BBB Warns Consumers of HCG Weight-Loss Products

5/9/2012

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By Paula Fleming, BBB

Marlborough, MA - May 9, 2012 –

Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) Xtreme weight loss drugs that come in oral drops, pellets and sprays. HCG is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for weight loss. The only legal form of HCG is prescribed by doctors to treat female infertility, not weight loss.

HCG manufacturers claim that these diet supplements will reset metabolisms, change abnormal eating patterns and shed 20-30 pounds in 30-40 days. According to Elizabeth Miller, a pharmacist of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), HCG is marketed with an extremely unhealthy caloric intake of 500 per day; the average person’s intake is around 2000 calories a day.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and FDA issued seven letters in December of 2011 to businesses selling HCG, warning them they’re selling illegal weight-loss drugs that are not FDA approved.

“You cannot sell products claiming to contain HCG as an over-the-counter drug product. It’s illegal,” said Brad Pace, regulatory counsel at FDA’s Health Fraud and Consumer Outreach Branch. “If these companies don’t heed our warnings, they could face enforcement actions, legal penalties or criminal prosecution.”

HCG Xtreme, has an F rating with BBB. They have 53 complaints that range from billing and collection issues to problems with products and services. Factors that lowered HCG Xtreme’s rating include length of operating time, failure to respond to complaints, insufficient background information and advertising issues.

The location in Maine for HCG Xtreme is a fulfillment center where hundreds of other products are distributed from. There is no definitive address listed.

When consumers click on HCG Xtreme advertisements on Facebook, a link is posted to their wall; however they are unable to see it themselves. Legitimate businesses will not solicit consumers through false advertising.

BBB advises consumers to follow these tips when purchasing diet supplements:

Do your research. It is important to know the risks of diet supplements since many are untested and unreliable. Most are comprised of caffeine, appetite suppressants, fat blockers and more. Even “natural” supplements are made up of unhealthy ingredients.

Know the side effects. Diet supplements are full of ingredients that cause adverse effects such as nausea, increased blood pressure, stroke, seizures, headache, insomnia, and much more.

How realistic are those results? Shed those extra pounds, have increased energy, feel fuller faster – are these guaranteed results? Most diet supplements are marketed with extreme dieting and exercise regimes that are not only unhealthy but dangerous.

Don’t forget the fine print. Many manufacturers of diet supplements don’t offer money-back guarantees. Can you return any unused product? Will you be charged monthly for auto-shipping? Be sure to read all disclaimers and know what you’re signing up for before you purchase any products.

For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org.
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