The effect of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the treatment of obesity by means of the Simeons therapy: a criteria-based meta-analysis

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1995 Sep;40(3):237-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.1995.tb05779.x.


1. A meta-analysis was conducted to assess if there is scientific ground for the use of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of obesity. 2. Published papers relating to eight controlled and 16 uncontrolled trials that measured the effect of HCG in the treatment of obesity were traced by computer-aided search and citation tracking. 3. The trials were scored for the quality of the methods (based on four main categories: study population, interventions, measurement of effect, and data presentation and analysis) and the main conclusion of author(s) with regard to weight-loss, fat-redistribution, hunger, and feeling of well-being. 4. Methodological scores ranged from 16 to 73 points (maximum score 100), suggesting that most studies were of poor methodological quality. Of the 12 studies scoring 50 or more points, one reported that HCG was a useful adjunct. The studies scoring 50 or more points were all controlled. 5. We conclude that there is no scientific evidence that HCG is effective in the treatment of obesity; it does not bring about weight-loss of fat-redistribution, nor does it reduce hunger or induce a feeling of well-being.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Therapy
  • Fats
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Fats