Ineffectiveness of human chorionic gonadotropin in weight reduction: a double-blind study

Am J Clin Nutr. 1976 Sep;29(9):940-8. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/29.9.940.


Our investigation was designed to retest the hypothesis of the efficacy of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) on weight reduction in obese women in a clinic setting. We sought to duplicate the Asher-Harper study (1973) which had found that the combination of 500 cal diet and HCG had a statistically significant benefit over the diet and placebo combination as evidenced by greater weight loss and decrease in hunger. Fifty-one women between the ages of 18 and 60 participated in our 32-day prospective, randomized, double-blind comparison of HCG versus placebo. Each patient was given the same diet (the one prescribed in the Asher-Harper study), was weighed daily Monday through Saturday and was counselled by one of the investigators who administered the injections. Laboratory studies were performed at the time of initial physical examinations and at the end of the study. Twenty of 25 in the HCG and 21 of 26 patients in the placebo groups completed 28 injections. There was no statistically significant difference in the means of the two groups in number of injections received, weight loss, percent of weight loss, hip and waist circumference, weight loss per injections, or in hunger ratings. HCG does not appear to enhance the effectiveness of a rigidly imposed regimen for weight reduction.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen
  • Body Height
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diet, Reducing
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Hematocrit
  • Humans
  • Hunger / drug effects
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lipids / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Placebos
  • Uric Acid / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Blood Proteins
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Lipids
  • Placebos
  • Uric Acid