Hormone Chorionic Gonadotropin, or hCG, is a hormone that the female body naturally produces during pregnancy. In recent years, the supplementation and injection of the hormone during non-pregnancy periods has become popular for its claims, causing weight loss, specifically when taken through drops. Although some preliminary studies show hCG drops can be beneficial, results are controversial and often require additional research.
Our team looked into hCG drops available for purchase, including Omni Drops and HCG Diet Drops. In the end, we reviewed the research on hCG drop potential benefits and FDA warnings concerning such products to see if it was right for you.
HCG Drops can be purchased through their Official Site.
What are HCG Drops?
During pregnancy, hCG supports fetus development by breaking down the mother’s body fat reserves for energy and diverting the fat calories from the mother to the fetus. British endocrinologist Dr. Albert T.W. Simeons began experimenting with the weight-loss properties of hCG injections in 1930. Since then, synthetic hCG has been used in various forms, like drops, in conjunction with a severely calorie-restricted diet to promote weight loss.
The hCG diet program is different from other weight-loss programs because it is supposed to help prevent the loss of lean tissue while dieting and boosts metabolic rate, helping to prevent hunger.
Normally, when the body burns more calories than it takes in, referred to as creating a calorie deficit, the body naturally responds by slowing down the metabolism to preserve stored fat, according to a Critical Assessment of the Simeons method. In theory, they claim that taking hCG helps the body overcome this fat protection mechanism, allowing the body to metabolize fat stores and use the stored fat for energy. This allows the body to stay energized while burning off fat and reducing the waistline, but does the science back this?
HCG Drops Competitors
HCG Drops Ingredients
Human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone produced by a woman’s body after an egg becomes fertilized and implanted in the womb. Thus, some pregnancy hormone level tests are designed to check for the presence of the hCG hormone.
There is no hCG hormone in homeopathic sublingual hCG drops sold in the U.S. There are theories that the anecdotal positive results that some users experience are merely the placebo effect. The active ingredients listed on various labels include:
- Pygeum Africanum
- Astragalus, for use as a weight-loss supplement.
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HCG Drops Nutrition Facts
The recommended dosage amount of hCG drops varies, from one to 30 drops, depending on the manufacturer. Even at the upper dose of 30 drops, hCG nutritional values are insignificant, with nutrients, vitamins, calories, carbohydrates, and protein all coming in at less than .5 grams. According to FDA regulations, this diluted formulation allows the manufacturer to list these values as zero on the product’s Nutritional Facts label.
What Do HCG Drops Do?
The hCG hormone is a pro-hormone that helps the body produce more hormones. According to anecdotal patient reporting, hCG drops may reduce the feelings of hunger, allowing users to be satiated while eating minimal amounts of food. That is if hCG suppresses the appetite once in the bloodstream.
It is important to note that scientific results are using the hCG hormone, which is only available by prescription. Sublingual homeopathic hCG drops contain no actual hCG hormone. Instead, the hCG drops are “developed through an advanced technique with ingredients that mimic the metabolic effects of hormonal hCG.”
Homeopathic vs Prescription HCG Drops
Homeopathic vs. Prescription HCG Drops
There are two types of sublingual (under the tongue) hCG drops prescription hCG and over-the-counter homeopathic hCG drops. Here is the break down:
Prescription HCG Drops
- Available only by prescription
- Contains 5000 IU synthetic hCG hormone
- Many online retailers offer “teleconsultations” to obtain access to prescription hCG
- Cost is expensive: around $400 for a 46-day plan.
Homeopathic HCG Drops
- Available over the counter
- Contains extremely diluted amounts of hCG and amino acids
- Ingredients are so diluted; they are considered to have “zero amounts” of the listed ingredients.
- Some homeopathic “Diet Drops” only contain amino acids and herbs that trigger the same response as hCG- but have no hCG hormone at all.
- Less expensive: around $30 – $70 for a 40 day supply
Does it Work?
Do HCG Drops Work?
There is a dramatic loss of weight during crash dieting with a high percentage of lost muscle tissue. Because lean tissue, or muscle, is denser than adipose tissue, or fat, this loss looks great when the dieter steps on the scale, because the pounds are dropping quickly.
However, this causes the metabolism to slow down so much that the dieter regains weight rapidly, typically regaining all the lost weight and some additional pounds. Additionally, it requires work to rebuild the muscle that was lost. By elevating hormone levels in the body, including testosterone, the hCG hormone creates an anabolic, or muscle-building, state that works to counteract the catabolic, or muscle-breakdown, state. In theory, there are receptors on muscle fibers that respond to the increased hCG level in patients taking the hormone.
To date, there is no empirical, quantitative data or clinical studies that show hCG drops, or any other oral form of hCG like sprays or pills, have many beneficial effects. This is probably due to the compounds being dissolved or destroyed during the ingestion and digestion processes, and never being absorbed into the bloodstream; or because the drops don’t really contain hCG after all.
HCG Drop Benefits
Weight loss hCG supplements are used by both men and women who want to lose weight without sacrificing lean tissue in the process. When taken in conjunction with a low-calorie diet, hCG drops are supposed to allow the body to more efficiently metabolize stored fat to be used for energy than if the dieter was trying and lose weight without hCG.
The most important assertion of adding hCG to a weight-loss regiment is that the loss of lean tissue is typically the first self-defense reaction from the body when calories are severely restricted. In theory, to prevent this loss of lean tissue, hCG helps the body burn off fat instead of muscle tissue.
The use of the hCG hormone has been recommended by weight-loss doctors worldwide, as there can be severe long-term consequences for people who lose muscle through severe calorie restrictive weight-loss plans.
The supposed effects of hCG are it promotes rapid weight loss, with some users reporting an average weight loss of over a pound a day.
Because hCG is a pro-hormone, another reported benefit of taking the hCG is a testosterone boost. Both men and women produce testosterone naturally in the adrenal glands. Still, issues can develop when testosterone levels drop, including a reduction or loss of sex drive, as per the Journal of the North American Menopause Society.
HCG Drops Side Effects
When taken supplemental, injected hCG side effects have been reported to include:
- Fluid buildup
Some users have also suggested that hCG drops are addictive. Sublingual homeopathic hCG drops available without prescription in the U.S. do not actually contain any hCG, so it is unlikely to be harmful or addictive or cause the same side effects as injected hCG.
Are There HCG Drop Alternatives?
There are several commercially prepared alternatives to hCG drops. However, there is no clinical evidence to support the effectiveness of any of these preparations. Currently, the only alternative is a regiment of hCG injections administered by a licensed physician.
Only injections of the hCG hormone have been demonstrated to have any effect on increasing the level of hCG in the bloodstream, touted to prevent muscle loss while dieting.
What Do HCG Drops Cost?
The cost of hCG drops can vary based on the preparation type and the company selling the drops. Homeopathic hCG drops from a reputable company typically cost between $85 to $100 for a 23-day course.
Some companies sometimes offer a two-bottle special for a single bottle price, which is helpful for those on a tight budget. The companies that offer hCG alternatives sell their drops for approximately the same cost as the homeopathic hCG drops.
There is no form of hCG hormone drops available for sale within the U.S. without a prescription. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns consumers to avoid homeopathic hCG weight-loss products, including those sold in the form of oral drops that can be found online and in some retail stores.
Both the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission have sent letters to businesses warning the companies that are selling illegal homeopathic hCG weight-loss drugs that are not FDA approved and make unsupported claims. Even though the drops are not legal for sale in U.S. pharmacies, hCG drops can be legally purchased online, from non-U.S.-based companies.
Costs for hCG injections can vary widely based on several factors. Because a licensed physician must administer injections, the cost will include an office visit as well as the hCG injections. This can result in an expensive three-week protocol costing several hundred to over a thousand dollars, depending on whether or not insurance will cover part of the cost of treatment. Just the insurance co-pay alone can cost over $200.
HCG Drops Directions
HCG Sublingual Drops are used under the tongue instead of being injected or sprayed into the nostrils. When placing the drops under the tongue, absorption is best placed as close as possible to the large vein found there.
Standard directions for taking sublingual hCG drops are not eating or drinking anything, including water, for 30 minutes before taking the drops. Apply the recommended number of drops under the tongue, holding there for at least one minute before swallowing. Holding the drops under the tongue for a longer time, from 5 to 15 minutes, will increase the drops’ absorption. Instructions also call to not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes after taking the drops.
In the case of hCG Sublingual Drops, the recommendation for the regimen’s duration ranges from 2 weeks to 2 months. One two-oz bottle is needed over the course of a 43-day regiment and two two-oz bottles over a 64-day treatment; a 64-day regiment is recommended for those who want to lose 20 pounds or more. The recommended dosage is to place 4 to 6 drops under the tongue daily at three separate intervals.
HCG Drops Results
Despite anecdotal reports to the contrary, there is no scientific data to support hCG weight-loss claims, and multiple U.S. government agencies, including the FDA and FTC, have called hCG drops a fad. While many people do claim to have lost about 3/4 of a pound a day, on average, over the entire course of the regiment, this is typically due to the severe calorie-restrictive diet, and not the hCG drops, based on research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
The HCG Diet
The bigger picture of using hCG drops, or hCG in any form, is the hCG diet. This diet plan has been around for almost 50 years and has been buried under controversy since the 1960s. However, in recent years it has experienced a resurgence of sorts as people look for ways to lose weight. These weight reduction treatments originally include the hCG hormone injection, which was never approved by the U.S. FDA as a safe and effective treatment for weight control.
Taking hCG drops is only one part of the hCG weight-loss protocol. The other puzzle is the hCG diet guidelines set forth by Dr. Simeon that limit caloric intake to 500 calories per day. Further restriction of the diet plan includes what types of foods the 500 calories are derived from and what types of foods are prohibited.
For most people, consuming a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet, the average meal consists of at least 500 calories. On the hCG diet, most people consume the calories at one sitting and must be spread out in a particular and structured manner throughout the day.
There are 3 phases in the hCG diet:
hCG Diet Phase 1: The Loading Phase
During phase 1 of the hCG diet, dieters “load up” on hCG sublingual activator drops by taking them every day. During this loading phase, which lasts for 3 days, there are no food restrictions. Many people use this phase to enjoy all their favorite foods, including sweets and fats.
hCG Diet Phase 2: The Calorie Diet
Phase 2 begins on the fourth day, following 3 days of phase 1. This phase is where things get serious- only 500 calories a day are allowed for those needing to lose more than 12 pounds. The plan recommends drinking only no-calorie liquids for breakfast and then eating the remaining 500 calories by splitting them between lunch and dinner. For those who only need to lose 10-12 pounds, the calorie count may be increased to 1000 calories per day, for 25 days, if desired. For persons wanting to lose over 12 pounds, staying on the 500 calorie-restricted diets for 6 weeks will result in a loss of 25 to 30 pounds. During this phase, hCG drops are taken every day, as directed.
hCG Diet Phase 3: The Maintenance Diet
The 500 calorie phase 2 diet must be discontinued after 6 weeks. At this time, all foods except starches and sweets may be eaten again. Dieters are encouraged to monitor their weight and to cut back if weight gain starts to occur. The hCG drops are also suspended for a month, at which time they may be retaken for an additional 6 to 8 weeks. This cycle of 6-8 weeks on a diet and 30 days off can be continued for as long as desired.
There are groups of approved foods during phase 2, namely proteins and vegetables. Starches, fats, and sweets are severely limited or prohibited altogether. Up to 200 grams of animal protein can be eaten per day, but no more than 100 grams at any one meal. All fat and bone must be trimmed before cooking.
- Extra Lean Beef
- Three Egg Whites
- White Fish
There is a bit more variety of vegetable choices. The hCG diet allows people to consume up to two cups of vegetables per day, but no more than one cup with each meal.
- Green Salad
- Mixed Greens
- Half grapefruit
The hCG diet and supplement protocol are extremely limiting regarding what starches are allowed. On the hCG diet, the only approved starches are Grissini breadsticks or Melba toast and eaten as sparingly as possible.
While most people may not pay much attention to things like seasonings, there are also rules for everything else consumed, such as spices and flavorings. The hCG diet advises against seasoning mixes as mixes often contain sugar and excessive salt. Oil, butter, or any dressings are strictly prohibited. There are several websites online that include recipes for the hCG diet.
Here is a shortlist of other approved items that can be added to the hCG meal plan:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Braggs Amino Acids
- Herbal Tea
- Mustard powder
- Salt, pepper, or any other natural spices
HCG Drops Effectiveness
From an article published in the American Society of Bariatric Physicians, the American Medical Association adopted a policy that hCG was inappropriate for weight loss as there is no empirical evidence that hCG any significant effect.
The meta-analysis of data found there was insufficient evidence to support the claims that hCG was effective in altering either fat usage or causing a reduction in hunger. In conclusion, the medical professionals who wrote the article stated that human chorionic gonadotropin should not be regarded as an appropriate therapy for weight reduction.
Uses for HCG Drops
In addition to being used as a weight-loss supplement, hCG drops are also used in these ways:
- Athletes use hCG to increase testosterone, which in turn increases muscle mass. The Olympic Committee has banned HCG use
- Men with erectile dysfunction use hCG to boost testosterone levels
- HCG has anti-aging properties and may improve skin tone, increase metabolism, heighten brain function and relieve menopausal symptoms
- Some users of hCG have reported increased energy
Things to Consider about HCG Drops
- HCG sublingual drops are expensive- do they fit within your budget?
- Prescription hCG drops and injections are made from a synthetically produced hormone, while homeopathic sublingual hCG drops are made from natural ingredients.
- Can you stick to a rigorous, 500 calorie diet?
- Prescription hCG may be more effective and may have possible side effects.
- Homeopathic preparations are extremely diluted, and many experts debate their effectiveness.
- Products with actual synthetic hCG hormone can not be purchased in stores, although it may be found online from non-U.S. sources.
Where to Buy HCG Drops
Homeopathic “Diet Drops” supplements, which contain amino acids and herbs but no hCG or other hormones, can be purchased on Amazon and similar online retailers, including Walmart, eBay, and Jet. Homeopathic drops containing hCG are illegal to sell in the U.S.
Where to Buy
“I lost 17.6 pounds in three weeks taking this product. If you follow the instructions and have discipline, it works. The first week, the pounds fall off like magic. It gets a little bit more challenging as time goes along, but you will continue to lose. I am focusing on losing the next 10 pounds with diet and exercise although you absolutely could do another round of drops if that is your choice. Remember to drink at least a gallon of water per day to help the process along. I also recommend a Smooth Move tea to assist in the process, as well. But, only in moderation. Bottom line, this product absolutely worked for me. Five of my friends have tried it and all of them have lost at least 10 pounds. Remember to just stay away from sugar and salt and carbs. You can do it!”
“I didn’t notice any difference. I don’t believe it helps you to lose weight. I don’t eat large portions, but I do have sweet cravings, it did not curve those, or bring them to a minimum.”
“Flavor was good but didn’t work.”
The Bottom Line on HCG Drops
The promise of hCG weight loss drops is the preparation can be used at home and is a natural and easy way to achieve rapid and safe weight reduction. While anecdotal reports support these claims, the science says that any extremely low-calorie diet will result in drastic weight loss. Numerous peer-reviewed studies have found no substantial evidence that hCG diet drops increase weight loss past what results from the strict caloric restrictive diet of 500 calories per day.
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