What Is HCG and what are its current applications?

HealthGuru By HealthGuru, 17th May 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Drugs & Medicines

Information about the Human chorionic gonadotropin hormone and its modern applications.

Introduction

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG for short) is a relatively unknown hormone that most people are not familiar with. However, recently it was featured on a popular TV show as a possible means of losing weight fast and with little effort. Supposedly, taking a magic HCG pill may one day be enough to say bye-bye to the extra fat. Purpose of this article is to explain in simple words,what is HCG and its current, medical applications.

What is Human chorionic gonadotropin ?

HCG is a glycoprotein (containing oligosaccharide chains) hormone that in humans is first produced by the syncytiotrophoblast, a main component of the fertilized egg. HCG productions starts almost right after conception. Later, the syncytiotrophoblast gives rise to the placenta which continues to produce HCG during pregnancy. HCG production is exceptionally high during the first stages of pregnancy, but tapers off as the embryo starts to develop more and more.

HCG Applications

Today, hCG Human chorionic gonadotropin has many health-related applications. Let's see the main ones:

1. Pregnancy and Cancer tests

The fact that hCG levels skyrocket right after conception, make HCG a perfect tool for pregnancy tests. Many pregnancy tests check for levels of hCG in blood, urine or both. An abnormally high hCG concentration, most probably means that the woman undergoing the test is pregnant.

Some rare cancers also present with high HCG levels.

2. Fertily medications

Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) injections are commonly used in men and women with specific fertility problems. Be aware that HCG is not a fertility-panacea. However, it does wonders in certain cases.

3. To improve athletic performance

HCG is believed to enhance testosterone levels, which if true means bigger muscle gains and increased athletic performance. Currently, HCG is one of the most popular options in the "anabolic" world, used in combination with other anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS). In most cases, people take it in the form of injection. Since, HCG injections require a prescription, athletes are one of main clients in the ongrowing HCG blackmarket.

Whether the hormone can actually increase athletic performance or not remains a mystery as there is no actual research, just anecdotal evidence (testimonials etc).

4. In the treatment of Idiopathic Hypogonadotrophic Hypogonadism

A recent study on men with Idiopathic Hypogonadotrophic Hypogonadism ((IHH)) revealed that hCG injections are effective in inducing penile growth, serum testosterone level and testicular volume in men born with IHH, a rare congenital condition. HCG may also be prescribed to young men and adults with similar conditions, alone or in combination with other sex-related hormones like testosterone.

5. Weight lost and the "hCG" diet

In the 1950s, British endocrinologist Albert T. W. Simeons' proposed a HCG weight-loss protocol based on human chorionic gonadotropin injections as an adjunct to an ultra-low-calorie weight-loss diet (the equivalent of less than 500 calories/day). His diet became very popular back then, and is still today to a lesser extent.

Today, the scientific consensus is that Simeons's claims had no scientific basis. Several review studies have refuted the HCG diet numerous times. These studies have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and all conclude that the" HCG diet" is neither safe nor effective for weight loss purposes.

About HCG aids, supplements, drops etc

Today the market is filled with over the counter supplements, aids and other hCG products that promise weight loss, bigger muscles, increased libido, some times even a bigger penis!

Please note that FDA-examinations have found the majority of these products to either contain no HCG at all or only trace amounts. Furthermore, HCG can only enter the bloodstream through injection. This means that any improvements arising from the use of such supplements is purely the result of placebo-effect.

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_chorionic_gonadotropin

Tags

Hcg, Hormones, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin

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