What is hCG?

hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is placental glycoprotein hormone, which explains why the levels rise very rapidly during pregnancy. The primary purpose of hCG is to maintain the pregnancy. In the 1950’s Dr. Albert Simeons observed that pregnant women who were malnourished were still able to deliver healthy babies. He then started work on the theory that hCG was mobilizing fat stores to provide calories for both the mother and the baby during times of reduced calorie intake (for example if the mother was feeling nauseous).

The Diet Doc hCG Diet uses very small doses of hCG made in U.S. compounding pharmacies, which are regulated by the FDA (certificate of authenticity available upon request). To put the dose in perspective, the following table shows the hCG levels associated with the various on and off label uses of hCG, along with peak pregnancy levels.

hCG Levels IU/L Frequency
Peak during pregnancy 288,000 Levels vary during pregnancy peaking at 12 weeks, but are present for the duration.
Fertility treatments 5,000 – 10,000 One time to stimulate ovulation via progesterone stimulation.
Athletic enhancement 5,000 Average three times a week to stimulate testosterone production.
Weight loss 125 – 200 Daily

hCG appears to accumulate in the hypothalamus from where it is believed that a signal is sent to the fat stores to facilitate the mobilization of excess fat stores. Weight loss is only observed when combined with a low calorie, ketogenic diet. Diet Doc does not support the original 500 calorie version and instead has modernized the diet to allow for a customized range of 700-1000 based on BMR and activity levels.

The same diet without hCG would lead to weight loss, but the weight would be mostly muscle mass, along with some fat and water loss. The hCG in combination with the ketogenic diet is what makes the majority of weight loss come from fat.

hCG is a homologue of another hormone in the body, LH (lutenizing hormone). This means hCG can have a similar effect on the body as naturally occurring LH. LH is mainly responsible for progesterone production in women, and testosterone production in men. The doses used for weight loss are very small as compared to the doses used for the stimulation of these two hormones, as shown in the table above.

Only doctors with a DEA license can prescribe hCG, as it is considered a controlled substance in most states. Prescription hCG is best when administered in an injection; however, sublingual tablets are also available. In addition to the hCG, MCT oil (medium chain triglyceride), and a specially formulated protein shake are also used by Diet Doc. These help stimulate ketosis, keep metabolism elevated, and help maintain more stable energy levels while continuing to facilitate fat loss.*

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