body makes during pregnancy, to be injected for weight loss. But that’s what the HCG Diet is about. It involves restricting yourself to a 500 or 800-calorie intake for 8 weeks while you take a shot of HCG to reset your metabolism. Your diet during this time is going to include only lunch and dinner, with a protein, a piece of fruit, one vegetable and a slice of bread per meal.
It may seem obvious that with such a meager diet, anyone will lose weight, regardless of whether they are also taking HCG injections or the effects of the low food intake. In other words, how effective is HCG in suppressing appetite? A lot more research in this area is needed, but anecdotal evidence suggests that HCG may be able to get you through your low-calorie diet without you feeling hungry and cranky all day. The jury is still out on that, but meanwhile, HCG is legal and available with a prescription. Many HCG dieters inject themselves in the thigh at home, with their daily dose.
HCG Injections Are Legal
HCG injections are fully approved by the FDA, usually for use in fertility treatments, supervised by a professional healthcare practitioner. There are different brands of HCG injections, and depending on the one being used, the doctor may administer it under the skin or intramuscular. When it’s injected into the muscles, the HCG is absorbed faster into the bloodstream, but subcutaneous injections release slower and may help keeping hcg levels steady over a day.
The reason it’s used for fertility treatment is because it is very similar in structure to the luteinizing hormone (LH.) LH triggers the release of an egg from the ovary when a follicle has matured.
Besides this HCG has found cheerleaders for weight loss due to its effects on metabolism and reduction of appetite. Having said that, anyone who is obese with high blood pressure and wants to follow the HCG diet should be under a doctor’s supervision throughout the program and recheck their stats periodically.
HCG may preserve muscle tissue when active and could may leads to an anabolic stage where muscle growth takes place. This could be good news for anyone embarking on this diet since muscle loss is a common issue when shedding weight. However, it should be noted that there isn’t enough research evidence to suggest that HCG is effective in muscle retention or weight loss at all. Many critics say that it is the low calorie diet that is responsible for the observed effects of the HCG Diet and not the hormone injections.
How HCG Injections are Available
HCG diet products may be found in pre-filled syringes and all you have to do is open the package, remove the air bubble and inject the HCG under your skin. However these pre-mixed syringes come with a logistical problem as these kind of products must be shipped with cold packs and the potency of the product can greatly deteriorate in the handling process. Another form is freeze-dried, lyophilized HCG, that comes usually in a single or multi-dose vial (with rubber top) accompanied by a vial of sodium chloride for mixing. For daily shots application the sodium chloride should be substituted with sterile/bacteriostatic water – usually given in a hcg supplies kit. The freeze-dried version does not need to be chilled and can be stored in a drawer, but once mixed needs to be kept in the fridge. Then of course there are the widely sold hcg oral drops, pellets, sprays which are basically ineffective as explained in this article, since they do not contain human chorionic gonadotropin.
FDA Warning about HCG Drops
According to the FDA’s official announcement, some of the HCG “homeopathic” drops and pellets that are deemed unsafe include HCG Diet Homeopathic Drops from HCG Diet Direct, HCG Platinum and HCG Fusion are all being illegally marketed.
Such fraudulent manufacturers often take advantage of phrases like “FDA approved” to apply it illegally to off-label use. They tend to not include enough information about the benefits and risks of the product they are selling, in this case, the HCG drops. The labels don’t contain enough information on the effectiveness and safety. There is also no information that any of these products do contain chorionic gonadotropin – the main chemical that enables the hcg diet.
Manufacturers of HCG drops and other oral forms of HCG have no basis for their claims that their products are effective in weight loss and suppressing appetite. HCG injections are approved by the FDA for use in fertility treatments, and some people do use it for the HCG diet. It’s uncertain, still, whether HCG is effective for weight loss and without any doctor’s supervision, it can be dangerous.
HCG shots of human chorionic gonadotropin do actually contain the hormone, which hcg drops, pellets, sprays do not. It may or may not be a weight loss fad, but there are plenty of user reviews online to support the weight loss claim, and people actually repeat this diet so that should mean something. Scientifically though we have only anecdotal evidence to support any benefits of the HCG Diet. It is always advisable to consult with a doctor before you start on HCG injections to achieve weight loss, to make sure that you’re not at risk for any kind of adverse effects from the hormone or the VLCD.