FDA Cracks Down on HCG Weight Loss Aids
The US Food and Drug Administration has announced plans to crack down on certain homeopathic weight loss aids that utilize human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG, a hormone produced by pregnant women.
The products, which the FDA claims are dangerous, controversial, and incorrectly labeled, have shown no evidence of effectiveness when used for weight loss. In addition, users are instructed to take the product with an extremely low-calorie diet, often as low as 500 calories daily. Such a low caloric intake is very dangerous, potentially leading to such health problems as gallstones, heart problems, and electrolyte imbalances.
Labels on the products promise rapid weight loss, as much as 30 pounds in a month, which experts suggest play on users' desperation and ignorance. Other claims on the labels are also unsubstantiated, meaning the packaging and label information are illegal.
Because of the lack of scientific results, and the high potential for health risks, consumers are urged to avoid all weight loss products containing HCG. In addition, a good rule of thumb is to avoid any products that promise incredible results that simply sound too good to be true, and always speak with your doctor before beginning any weight loss supplement.