Pregnant women & the HCG Diet - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Pregnant women & the HCG Diet

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WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - It's a diet that promises to help you lose around a pound or more a day. It even discourages people from exercising, and it claims to be all-natural.

It's called the HCG Diet. It's been around for decades, and now there's a new interest in it. But, some say, it's dangerous.

If there's a diet to try, Charlene has done it. "I went to my 20-something year reunion, and they said, you know our nickname for you was 'Charlene the Diet Queen' right? I'm like, that's fascinating because I still do that!"

But this last year, the diet queen says she struck liquid gold. "I feel like I've hit the mother load, the golden egg. I'm ecstatic about it."

She's talking about HCG. Charlene says she dropped a lot of weight in a short amount of time. "I lost 15 pounds in 13 days."

HCG is a hormone found in the urine of pregnant women. HCG comes from the placenta; it's secreted during pregnancy.

Connie Odom sells HCG in the area right from her traveling "Medical Medispa". She says she has 75 clients. "I swear by it that, it works. I've never seen anything like it."

The claims are that HCG tricks the brain just as it might if one were pregnant. "It's based on the concept that if a person is pregnant, they will not lose any of the nutrients, and the baby will get all of the nutrients if they do not eat anything at all."

That chemical for pregnant women is meant to release that fat for the baby, and that's where the controversy comes in because, critics say, you are starving.

When you take the HCG,  whether it's by the drops or by injection, you also have to go on a very low-calorie diet -- around 500 calories a day. 

"Typically, 500 calories is a danger in itself," said Dr. Peter Kramer. Not a single general practitioner questioned for the story knew about the HCG diet, but Kramer says it's common sense not to dip below national dietary standards. "It can be dangerous if you're not getting the right blend of calories and proteins and things like that."

"You can't go down to 500 calories a day without the chemical," said Charlene.

She says thanks to HCG, she's back in her bikini, and recently she even started selling it at the salon where she works. "I just want to get it out there."

The diet queen says she's looking no more, she says, she found all she needed in HCG. "I swear by this. I was in awe."

Depending if you do the drops or the injections, it can cost from anywhere between $70 and $500.

Connie Odom says her guy patients tend to do better than the women. And one more thing, it is FDA approved. But for infertility and not for dieting.

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