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HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is frequently marketed as a weight loss diet on the internet, yet no randomized controlled trials signal its efficacy for that purpose. The accompanying 500 calorie diet is more likely to contribute to the net weight loss than a hormone associated with weight gain in pregnancy.
Injectable HCG is available in the United States with prescription and from varying overseas pharmacies. Its efficacy is highly established in one arena, fertility treatments. It’s a low cost way to jump start the process. By the same mechanism in males, HCG has been found to increase testosterone, penile length (in micropenis) and increase testicular size. HCG works by stimulating the Leydig cells in the testicles to produced more testosterone. The normal hormone that completes this task is LH, and HCG shares much of the same amino acid structure as LH.
In a more clandestine use, it’s widely used to increase testicle size during hormone replacement therapy. Even though HCG is prescribed by a physician in this manner, it’s not FDA approved for these purposes.
Keep in mind, although HCG increases the size of the testicles, it’s also associated with a decrease in endogenous sperm production. This production returns to normal in approximately one year. In the case of penile growth, the enhancement was statistically significant after 24 weeks. The caveat is, of course, the low baseline of measurements in these patients. It’s not expected to have similar results in healthy males.
One drawback of HCG injections for males is the proclivity of the testosterone to aromatize into estrogen. This occurs in testosterone administration as well. Men need estrogen, but in a much smaller amount than HCG may create. This endpoint may be ameliorated by the addition of an aromatase inhibitor, typically used to reduce breast cancer proliferation in females. It works by the same mechanism, estrogen reduction via inhibition of the aromatase enzyme.