HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin hormone and this protein is naturally produced by a variety of organs. HCG exists in many diverse forms and controls multiple, important biological functions . HCG interacts with the luteinising hormone/choriogonadotropin receptor of the ovary and promotes the maintenance of specific hormone production during the beginning of pregnancy. Because of its similarity to luteinising hormone, HCG can also be used clinically to induce ovulation in the ovaries as well as testosterone production in the testes . HCG hormone is well-known due to the HCG diet, which combines calorie restriction with HCG supplementation for weight loss, without muscle loss. During extreme fasting, the body breaks down muscle as well as fat, but HCG injections will prevent muscle loss during dieting by elevating testosterone levels in the body. Testosterone is a potent anabolic hormone and has been shown to promote IGF-1 secretion and enhance the effect of growth hormones inside the body . Combined administration of testosterone and growth hormone has also been shown to cause substantial gains in lean mass, muscle strength, and aerobic endurance along with reductions in total body fat and trunk fat . The maintenance of muscle mass during fasting will burn additional calories and will assist in maintenance of a healthy weight following the diet. HCG supplementation has been tested and deemed safe in a range of human clinical trials. Various clinical roles of HCG exist, ranging from diagnosis and monitoring of pregnancy and pregnancy-related disorders to cancer detection .
HCG is usually administered subcutaneously and sometimes intramuscularly. HCG can also be taken orally, but this method of delivery is not as potent as via injection. For muscle maintenance and weight loss, HCG should be injected at 250 mcg once per day. This dosage may be increased up to 500 mcg per day based on feelings of satiety.
Serious side effects when using HCG are rare when used at the recommended dose. Some mild side effects commonly reported include bloating and stomach pain. The recommended dose should not be exceeded as excessive HCG may lead to weight gain rather than weight loss.
- Nwabuobi, C., et al., hCG: Biological Functions and Clinical Applications. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2017. 18(10): p. 2037.
- Kim, S.-O., et al., Penile Growth in Response to Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) Treatment in Patients with Idiopathic Hypogonadotrophic Hypogonadism. Chonnam Medical Journal, 2011. 47(1): p. 39-42.
- Sattler, F.R., et al., Testosterone and Growth Hormone Improve Body Composition and Muscle Performance in Older Men. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2009. 94(6): p. 1991-2001.