A Novel Approach to Weight Loss – The hCG Diet | Robert A. Erickson M.D.

Obesity is very frustrating for patient and doctor alike to deal with. Many of my patients claim they eat very little and yet the fat continues to accumulate. Or they’ve tried various diets and either the diet doesn’t work or the food cravings/hunger are too much, so they give up. Even if the diet works, patients get discouraged as the lost weight comes back as soon as the diet is stopped and calories are increased. The following information is an introduction to a diet program we are now offering at the Center. This program is not intended for someone who needs to shed a few pounds. It is for people motivated to lose 20 or 30 or more pounds. If after reviewing the following information you have an interest in learning more about this diet program or wish to schedule a consultation appointment, please contact the Center at 352-331-5138.

In the 1970s, a British physician named A.T.W. Simeons published a book Pounds and Inches – A New Approach to Obesity. He was treating obese patients in the Salvator Mundi International Hospital in Rome, Italy with daily injections of hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) and a very low 500 calorie diet. His patients would have dramatic weight loss, often at rate of one pound a day. Through his research he found a link between obesity and a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. He postulated that when the hypothalamus was not functioning properly, patients would have intense physical hunger and cravings, and they would eat when they were not truly hungry. Dr. Simeons believed that as a result, the body stored abnormal amounts of fat which was then very difficult to lose at a later time. He hypothesized that hCG hormone, in low doses, would in some way correct the functioning of the hypothalamus.


In his book he describes three types of fat. The first is the structural fat which fills the gaps between various organs, a sort of packing material to cushion organs such as the kidneys, heart and nerves.

The second type of fat is a normal reserve of fuel upon which the body can draw when calorie intake is insufficient to meet the body’s demand. Such normal reserves are located all over the body. Both structural and reserve fats are normal, and even if the body stocks them to capacity this can never be called obesity.

But there is a third type of fat which is entirely abnormal. Dr. Simeons went on to state “it is the accumulation of such fat, and of such fat only, from which the overweight patient suffers. This abnormal fat is also a potential reserve of fuel, but unlike the normal reserves it is not available to the body in a nutritional emergency. It is, so to speak, locked away in a fixed deposit and is not kept in a current account, as are the normal reserves.”

Dr. Simeons went on to say that if an obese patient tried to reduce by starving him or herself, they would first lose their normal fat reserves. When these were exhausted the patient would burn up structural fat, and only as a last resort would the body yield its abnormal reserves. By that time the patient usually felt so weak and hungry, and looked so haggard that their diet was abandoned.


Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or hGC is a natural hormone found in men and women, but is most often associated with pregnancy since the amount of hGC in a pregnant woman is much higher than in a non-pregnant woman or a man. The amount of hCG used in this diet program is so minute that it will not even trigger a positive response on a pregnancy test. hCG is not a sex hormone but has a protein structure.

The theory behind the diet is because you are in-taking only 500 calories, weight loss is a given. The addition of the hCG affects the hypothalamus, which in turn stimulates the release of fat stored in the body which in turn supplies the 1500 or so additional calories needed on a daily basis. Fat loss and weight loss occur, but excess food cravings and hunger are blunted due the hCG effect. Dr. Simeons found that a person’s abnormal fat stores would be mobilized from storage and a more normal fat distribution and metabolic function occur after about 20 days.

I wish to make it clear to our readers that hCG is approved by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as a safe drug and indicated for treatment of certain problems of the male reproductive system and in stimulating ovulation in women who have had difficulty becoming pregnant. The FDA position since 1975 has been there is no evidence to substantiate claims for hCG as a weight-loss aid.


At the Center I have researched using both hCG injections and oral forms of hCG to assist obese patients control appetites and lose weight. I was fortunate to find a product called Releana®, which is a patented, “medical grade” human identical hCG, unlike much of the junk that is available on the Internet. In fact, it must be prescribed by a licensed physician. Releana® is used sublingually (under the tongue) twice daily. It gives equal or better results than the injected form of hCG. This product has been in use for nine years without significant side effects.

In addition to using Releana® there is also a very specific 500 calorie diet that must be followed. Side effects from a very low calorie diet may include headache, fatigue, constipation and irritability. Since water is also lost with fat, dehydration must be prevented by taking in adequate fluids and electrolytes.

An initial consultation visit with Dr. Erickson is required for all patients before being approved for this program. At this consultation, a limited physical exam will be performed, laboratory tests ordered, and appropriate supplements prescribed. The customary office charge will apply. At this visit we will also obtain baseline photos, vital signs and measurements, and order necessary lab work. A booklet that goes into detail of what to do and what to eat will also be provided to you as part of your diet program. We want you to be successful in your weight loss program and we ask that you read this booklet several times before starting. You will need to purchase an accurate digital scale to weigh your food. If approved for the diet, you will also need to purchase Releana®. The current cost is $250 a bottle, which is a one month supply. This must be refrigerated once constituted. The manufacturer requires an informed consent be signed as well in order to purchase Releana®.

After an initial 2-3 day high calorie loading period, you will start the diet program and begin weekly weight and BP checks with the nurses at the Center. You will also receive weekly Methylcobalamine shots (special vitamin B12). There is no additional charge for the weekly B12 shots or nursing visits. Periodic visits based on your condition with Dr. Erickson will be required at the customary office visit rates. This is especially important for diabetic, hypothyroid and hypertensive patients where adjustment of medications and supplements may be necessary.

After achieving your weight loss goal, you stop taking Releana® and begin a three week maintenance diet. There is no calorie restriction on this part of the program, but most high carbohydrate foods are restricted or prohibited. After this three week period is over, regular foods are introduced again in moderation. In the experience of the manufacturer, 85% of the Releana® patients have kept the weight off one year later.

FAQs FROM Releana®
Copyright 2004 – 2010 Releana® Corporation All Rights Reserved
U.S. Patent No. 7,605,122 www.releana.com

Question: How do they make hcg? Does it come from someone who’s pregnant?
Answer: No. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is ‘human’, but it is grown in sterile cells.

Question: Is the hcg you use in Releana® natural?
Answer: There is much confusion about ‘natural’ hcg. All hcg is made in a laboratory, but there are two types of ‘human’ hcg: one is made for fertility and contains only alpha subunits, the other one contains both alpha and beta subunits. Since humans have alpha and beta receptors in our adipose (fat)
tissue, the hcg with both subunits works best for weight loss. The hcg with both subunits is considered ‘natural’. That is the only one we use for Releana®.

Question: I have heard there are cheaper oral hcg programs. Why should I do the Releana® Program?
Answer: There are many imitation copycat formulas being made that claim they work as well as Releana®.

    • Some of these may actually deliver an over-dose or under-dose of hcg.

    • They may also contain undisclosed additives that do not transport hcg as
      effectively as Releana®, may taste bad, and some have questionable ingredients.

    • They may not be manufactured to the same sterile laboratory standards of Releana®.

    • Some may even use equine (horse) chorionic gonadotropin, not human chorionic gonadotropin.

  • The makers of Releana® are dedicated to treating obesity and are constantly
    improving the formula to get better results.

Question: Why do I need to take Potassium while on the Releana® Program?
Answer: When you are on the Releana® Program, you are losing fat at a very rapid rate. Fat cells contain lots of water and that will be lost too when you lose the fat. This happens so rapidly that even though you are drinking, you can become dehydrated easily. The Potassium helps to prevent you from having symptoms of dehydration like: lightheadedness, muscle cramps, tingling in your hands or feet and fatigue.

Question: What happens if I have the symptoms of dehydration and I am taking my Potassium?
Answer: You might need to take a stronger dosage of Potassium. Call your doctor immediately and let them know the symptoms you are experiencing.

Question: Do I still need to take Potassium if I am taking medication that retains Potassium in my body such as my blood pressure pill?
Answer: In our experience, yes, but ask your doctor. The doctor may want to take a blood sample to check your Potassium levels before prescribing Potassium.

Question: What happens if I can’t hold the Releana® liquid under my tongue for 3 minutes? Will it still work?
Answer: If you can hold the Releana® liquid under your tongue for at least 1 minute, it will still work. 3 minutes is optimal.

Question: Can I drink vodka or gin on the program? I heard it was ok to drink alcohol as long as it was clear.
Answer: NO!! There is no alcohol allowed of any kind on the Releana® Program.

Question: Can I get a massage while I am on the Releana® Program?
Answer: Yes you can get a massage while on the Releana® Program; just request water
soluble massage oil.

Question: I’ve heard hcg can cause your period to start. Is that true?
Answer: Sometimes this can happen as women are adjusting to hcg. It is not a hormone involved in the menstrual cycle, but it can in rare cases fool the body. It is nothing to be alarmed about. The menstrual cycle will regulate rapidly and it happens very rarely.

Question: Does hcg make it easier for me to get pregnant?
Answer: No. A different hcg is used for fertility and in much higher doses, along with several other hormones.

Question: Has anyone ever had an allergic reaction to Releana® ?
Answer: No

Question: Does everyone lose weight on the Releana® Program?
Answer: Yes, if they follow the diet and guidelines. No one has failed.

Question: What if I lose weight for a while and then stop losing?
Answer: If you plateau, then do an Apple Day where you eat 6 large apples only. If you still are not losing on the scale, then you are probably still losing inches. Stay on the diet and the pounds will show on the scale soon.

Question: Can I participate in the Releana® Program if I take medications or have high blood pressure or diabetes?
Answer: Absolutely. Very often medications can be lowered after losing weight or even not needed at all. Ask your doctor, but you may be the perfect candidate.

Question: How long can I stay on the Releana® Program? Do I have to stop before I reach my goal?
Answer: No you do not have stop the Releana® Program before you reach your goal. We have tested patients to see if they get immune toReleana® and they do not.

Question: Can I exercise while I am on the Releana® Program?
Answer: Yes, but limit your exercise to mild aerobics, fast walking, or yoga. Strenuous exercise can cause lightheadedness and possibly fainting.

Question: What if I experience extreme fatigue while on the Releana® Program? What should I do?
Answer: This can happen for two reasons:

    • Either you did not load well enough

  • Your body is used to breaking down muscle instead of fat.

You should increase your protein to 6 or 8 ounces per meal for two (2) days, then go back on the Releana®Program as before and your symptoms should disappear.

Question: What should I do if I become constipated while on the Releana® Program?
Answer: We tell our patients to use a natural product called “Calm”. Calm is a very bioavailable magnesium product. You make it into a tea that you drink in the evening. You start with 1 teaspoon in 2 ounces of water and then increase it every night until you see a result. Calm is very good for you because it helps your muscles and nerves and it is not habit-forming. Calm is sugar-free and the best flavor is the Raspberry-Lemon. Calm can be purchased at some pharmacies, vitamin stores, or your doctor may carry it.

Question: Can I have a false positive pregnancy test?
Answer: No, the amount of hcg in Releana® is small and cannot be detected in the blood or urine. It is, however, the right amount of hcg to achieve rapid weight loss.

Question: Can I get morning sickness while on the Releana® Program?
Answer: No.

Question: Can men use Releana® or is it only for women?
Answer: Men use Releana® with equal success and no side effects.