HCG drops have been gaining a reputation for aiding weight loss, when taken while following the HCG diet.
But how effective are they and what does science say?
Should you even be taking HCG supplements for weight loss?
Let’s find out.
The Role of HCG in Human Body
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) is a protein-based hormone that plays a vital role in the early stages of pregnancy (1).
HCG ensures the production of progesterone and estrogen during the early pregnancy (2).
It is also found in males, and HCG treatments are often used in both men and women to treat fertility problems (3).
Manufacturers of HCG supplements and advocates of the HCG diet for weight loss also promote HCG as means to shed extra weight.
Summary: HCG is a vital hormone present during the early stages of pregnancy and is used to treat infertility in both men and women. Claims of HCG supporting weight loss lack scientific evidence.
HCG supplements, specifically in the form of injections, are often a part of infertility treatments and IVF procedures to help the body reach, develop, and maintain the normal HCG levels (6).
They are used to treat infertility in both men and women.
Besides injections, HCG supplements are widely available in various forms like pills, drops, sprays, etc.
HCG supplements have also been used as weight loss supplements by many people and of late, HCG drops have gained popularity among fitness enthusiasts as well.
HCG drops are primarily available as prescription drops and homeopathic drops and touted to promote weight loss.
The fundamental difference between the two is that prescription drops require a doctor’s prescription and are supposed to contain the purest form of HCG for the consumption.
These drops are however, sometimes mixed with other ingredients, but HCG concentration remains high in prescription drops.
Homeopathic drops are an OTC product easily available in pharmacies and online stores for consumption.
Homeopathic HCG drops also usually constitute other substances that enhance the body’s energy and metabolic activity (7).
It is noteworthy that the Federal Drug Administration, FDA, has classified all HCG supplements for weight loss as illegal, and have even termed such products as “dangerous” and “ineffective for weight loss” (8).
Summary: HCG drops are easy-to-use products that are promoted as weight loss supplements, when used with the HCG diet. But, the FDA doesn’t permit the use of HCG products for weight loss.
The Pros and Cons of HCG Drops
Some benefits of using HCG drops, which makes it the preferred method are mentioned below:
- It is a painless method of taking HCG as compared to injections and is best suited to those who are scared or cannot bear the discomfort of taking injections.
- Using drops with the HCG diet provides convenience with usage and some flexibility with diet to the users in terms of consuming the daily calories.
- HCG drops cost less than injections, thus making them an affordable and preferred choice for many consumers.
There are some disadvantages of using the HCG drops too. The most common among them being:
- HCG drops might not give immediate results as compared to other HCG supplements.
- Taking drops requires a disciplined approach to administer drops as per the directions. Not following the instructions properly may not yield expected results.
Summary: Most people choose HCG drops over injections due to their ease of use and cost. But, they might not deliver quick results.
How to Use HCG Drops
HCG drops are generally sublingual i.e, they are administered under the tongue.
You should try to place the dropper closer to the large vein under the tongue as this would help in the better absorption of drops.
As per the HCG drops diet plan instructions, HCG supplements must be taken alongside a diet consisting of 500 calories a day.
However, some drops give the liberty to consume extra calories and up the calorie intake to 800 calories.
You should also be mindful of keeping yourself hydrated.
When to Take HCG Drops
The standard HCG drops directions are taking 10-15 drops twice or thrice a day. It should be ensured that the drops are taken as per the recommendation only.
Care should also be taken to avoid eating 30 minutes before and after consuming the drops.
Advocates of the HCG diet recommend three stages of the diet:
- Loading stage: Increasing the intake of high-calorie food
- Losing stage: Limiting calorie intake with taking HCG drops
- Maintaining stage: Avoiding sugar and starch for three weeks without taking HCg drops to sustain the weight loss
Summary: HCG drops can be administered easily under the tongue. Most manufacturers recommend the HCG diet alongside taking 10-15 drops twice or thrice per day in the stipulated cycle.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on HCG Drops
Are HCG Drops Effective For Weight Loss?
Does the HCG Diet Work?
Albert Simeons came up with the concept of the HCG diet in 1954. He proposed that injecting HCG in the body and limiting the daily calorie intake to 500 calories would result in weight loss as the body’s metabolism rate would increase.
But, many studies undertaken since say that the diet is ineffective and the weight loss, if any, could be a result of the low calorie intake (11).
What Are the Symptoms and Effects of Low HCG?
Low levels of HCG can make it difficult to conceive and even lead to complications during the pregnancy.
In some cases, it might hamper the growth of the fetus, or result in other severe challenges.
High levels of HCG are considered as a confirmation of pregnancy, and low levels might result in issues like vaginal bleeding, cramps, or passing of clots.
What Are the Side Effects of HCG?
High levels of HCG can lead to cancer, particularly that of the ovaries or testes, studies show (16).
Other side effects of taking HCG supplements include (17):
Swelling in feet and hands
Some people might also experience some severe side effects like:
Rupturing of ovaries
Who should avoid taking HCG?
Although all HCG supplements must be taken after the advice of medical experts, the following people should definitely not administer HCG themselves in any form:
During pre-adolescent and nearing puberty soon
Men who have prostate cancer or any other form of cancer which might interact with male hormones
Those allergic to HCG or the related constituents of the supplements
I am Unable to Conceive, Should I Take HCG Drops?
HCG is often recommended to women with low HCG levels; however, it must be taken after the recommendation of your doctor only and under the guidance of a medical expert.
Remember, the FDA strictly controls the usage and circulation of HCG, and hence, any treatment that involves HCG drops or injections should only be taken under the doctor’s supervision.
The Bottom Line
Despite the fact that HCG drops have become popular, their ability to promote weight loss has not been established clearly yet.
The fact that the FDA does not permit the use of HCG products for weight loss means that you must not consume HCG drops or take HCG injections without proper medical guidance.
Thus, even though HCG drops are easier to administer than injections, due diligence and caution must be exercised before taking them.