The HCG diet has been quite popular in the last several years. It gained recognition by a book that was published copying the work and research of Dr. Simeons, the creator of the HCG diet. Dr. Simeons wrote a manuscript called “Pounds and Inches” and outlined for the patient and physician the details about the HCG diet. He performed his own research and published this manuscript back in the 1950’s.
I was fortunate enough to get a copy of his manuscript years ago and tested his method of using HCG for weight loss. I did my own research and most of what I read was positive. I began implementing his protocol outlined in “Pounds and Inches” in my practice a few years ago and those patients who followed the diet were very successful in losing their excess weight. I have helped thousands of patients lose weight successfully since then.
Now let's fast forward to now. Most of you have heard of the HCG diet and many of you even have friends or family members who have tried it. About a year ago I began noticing that there were companies selling what they called homeopathic HCG drops. I was puzzled and immediately skeptical. I had never heard of a homeopathic hormone. In my 4 years of medical school I studied Homeopathy, was trained in Homeopathy and passed national board exams in Homeopathy and never heard about Homeopathy being used with hormones.
Let's educate ourselves on hormones and how they work, then lets define Homeopathy and see how they relate:
What are Hormones?
Hormones are chemicals released by a cell or a gland in one part of the body that sends out messages that affect cells in other parts of the body. It is a chemical messenger that sends a signal from one cell to another. Cells respond to a hormone if they have a specific receptor for that hormone. The hormone has to bind to the receptor on the other cell resulting in the activation of a message that ultimately leads to specific response.
That definition came from the dictionary, here is a real life example: There is a human hormone called TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) which is released from the pituitary gland. It gets released and binds to a receptor site on the thyroid gland. Once this binding happens it sends a message to the thyroid gland and it has to perform a function. In this case the thyroid gland releases the thyroid hormone T4 into the blood stream where it can go perform its function.
What is Homeopathy?
So now we know how hormones work. Now let's find out what Homeopathy is.
Most people think of it as a type of natural medicine, so they automatically assume it must be good. However, that's not always the case, and just because something is "natural," does not mean it is good.
Homeopathy is a type of alternative medicine that treats people with what's called "law of similars." It can also be explained by the term “like cures like.” Here is an example: If a patient came to me complaining of a red rash that is very itchy, I would say that their symptoms are a red rash and itching. If I were to treat them with a homeopathic remedy, I would use the law of similars (or like cures like rule) and prescribe something that in a healthy person would cause a red rash with itching. In this case, the homeopathic remedy I would prescribe would be Rhus tox (the homeopathic remedy for poison ivy). That is how homeopathy works. We know if someone falls onto a poison ivy bush they will most likely break out in a red itchy rash. So with homeopathy we would give the remedy that would produce the same rash even though they may have a condition that has nothing to do with poison ivy.
Here is another example: A person who chops an onion can develop watery eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and throat irritation from exposure to the onion's active substances. The homeopathic remedy for onion is called Allium cepa, made of potentized red onion. It can help the body overcome a cold or allergy attack in which the person has similar symptoms (watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, or throat irritation.) The actual symptoms of the illness were not caused by exposure to an onion, but the remedy made from the onion can help the body overcome them, because the symptoms are similar.
So, What is Homeopathic HCG?
Homeopathic remedies are prepared by diluting the concentration of the remedy. These dilutions happen in a series of hundreds and even thousands of times. After each dilution the assumption is that this increases the effect of the treatment; this process is referred to as "potentization".
Dilution often continues until none of the original substance remains. Which means, homeopathic remedies generally contain few or no pharmacologically active ingredients.
It may sound kind of odd, but that is how homeopathy works. It’s a very diluted substance that somehow has an effect on the body healing itself. It can work and I have used it for a variety of things, except for weight loss.
The manufacturers of homeopathic HCG claim that with the advancement of technology, labs can take the HCG hormone put it into a solution that will adopt the same genetic code as the HCG hormone. Then they say that when the body is introduced to the homeopathic solution it reacts the same way that it would with the actual hormone. This is completely false! A solution with no real HCG can't act the same as one with real HCG. How can the body recognize their so called "genetically adapted HCG solution?" It doesn't! Homeopathic HCG can't bind to hormone receptors because there is no HCG present.
Homeopathic HCG doesn’t work for weight loss for the following reasons:
1. Homeopathy doesn’t work if your problem is a result of poor lifestyle choices.
2. Homeopathy doesn’t work if your condition is genetic.
3. Homeopathy doesn’t work if you self-suggest your condition, like saying “I’m overweight, I need a pill or remedy to help me lose weight.”
4. The body's hormone receptors can only accept hormones with actual physical properties. Homeopathic HCG contains no actual HCG.
5. The homeopathic concept of “like cures like” doesn’t fit the model for weight loss. If it did then the symptoms of the overweight person could be excess weight and a slow metabolism. If excess weight and a slow metabolism are the symptoms then according to the "law of similars" or "like cures like" basis of homeopathy the homeopathic remedy should cause the same symptoms, being overweight with slow metabolism. We know taking HCG does not cause excess weight and a slow metabolism so homeopathic HCG can't work.
These manufacturers have started with some HCG (so they say, there is no regulation or testing done on it) but after being diluted so many times there really isn't any left. That's right, there really isn't any real HCG in the bottle. To test this we can take a bottle of homeopathic HCG and drop a few drops onto a urine pregnancy test strip. If there is HCG present then the test will show a positive result, if not it will show negative. Homeopathic drops will show a negative test result because there isn't any in the bottle.
How Does Real HCG WOrk?
Real HCG hormone does three things on the original Dr. Simeons diet. First, it helps the body target stored fat and burn it while trying to protect the muscle and other good tissues. Second, it controls your cravings and curbs your hunger, and third, it targets your metabolic functioning and improves it through it's action on the hypothalamus & pituitary glands. This research is documented, HCG helps thyroid functioning, the thyroid is in charge of your metabolism.
The Simeons HCG diet states that you need a minimum of 125 units of HCG per injection for the diet to be effective. Homeopathic HCG drops don't contain any HCG so the diet can't be effective as it was originally designed. This means that there will be no improvement in metabolism, only a worsening effect. There will be no absence of hunger, most dieters on these HCG drops quit shortly after starting because they are starving. And lastly there is no protection of muscle and other tissues. The body in this situation shuts down the metabolism because it thinks its in starvation. The body will try and consume all your tissues (muscle, elastic and structural fat) to get energy.
If you do use these homeopathic drops and lose weight you will be starving yourself, that’s how the weight will come off. You will end up with saggy skin, your hair can fall out, you will experience terrible bouts of hunger, and many more symptoms related to starvation.
So lastly, do your own research on homeopathic HCG, if you talk to people who have tried it, half of them will say it was a miserable experience. The other half may have lost weight but it was unhealthy and most of them will gain the weight back over time. I know this because I have had them as patients and all of them wished they had know the difference between the real medical grade HCG and the homeopathic drops. HCG was never intended to be used homeopathically, it is a gimmick and its sole purpose is for profit.
If there were such a thing as a homeopathic hormone then why haven’t we seen homeopathic estrogen, progesterone, testosterone or thyroid hormone?
How To Know If It's Real
Real HCG must come from a U.S. pharmacy to be 100% legitimate. You'll know it's homeopathic when they advertise it as HCG drops and it says right on the bottle "homeopathic." They cost anywhere from $20 on up to $50 and you can buy them anywhere (eBay, Amazon, GNC, etc). There are no doctors associated with these products—you buy it, they may give you some instructions, and that's it, good luck! Once and while you'll see Chiropractors or Nutritionists selling it, but again they can't get the real stuff, they don't have the proper medical license to do so. Some places even throw in extras like vitamins, body fat analysis, EKG etc, but this is all to get you in the door. If they had read the "Pounds and Inches" book they would know that taking certain vitamins isn't recommended on the HCG diet.
My main focus of writing this was to inform you of the facts. Safe weight loss is important to everyone’s health. Don’t jeopardize your health because you missed out on some facts. Find the legitimate doctors out there who sell legitimate Dr. Simeons based HCG weight loss programs with real HCG. Real HCG does come in an oral version, be sure to ask your doctor and double check that it's not homeopathic. Your health is yours and only yours; don't trust it to some gimmick, online company or foreign country. Good luck on your weight loss journey, and get in touch if you'd like to give medical weight loss a try.
-Dr. Robb D. Bird