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HealthWatch: Hormone Could Lead To Weight Loss
Pregnancy Hormone Could Trigger Quick Slimming Effects
How far would you go to lose weight?
The latest diet trend actually tricks your body into thinking it’s pregnant. And believe it or not, women who are on it say the weight just melts off, up to a pound a day.
But some doctors are concerned.
CBS 2 HD investigates the HCG diet.
When you think of pregnancy, you don’t usually think of weight loss.
But a new diet may, modeled after pregnancy, may change that. It’s all because of a hormone found only in mothers-to-be, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG).
“It’s produced by the placenta, part of the structure within the uterus that provides nutrition for a growing baby,” said Dr. Barry Klyde.
The hormone’s main function is to convert stored body fat into energy to help maintain the fetus. But now, women and men are using HCG to help lose weight.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Kelly Vaughn, a radio disc jockey who uses the injections under the supervision of her physician who prescribed the shots for her.
Here’s how it works. The hormone injection tricks the body into thinking it’s pregnant. The body then converts stored fat into energy, but because it isn’t needed to support a fetus, it triggers weight lost.
“The theory behind HCG is that when it’s in your bloodstream, it releases your fat stores, which is what it’s designed to do in pregnant women,” Vaughn said.
The diet also requires eating just 500 calories a day – but HCG also works to surpress appetite.
Vaughn has tried Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, and Physicians Weight Loss, but says HCG is the only diet that has actually worked for her.
“I’ve lost 40 pounds. The first three weeks I lost 15 pounds,” Vaughn said.
The use of HCG for weight loss, however, has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and concerned experts are warning of potential serious side effects.
“In women, the use of HCG can distort the menstrual cycle. In men the overproduction of testosterone can cause prostate enlargement and serious consequences,” said Dr. Klyde.
Vaughn said she doesn’t notice any side effects.
“I didn’t notice anything about it,” she said.
In recent years, additional studies show the weight loss may have been a result of the diet’s strict 500 calorie limit, and not necessarily the HCG. Still, many say they couldn’t have done it without the injections.
The cost of HCG is about $140 a month…
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