Sunday, 23 June 2013

HCG Diet - Latest Research

By Dr. Elizabeth Clark

The online medical database, PubMed, lists a total of 20,489 research articles on hCG as of May, 2013. Just 93 of these have anything to do with weight loss, most of them loosely so. Furthermore, the past decade reveals 5,341 articles on hCG, just 33 of which are loosely associated with weight loss. Of those 33, none are actual studies of the hCG diet for weight loss. This subject is clearly not a high priority in medical research.

Nevertheless, one recent study stands out, and does not even get listed in the above search on hCG and weight loss. The reason is because it focuses on the changes in certain cardiovascular risk factors that accompany weight loss. The hCG diet just happened to be the protocol used for achieving weight loss. The full reference data for this study are as follows:

Mikirova NA, Casciari JJ, Hunninghake RE, Beezley MM. Effect of weight reduction on cardiovascular risk factors and CD34-positive cells in circulation. Int J Med Sci. 2011;8(6):445-52.

This study was designed to stick closely to the Simeons hCG diet plan, with certain modifications. It was designed as follows:

1) Oral supplements consisting of the following nutrients: 250 mg tyrosine, 2 mg beta-glucan, 200 mcg selenium, 1 mg folic acid, 5 mg iodine, 7.5 mg potassium iodide, 600 mg magnesium, 5 g vitamin D3, 60 mg coenzyme Q10, 150 mg lipoic acid, 340 mg acetyl-L-carnitine, 100 mg vitamin B complex, and a probiotic (2 billion CFU acidophilus with 2 billion CFU bifidus and 109 mg FOS); 2) Daily sublingual treatments by vitamin B12 (1,000 mcg per day); 3) Meals totaling 500 calories per day, consisting of: breakfast of coffee/tea with no sugar or one fruit serving, with lunch and dinner each comprising of 3.5 oz of lean protein, a vegetable serving, a bread serving, and a fruit serving; 4) Daily treatments of hCG nasal spray, at doses of 125 - 180 IU.

The scheduled program was as follows: patients took B12, supplements, and hCG for two days prior to starting a 36-day very low calorie diet. This program was followed by 35 days wherein calorie consumption was slowly increased. Sugar and starch intake were restricted during this period. The hCG treatment was then stopped.

The most weight lost by any subject was about 37.8 lbs. The least was 5.5 lbs. The article did not explain the reason behind this wide discrepancy except to say that those who started out the heaviest lost the most weight.

Moreover, the average decrease in body fat was 12.4 percent. This was accompanied by an average mean decrease of 5.7 percent lean body mass. In other words, the amount of fat loss was more than double the amount lost in lean body mass. This result confirms what Dr. Simeons had already shown more than a half century ago.

Cardiovascular risk indicators also showed a statistically significant improvement in total cholesterol, the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol. Improvement also occurred in levels of triglycerides, fasting blood glucose, and VLDL cholesterol. The HDL cholesterol levels did not change.

What about those CD34-positive cells in circulation? Researchers are continually looking for additional indicators of cardiovascular health other than blood lipids. One of the relatively new indicators is a cell type that negatively correlates with damage to the lining of vascular tissue. Damage to cells that help replenish such tissue accompanies obesity. As the numbers of such cells go down, damage goes up. An increase of one of these types of cells, called CD34-positive cells, may therefore be an indicator of improvement of vascular health.

The authors showed how an increase in production of CD34-positive cells correlates with changes in percent body fat. Specifically, there was a strong positive correlation between an increase in this cell type and the percent reduction in body fat. This is the positive result that indicates improved vascular health as percent body fat goes down.

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