Saturday, July 28, 2012

HCG Diet Products Are Still Available

In March of last year I blogged about a diet fad in which dieters are urged to restrict themselves to 500 calories per day and take shots of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) takes a firm stand against HCG diet products, calling them unapproved, illegal and potentially dangerous. The agency has even sent warning letters to manufacturers and distributors of HCG products, warning them that they are selling illegal homeopathic drugs.

Nevertheless, on an interstate highway near where I live there’s a billboard promoting a local clinic that provides these products for weight loss! Technically, it’s legal. HCG is approved for at least one medical condition (female infertility), so physicians can order it and prescribe it. The drug laws in the U.S. allow a doctor to decide what is best for his/her patient regardless of whether or not a drug is actually approved for a particular use. So the FDA can’t stop the clinics from using HCG products as diet drugs; it can only try to strong-arm manufacturers and distributors.

The bottom line is that HCG is widely available for dieters, even though it is not approved for dieting for the FDA. Google “HCG diet” and you’ll find clinics willing to sell this snake oil, right along with news and medical sites saying it doesn’t work.

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