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Have you ever heard about the idea that a pregnancy hormone, hCG, can help you lose weight? Such "diets" have become quite the fad recently, and besides hCG injections, "homeopathic" hCG weight loss products have also appeared on the market. These products have tempted many women, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned against them selling drugs that have not been approved is a federal crime.

The hormone hCG is the same one that pregnancy tests use to determine whether a woman is expecting a baby or not. For women who have fertility problems, injections with hCG can offer pregnancy hopes. The FDA has made it very clear this time that hCG is not suitable as a weight loss product. Selling such products is illegal, and using them can pose serious dangers to a person's health.

The FDA's press release said: "The labeling for the 'homeopathic' hCG products states that each product should be taken in conjunction with a very low calorie diet. There is no substantial evidence hCG increases weight loss beyond that resulting from the recommended caloric restriction. Consumers on a very low calorie diet are at increased risk for side effects including gallstone formation, electrolyte imbalance, and heart arrhythmias."

In other words, if you are using hCG "homeopathic" products (which are used by dripping some under the tongue), and are following a restrictive, 500 to 600 calorie a day diet, any weight loss success you have is obviously due to your starvation diet and not the product. Moreover, eating less than you absolutely need to sustain yourself can be very risky.

The warning letters sent out on December 6 include a note to companies who sell hCG weight loss products that they have 15 days to correct their violation of the law. David Vladeck, director of the FTC s Bureau of Consumer Protection, pointed out: "Deceptive advertising about weight loss products is one of the most prevalent types of fraud. Any advertiser who makes health claims about a product is required by federal law to back them up with competent and reliable scientific evidence, so consumers have the accurate information they need to make good decisions."

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