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HCG and Weight Loss: response to a YouTube comment

Posted on July 27th, 2009 by Matt Schoeneberger

We received a comment at YouTube in response to our recent video entry regarding HCG.  Since YouTube limits the number of characters in the comments section, we posted our response here.  The comment and our response is posted below:

Quote from 1776in2008 : “You’re wrong. The diet ALLOWS the body to release fat, but the HCG causes your body to lose the right kind of fat while protecting LBM and structural fat. Without the HCG, it would be just water and muscle weight. In those so-called ‘trials’ that you site, they only compared the weight that was lost, NOT the type of weight that was lost. Sure, someone will lose around 20 pounds on a 23 day 500 calorie diet too, but it will be water and muscle weight, NOT actual fat, like on the HCG protocol.”

First we’d like to thank you for your comment.  I’ll respond to your post one issue at a time.

“You’re wrong.”

No I’m not.

“The diet ALLOWS the body to release fat”

I believe you mean that a 500 calorie/day diet will put just about anyone in a state of negative energy balance, which will most likely cause the loss of some tissue (fat or muscle for the sake of our discussion)

“but the HCG causes your body to lose the right kind of fat while protecting LBM and structural fat”

First, your use of the term structural fat is incorrect.  This term is antiquated and is only still being used in this way by those in the HCG camp who seem to read nothing but the HCG literature, which has remained largely unchanged since the original work of Dr. Simeons in the 1950s despite many advances in the understanding of the human body, and fat in particular, since then.  You can’t ask the scientific community to prove or disprove HCG’s effects on something that doesn’t even exist.  Why not ask them to disprove the existence of unicorns and Santa Claus while we’re at it?  The term “structural fat” is now typically reserved for the use of fat in cosmetic surgery.  Please begin using the terms visceral and subcutaneous fat and others (brown adipose tissue, white adipose tissue, etc) that have been adopted by the current scientific literature (by current, I mean the last 2 or 3 decades!).

Terminology aside, HCG is not necessary, or proven, for these effects of muscle-sparing and visceral fat targeting.  Exercise has been proven to do this time and again (unlike HCG).  (Hill, Tsuzuku, Layman, Kay)

“Without the HCG, it would be just water and muscle weight.”

This statement is laughable.  It would all be water and muscle weight lost?  A person would lose 20 pounds of water and muscle?  This reveals a gross misunderstanding of basic human physiology and a stern belief in HCG folklore.  In the metabolic ward study by Hill et al., obese women who DID NOT exercise and ate an 800 calorie/day diet lost an average of 57% of their weight as fat after 5 weeks. Exercising women lost almost 75% of the weight lost as fat.  Where is the evidence to support your claim of “water and muscle” loss without HCG?

“In those so-called ‘trials’ that you site, they only compared the weight that was lost, NOT the type of weight that was lost”

Why is trial in quotations?  They are trials.  That’s what they’re called.  And, by the way, they’re the gold standard of proof of causal relationships when performed correctly.  Trials like these are what have allowed the scientific community to distinguish the bad from the good, the lies from the truth.

Yes, these trials compared the amount of total weight lost. And, actually, in addition to weight lost they compared the ability of HCG to affect the subjects’ feelings of hunger, feelings of well-being, anxiety and depression, not to mention HCG’s ability to promote fat re-distribution.  All were found to be negative.

Show me a study that proves HCG promotes positive changes in body composition better than placebo. And if you would be so kind, please also explain the mechanism behind this effect, because the ‘re-setting the hypothalamus” mumbo-jumbo has no merit in relation to your body composition argument, if it ever had any in the first place.

It seems, based on your comment, that the HCG camp is changing their tune regarding what HCG is supposed to do.  Since it’s been shot down on all the original claims (increased weight loss, reduced hunger, anxiety, depression, increased feelings of well-being, the ability to take fat away from ‘problem areas’) now you must say it changes the composition of the weight lost, that it targets the “right kind of fat while protecting LBM and structural fat”.  Well, the onus is on you to provide evidence that it works.

Dr. Simeons even stated in the forward to his original manuscript:

“Thus, when I make what reads like a factual statement, the professional reader may have to translate into: clinical experience seems to suggest that such and such an observation might be tentatively explained by such and such a working hypothesis, requiring a vast amount of further research before the hypothesis can be considered a valid theory.”

Where is this vast amount of research? If you can provide real proof that HCG does anything it’s purported to do in regards to body composition and weight loss, I’ll post a video trumpeting the benefits of HCG for body composition, Jeff and I will edit our HCG special report to reflect the new information and I’ll admit I was wrong.  Go ahead, show me proof.  Scientific proof.

These are scientific references, providing proof for claims made above.  You can get your own at a library near you:

Hill, J. O., Sparling, P. B., Shields, T. W., & Heller, P. A. (1987). Effects of exercise and food restriction on body composition and metabolic rate in obese women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 46(4), 622-630.

Layman, D. K., Evans, E., Baurn, J. I., Seyler, J., Erickson, D. J., & Boileau, R. A. (2005). Dietary protein and exercise have additive effects on body composition during weight loss in adult women. Journal of Nutrition, 135(8), 1903-1910.

Kay S.J., Fiatarone Singh M.A. The influence of physical activity on abdominal fat: a systematic review of the literature. Obesity Reviews. 2006;7: 183–200

Simeons ATW. Pounds and inches-a new approach to obesity. Rome, privately printed 1967.

Tsuzuku S, Kajioka T, Endo H, Abbott RD, Curb JD, Yano K. Favorable eVects of non-instrumental resistance training on fat distribution and metabolic proWles in healthy elderly people. Eur J Appl Physiol . 2007;99:549–555

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19 Responses to “HCG and Weight Loss: response to a YouTube comment”

  1. Gayle Felten says:

    My brother is doing the hcg homeopathic drops :) so far he is down to the 160s (soo close to 150s) but he read somewhere (online someplace) that the homeopathic drops are safe to take ALL the way through till you lose all the weight you need (no breaks needed) because unlike our INJECTIONS that go into our blood and stay there, the drops are only temporary and so your body never quite builds an immunity. Any comments on this??? thanks!

    • Matt Schoeneberger M.S. says:

      Hi Gayle,

      Both hCG and homeopathy have been shown to be no more effective than placebo. Homeopathic hCG, by loose definition, would be a vial of water with such a small amount of hCG that even one drop of hCG in the ocean would be stronger than the homeopathic solution. Your brother’s results are solely based on his ability to stick to a very strict diet. Kudos to him!

      The portion about the immunity is absolute lies, but taking the drops will most likely not prove harmful since they are most likely just water.


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