Did you know there are over 200 hormones and hormone-like substances in humans? Each one has its own job to do, or usually multiple jobs. Luckily for all of us, researchers have found out how to harness and control many of these hormones for our own benefit.
Let’s take a closer look at one important hormone with multiple functions: human chorionic gonadotropic or HCG. What is HCG and what does it do for your body?
1. HCG Is Usually a Pregnancy Hormone
HCG’s primary job in the body is to support early pregnancy. In fact, it’s a marker that over-the-counter pregnancy tests use to determine if a person is pregnant.
HCG helps the body produce progesterone in the early stages of pregnancy. The placenta eventually takes over that job, but HCG controls the progesterone until the placenta is well-formed enough to function.
2. Everyone Has Some HCG
HCG is primarily active during pregnancy. However, it doesn’t disappear in the meantime. All of us have low levels of HCG in our bodies at all times. It’s produced naturally by your pituitary gland.
3. HCG Can Stimulate Weight Loss
If you’ve heard of HCG before, you probably heard it in reference to the HCG diet. This is a weight loss diet that combines HCG with a very low-calorie intake.
The HCG is meant to stimulate your metabolism while also keeping you from being hungry. You administer the HCG yourself with injection kits you can see here.
4. The HCG Diet Is a Multi-Stage Process
For those who want to lose weight quickly, the HCG is a three-set process. The first step is called the loading phase. You start taking the HCG while continuing with your regular, indulgent diet.
Next comes the weight loss phase. You continue taking the HCG but you drop your calorie intake to around 500 calories per day. The specific calorie limit may differ from person to person, but it’s rarely more than 800.
This is meant to be a dramatic but brief diet. After a few weeks of the weight loss phase, you move into the maintenance phase.
During this phase, you stop taking the HCG. You increase your calorie intake by a little bit each day until you reach a more maintainable level.
5. HCG Injections Have Other Purposes Too
Among the general public, HCG injections are best-known for the HCG diet. However, they have prescribed medical uses too.
Doctors use HCG to treat certain causes of infertility in women. In men, doctors use HCG to treat hypogonadism. In hypogonadism, the body doesn’t stimulate the gonads enough to produce normal testosterone levels.
What Is HCG? Getting the Facts
As a natural hormone, HCG is important for various functions in our bodies. By answering questions like “what is HCG?” and “how could HCG help weight loss?” though, you can harness it in other ways to optimize your health.
Looking for more fun facts about your health and wellness? Check out the latest and greatest articles on our blog.