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HCG does not increase weight loss, mood or hip or waist measurements in obese women on a diet
Wednesday, August 13, 2008 6:23 am Email this article
Obese women given intramuscular injections of human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) six days a week for six weeks combined with a diet of 1200 calories per day did not lose any more weight than those given injections of saline (salt water) according to a 1990 study from South Africa. No Differences in Any Parameters
No differences in mood, hunger, blood sugar or waist measurement
“Subjects receiving HCG injections showed no advantages over those on placebo in respect of any of the variables recorded,” the authors wrote.
The variables they measured were “psychological profile [mood], hunger level, body circumferences [hip and waist measurements, I assume], a fasting blood sample and food records… [and] body weight.”
No difference in weight loss
Note that there was no difference in weight loss between those given HCG injections and those given saline injections.
The authors of the study concluded that “Furthermore, weight loss on our diet was similar to that on severely restricted intake. “
Conclusion: There is no reason to use HCG for treating obesity
“We conclude that there is no rationale for the use of HCG injections in the treatment of obesity,” the author of the study concluded.
Comment #1 on Diet
Comment on diet: I suspect the was a 500 calories per day, not 1200 calories
I can’t help but wonder if the diet was really 500 calories per day rather than 1200 calories. Here’s why.
I don’t have a copy of this paper, but in the abstract they list the diet as 5000 kilojoules per day.
To convert to calories, you divide by 4.186. (4.186 kilojoules equals 1 calorie.)
Therefore, 5000 kilojoules equals 1200 calories.
However, twice in the abstract they mention “a severe diet” and “weight loss on our diet was similar to that on severely restricted intake”.
A 1200 calorie per day diet is not a severe diet, and weight loss on a 1200 calorie per day diet will not be nearly as great as a 500 calorie per day diet.
Comment #2 on Diet
Here is what I can imagine happened
Here is what I can imagine happened.
I can imagine that someone wrote up the paper saying that the diet was “500 kilojoules” per day, when what they really meant was “500 calories” per day.
(When we talk about calories, what we are really talking about is kilocalories, but I shorten it to calories because that what most people know it as.)
Then I can imagine that someone reviewing this paper having thought “500 kilojoules? That can’t be right. That would only be 120 calories per day. What they must have meant was 5000 kilojoules which is 1200 calories. Therefore, I’ll go ahead and correct this.”
This is purely speculation on my part, but I can imagine this scenario happening.
If I had a copy of the paper and could see how much weight people lost, I could tell if it was 500 calories per day or 1200 calories, but unfortunately, I do not have access to this paper.
Bosch B, Venter I, Stewart R, Bertram S. Human chorionic gonadotrophin and weight loss. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. S Afr Med J. 1990 Feb 17, 77(4):185-89.
AUTHOR’S CONTACT INFORMATION
Department of Medical Physiology and Biochemistry
University of Stellenbosch
Parowvallei, CP (South Africa)
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