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The HCG Diet: Urine Injections Make You Skinny?

Can urine injections make you lose weight?

Can urine injections make you lose weight?

Most mamas are familiar with HCG. It’s the human growth hormone that shows up in your urine as soon as you get knocked up, the magic chemical that turns your pregnancy test positive when you pee on it.

Some people think that pregnant pee is good for something else. They’re using injections of HCG aka pregnant lady pee as a weight loss regimen. One shot a day supposedly cures your weight woes for good.

Before I get into the scientific problems with this, not to mention the safety issues, let me just say: having HCG in my urine, and flowing through my bloodstream, did NOT make me magically lose weight. It made me vomit like anything and turn up my nose at most foods, and I still gained 60 pounds with each pregnancy.

Have the proponents of this diet ever seen a pregnant woman? Healthy moms-to-be are not at their skinniest.

So the science: there’s no evidence that HCG helps people lose weight. The claim is that it tricks your body into thinking you’re pregnant, thus speeding up your metabolism and melting off pounds. You know what else tricks your body into thinking you’re pregnant? The Pill. And as anyone who’s taken it can attest, it makes you gain weight. Just like being pregnant does.

What might be at work for the people who swear by this gross weight loss supplement is a placebo effect. It’s an injection. With a huge ream of instructions. It costs a lot of money. There’s a lot of psychological weight to believing it will work. Placebos are powerful stuff, and they could prompt people to drop excess pounds.

Before you plunk down a pile of cash, you may want to consider a cheaper, safer one. I probably don’t need to tell you that injecting a stranger’s body fluids into your body is dangerous. Urine can carry pathogens and toxins that you don’t want in your body.

Simple sugar pills also make perfectly effective placebos, if you believe in them. They have the added advantage of not being made of pee.

Would you inject a pregnant woman’s urine into your body to lose weight?

Photo: Andres Rueda

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