Consumer Alert: Dangerous Weight-Loss Drug Marketed Online
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every three Americans over the age of 20 could be classified as obese, and the numbers appear to be climbing.
Unfortunately, the prevalence of overweight consumers has led many dieting companies to position themselves to take advantage of the situation, with many offering potentially dangerous weight-loss supplements that don’t always prove effective. Recently, many websites have begun promoting HCG as a weight-loss supplement; however, the Food and Drug Administration has made it clear that these claims aren’t founded in reality.
What Is hCG?
Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone created in the human placenta. Although it is approved by the government for treating certain types of medical conditions; according to health and fitness expert, Paul A. Achoa, it hasn’t been judged safe or effective as a dieting supplement.
“Recently, Ilisa Bernstein, the acting director of the FDA’s Office of Compliance, issued a warning to consumers regarding HCG,” he said. “According to her, there are no scientific studies demonstrating that the hormone has any effect on weight-loss. More importantly, the supplement has the potential for causing potentially dangerous side-effects, when used improperly; and the agency has warned many companies against promoting it as a solution for dieters.”
The FDA Issues Warning Letters
According to Achoa, who specializes in features centered on how to lose weight safely, the FDA recently issued a batch of warning letters to numerous companies, which have been marketing HCG as a weight-loss supplement. Unfortunately, Achoa says, that’s all it can do, right now.
“The FDA does not currently have the money or authority to regulate diet supplements,” he said. “At this point, all it can do is warn companies about potential legal action. Unfortunately, while some of these companies comply, others are located overseas, outside the U.S. government’s jurisdiction. In the end, the agency has focused its attention on educating dieters by issuing statements and creating educational videos.”
What Consumers Should Know
Achoa says dieters should avoid potentially dangerous hormonal supplements that could compromise their health. According to him, the FDA has linked HCG to disturbing side-effects, such as headaches, vomiting and difficulty breathing.
“The FDA has made it clear that these supplements don’t work and are potentially harmful” he said. “Whether sold as pills or drops, this stuff isn’t meant to help people lose weight. Unfortunately, because the FDA is limited in its ability to regulate diet supplements, consumers will need to get educated to protect themselves from potential scams.”