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What the H?

Two Hormones that Start with H and Are Making Headlines

HCG and HGH what are they and why do people use them?

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin may be familiar to females as this is what you test for to determine pregnancy either in urine or blood. It has also been used as a test for certain tumors that also secrete this hormone. However, in the last few years it has become a popularized weight loss program, referred to as the “HCG diet”. Although there is controversy as the Journal of American Medical Association is not a proponent. People seeking weight loss have turned to take HCG in conjunction with a 500-1000 calorie diet. The philosophy is that the HCG resets the hypothalamus (part of the brain), and also allows for fat loss as oppose to muscle loss during the caloric restriction. However, looking to the long term effects of a non pregnant female or male putting HCG in the body are difficult to observe.

Human Growth Hormone is yet another increasingly popular hormone being used more in the athletic or anti-aging community. It is naturally occurring in the body, secreted by the pituitary and as its name suggests is responsible for growth, it also has numerous effects ranging from blood sugar regulation, fat breakdown, and muscle production. HGH is now on the market and can come in various delivery forms similar to HCG (injections and oral). The Mayo Clinic reports that HGH, when not needed, may contribute to conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

Perhaps we should just say, what the heck happened to a healthy lifestyle? Hormones can help with many things, but if it isn’t on a foundation of proper nutrition and fitness, then the effects will be short term. Long term consequences for hormone use, again, are hard to say for certain, as science can have conflicting data, and study outcomes are variable.

When considering any medical treatment, ask yourself about what goals you are aiming for, and can they be accomplished with out the use of external agents that haven’t been well researched or those which have the possibility of harm. Talk to a holistic MD or ND about your health concerns to find a treatment plan that can help you be healthy and happy, with or with out the hormones.

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