The chronic obesity problem in the U.S. has created an atmosphere in which individuals -- desperate to lose weight -- turn to diets made popular in the media. It can be difficult to tell an effective weight loss plan from a fad diet. The HCG Diet and HGH diets have gained notoriety in recent years. Digging through information to find a safe and effective diet plan for you can be an intimidating yet necessary process.
HCG is an abbreviation for human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone secreted by the placenta during pregnancy to nourish and sustain the developing embryo, according to the American Pregnancy Association. It is only present in the body during pregnancy. HGH is an abbreviation for human growth hormone, which is produced by the pituitary gland throughout life. Its purpose is to sustain organs and tissues and is most abundant during childhood growth, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Function of HCG
In 1954, Dr. ATW Simeons developed the HCG Diet by restricting calorie intake to 500 calories per day with daily supplementation of 125 IU, or international units, HCG, according to a paper Simeons published in "Lancet." Simeons’ theory was that while HCG would not increase weight loss, it would make the severe calorie restriction more tolerable by improving mood, reducing hunger, and induce spot reduction of abdominal fat.
Simeons and a report called the “Asher-Harper” study declared success with the HCG Diet protocol. No other studies, however, have been able to replicate their results. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reported that there was no difference in the results of patients on the HCG Diet or a placebo diet with the same calorie restriction. Weight loss seems attributable only to the severe calorie restriction.
Function of HGH
The effects of human growth hormone, or HGH, in the human body are well studied. It has been shown to reduce abdominal fat, lower diastolic blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity and increase fat metabolism, according to a 1997 study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. HGH may also have a future in treating chronic disease. The Annals of Internal Medicine published a study showing HGH is an effective treatment in improving lean body mass for patients in the wasting phase of HIV.
Despite studies demonstrating its efficacy in fat loss, HGH should not be used haphazardly. Over-the-counter forms of HGH or HGH-precursors are available but are not regulated by the FDA, making them potentially dangerous. Real human growth hormones are prescribed by a doctor and administered by injection. Consult your doctor to determine if you need HGH therapy and before using over-the-counter supplements of any kind.
Effective weight loss comes from a reduction in calories, balanced nutrition and exercise. A diet plan offering weight loss without those components, or recommends a supplement promising it will help you lose weight quickly, should be considered critically. In this case, HCG offers no increase in weight loss and HGH should only be used under close supervision by your doctor.