This week, in partnership with the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to consumers regarding weight-loss products containing the hormone HCG. Not only is the sale of HCG-containing products illegal, their use can potentially be very dangerous. The FDA is urging consumers to steer clear of HCG-containing oral drops, pellets and sprays that can be purchased online and in retail stores.
In fact, in an effort to further regulate these products, the FTC and the FDA jointly crafted a warning letter which was sent to seven companies currently selling over-the-counter, homeopathic weight-loss products that are marketed as containing the hormone HCG.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) is often marketed as a “natural” way to lose weight and increase metabolic function. However, products containing this hormone suggest that individuals only consume 500 calories per day. Reducing one’s caloric intake so drastically is extremely dangerous and can lead to serious side effects such as gallstones, heart arrhythmias and electrolyte imbalance. Moreover, these products are not FDA approved as safe and effective in contributing to weight loss. Richard Cleland, an assistant director at the Federal Trade Commission, said it best, “The weight-loss industry, perhaps more than any other, is fad-driven. It’s also fraud-driven.”
At present, there are no FDA approved HCG-containing weight-loss products on the market. Those currently being sold are unproven and unsafe. The warning letters sent by the FDA and the FTC inform companies marketing and selling HCG-containing products for weight-loss that they are in violation of federal law.
Letters were issued to the following companies:
Nutri Fusion Systems, Inc.
Nature Medical Supply, LLC (DBA HCG Complete Diet)
HCG Platinum, LLC
HCG Diet Direct, LLC
HCG Drops, LLC
(Source: Vitals on msmbc.com)