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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

HCG Diet Products Are Illegal

HCG is a hormone that is produced by the human placenta during pregnancy.

hcg diet products Products that claim to contain HCG are typically marketed in connection with a very low calorie diet, usually one that limits calories to 500 per day. Many of these popular HCG products claim to “reset your metabolism,” change “abnormal eating patterns,” and shave 20-30 pounds in 30-40 days.

“These products are marketed with incredible claims and people think that if they're losing weight, HCG must be working,” says Elizabeth Miller, acting director of FDA’s Division of Non-Prescription Drugs and Health Fraud. “But the data simply does not support this; any loss is from severe calorie restriction. Not from the HCG.”

HCG is approved by FDA as a prescription drug for the treatment of female infertility, and other medical conditions. It is not approved for weight loss. In fact, the prescription drug label notes there “is no substantial evidence that it increases weight loss beyond that resulting from caloric restriction, that it causes a more attractive or ‘normal’ distribution of fat, or that it decreases the hunger and discomfort associated with calorie-restricted diets.”

HCG is not approved for OTC sale for any purpose.

Anyone who has ever been on a diet—and there are many of us—knows that there are sensible ways to lose weight. These include balanced diets, exercising and realistic goals.

And then there are reckless ways to shed pounds—fads and diet aids that promise rapid weight loss, but often recommend potentially dangerous practices. These include HCG weight-loss products marketed over-the-counter (OTC) that are identified as "homeopathic" and direct users to follow a severely restrictive diet.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers to steer clear of these "homeopathic" human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) weight-loss products.  They are sold in the form of oral drops, pellets and sprays and can be found online and in some retail stores. 

FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued seven letters to companies warning them that they are selling illegal homeopathic HCG weight-loss drugs that have not been approved by FDA, and that make unsupported claims. 

(For the list of manufacturers, distributors and products—and more information about FDA’s concerns about HCG—visit www.fda.gov/hcgdiet.)

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