Primary care physicians often wonder about the hCG protocol. Some doctors argue that there is no medical literature to support the effectiveness of the hCG Protocol for weight loss. They argue that this “starvation diet” has been banned by the FDA. This is actually not true. The fake hCG over-the-counter (OTC) diets were banned, not the actual hCG Protocol. The OTC diets sold at so called health stores and regular pharmacies are not real hCG medication. These do cause starvation states and increase overall health risks.
A doctor felt the exact same way others did when he first learned the hCG Protocol existed. Because of his concern with family members who had done the actual protocol, he researched extensively and found no support in the medical literature. What he did find were family members and other people who had done well. So he did his own trials following the protocol as originally written. To his surprise, he found success. 5 years and thousands of patients later there is continued success. What is important is that patients feel great; their body fat decreases and they maintain their muscle mass. The reason medical literature does not support the protocol is simple. There simply are not enough good studies and that the studies that exist have significant limitations.
Though therapies, medications, and procedures are best assessed by randomized clinical trials and meta-analyses, there can be significant limitations. This evidence is often outdated, incomplete, and contradictory as in the case of hCG research. Sometimes clinical experience and judgment can be a powerful combination in validating a therapy. This in no way negates good medical literature. Rather, it can be a check and balance to the biases often seen in the literature.
In the case of the hCG Protocol there is significant bias. That bias is passed around by doctors and other experts as fact to be applied to all patients. Unlike therapies like bariatric surgery, which has an FDA approved annual death rate of approximately 2,500 people, the hCG protocol has not had one single death attributed to it in over 60 years, and not one single long term side effect documented in the medical literature.