ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A popular diet draws a warning from a local weight loss specialist.
It’s called the HCG Diet — based on human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone found only in pregnant women — and injected into dieters 23 days out of the month. The diet plan gets heavy promotion on the internet and is available at store-front weight loss centers. But the FDA calls the hormone – either injected or taken orally – fraudulent for weight loss.
And there is another health concern. Along with the injections, dieters are told to restrict that caloric intake to 500 calories a day, way below the lowest recommended daily caloric intake of 12-hundred for women and 15 hundred for men.
“You need enough calories to support your brain, your muscles, your heart and other organs,” says St. Louis University’s Dr. James Compton, a clinical professor of internal medicine. “With this diet, you are cutting it so low, that you are not providing proper nutrition to your body.”
Compton says the same nutrition risk can be found with the homeopathic version of this diet that involves special hormone drops under the tongue.