Are hCG diets harming people?

I am sure I am not the only person concerned about the use of hCG and cancer. I have done a lot of reading on this subject for a couple of reasons, 1. my patients are asking about and it. 2. it just does not seem Naturopathic to me to starve someone (500 calories per day by any definition is in the starvation mode) then give them a hormone that is increased in a proliferative situation like pregnancy?? What happened to good nutrition, exercise, blood sugar control etc. Starvation diet with hCG just seems like a unnatural silver bullet for weight loss. Is hCG really doing any good or is it a placebo? More importantly is it harming people.

We would all lose weight on a starvation diet. What if the pt has an hidden cancer? There was a study from Australia, showing two groups of woman. group 1 got mammograms every year for 6 years, group 2 mammograms year 1 and 6. Results: the every year group showed 22% more breast cancers. Their conclusion was that perhaps all women get breast cancer sometime in their life, but if they are healthy the body takes care of it. I have read other authors that believe we all get cancer possibly several times in our lives. We know that many cancers increase the hCG as they grow to help hide from the immune system. HCG is a pregnancy hormone. If you have an hidden cancer and give hCG are we doing harm and helping it hide from the immune system allowing for it to grow? This from Ralph Moss PhD cancer guru.

“Cancer and pregnancy share a number of characteristics, one of which is altered immune function. In pregnancy, the embryo, which is biologically distinct from the mother, must find a way to avoid being attacked as ‘foreign’ or ‘non-self’ by the mother’s immune system. HCG appears to have a role in making the embryo invisible to the mother’s immune system, and may play a Western union locations similar role in cancer too, disguising the immunologically foreign characteristics of the tumor in such a way as to prevent the immune system from recognizing and challenging the abnormal cells.”

This diet fad has been perpetuated by many non medical, non scientific groups. I can find no studies that are following whether the weight lose is long term, or cancer rates for people on hCG diets. Again from Ralph Moss Phd.regarding possible harm.

“For example, hCG can cause considerable fluid retention, making it potentially dangerous for people with cardiac or kidney problems, asthma, epilepsy or migraine. Men taking hCG may develop a distressing condition called gynecomastia – enlargement of the male breasts. There have also been a number of reports in the medical literature describing the development of testicular cancer in young men taking hCG, and although a definite causative link has not been clearly established, there is legitimate cause for concern. There is also some evidence that there is an increased risk of ovarian cancer in women treated with hCG for infertility”

The bottom line folks, is there is no short cut to weight loss. I have had great success with so many patients by changing to a whole food anti-inflammatory diet, increasing exercise ( which has some great research on its anti-cancer properties) controlling blood sugar and insulin. Yes it is more work but the long term benefits and quality of life is fantastic as supported by thousands of studies.

80% of my patients are cancer patients and I see some common threads in most (not all) my cancer patients. (see my article at poor diet, excess weight, bad digestion, acid reflux on acid blockers or tums, allergies, and joint pain. These are some of the symptoms I see with the overweight patients as well. Lets be proactive and empower ourselves to treat the cause of our weight gain and reduce our risk factors for all disease.

best in health

Cynthia Bye, ND