Hormone treatments have long been used for a number of conditions. Advocates claim that one such hormone, gonadotropin, can induce weight loss in individuals. This alleged benefit is purported to result from the hormone's ability to burn or relocate fat and to lower hunger levels via a part of the brain. While supporters have heralded scientific proof for these theories, subsequent scientific research has failed to establish a substantial link between gonadotropin and weight loss. In fact, the drug may produce serious side effects in some individuals.
The term gonadotropin refers to protein hormones created in the pituitary gland that bear the full name human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Generally produced during either pregnancy or cancer development, this substance is often the subject of pregnancy testing and cancer testing. Physicians also may prescribe the hormone for fertility treatments. A more controversial potential medical use is an alleged connection between gonadotropin and weight loss.
A 1950s English doctor first proposed a link between gonadotropin and weight loss. According to Dr. Albert Simeons, injections of gonadotropin could lead to a number of effects that might help an individual lose weight. On a basic level, the injection would supposedly curb hunger. As such, individuals could subsist on a daily diet of 500 calories.
In addition, already deposited fat might be burned, just as if one were exercising. Even remaining fats could be moved from problematic areas like the waist and thighs and relocated elsewhere. These suppositions could be due to the role of gonadotropin in pregnancy, which consists of converting fat into usable energy for the fetus. Simeons himself believed the hormone could direct the brain’s hypothalamus to induce weight loss.
Critics, however, contend that any weight loss resulting from a gonadotropin approach are owed specifically to the low-calorie aspect of the diet. Thus, they claim, gonadotropin and weight loss should not be associated. Several scientific studies that have investigated the relationship between gonadotropin and weight loss have concluded that no positive correlation exists. Further, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued a warning concerning fraudulent promotions of this hormone product.
Attempting to join gonadotropin and weight loss methods can create undesirable side effects, according to some medical professionals. For one, the hormone itself has a litany of side effects that include headaches, fatigue, and nausea. More serious complications can arise as well, ranging from chest pains to, ironically, weight gain. Further, the low-calorie diet can deprive the body of needed nutrients.