Weight-Loss Remedy From Placenta Potentially Dangerous: FDA
A weight-loss remedy made of protein from the human placenta is under fire from the Food and Drug Administration, which has warned seven companies to stop selling it.
"These products are marketed with incredible claims and people think that if they're losing weight, HCG must be working," Elizabeth Miller of the FDA's division for non-prescription drugs and health fraud said in a statement. "But the data simply does not support this — any loss is from severe calorie restriction. Not from the HCG."
The companies sell the protein, human chorionic gonadotropin, as drops, pellets or sprays, according to The Associated Press. It is approved for infertility treatments, but the FDA says it doesn't help people lose weight, despite products that claim it can change "abnormal eating patterns."
But the programs require restrictive diets of around 500 calories per day, which health experts say can be dangerous. According to the AP, the companies have 15 days to respond and remove their products from the market. If they do not comply, they may face legal action, seizure, injunction, or criminal prosecution.
The proteins are marketed as homeopathic remedies, which most doctors regard as ineffective but harmless. But the FDA says the HCG products could be dangerous when taken as directed.