Photo Credit: Jonnie Miles/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images
Before preparing for my interview with Dr. Mehmet Oz, iVillage's Guest Editor and host of the Emmy-award winning The Dr. Oz Show, I must admit I had never heard of the HCG diet and couldn't quite wrap my head around. Think about it -- people taking pregnany hormones, living on just 500 calories a day and losing 30 pounds in a month! Too good to be true, right?
Dr. Oz says maybe not. After some new research, he says he's becoming "more supportive" of the weight loss regimen. "It's got to be done carefully, has to be done with a doctor who's reputable," he told me during a casual conversation in his New York City office. "We don't know enough to guarantee it's going to be effective. It's still an experiment but this is not some crazy wacky idea. It deserves to be studied."
Still, I had to ask Dr. Oz about some of the possible side effects (mood swings, hair loss) and whether the pregnancy injections could increase a person's risk of cancer. "There's all kinds of concerns about injecting any hormone into the body, and yet we know that for many conditions, it's quite effective. For men who have huge bellies and have no libido... we give them testosterone. With testosterone, they get their libido back... So when used correctly, these hormones do make sense. But you can't use them willy-nilly and they have to be studied carefully."
Oz says the goal should be an in-depth study to figure out if it works. "If it doesn't work, get rid of it... But if it works, imagine what that could do for the number one cause, preventable cause, of morbidity and mortality in this country, which is obesity."
Are you skeptical about the HCG diet? Listen to why Dr. Oz thinks it can work.
Dr. Oz has faced a heavy dose of criticism for his support of the HCG diet, and for other weight loss tips he's embraced such as advocating green coffee bean extract as a weight loss tool especially because of his impact on everyday Americans. His sky-high popularity has led to the term "the Dr. Oz Effect" as many Americans run out and do whatever he suggests. This has both positive and negative implications, he told us.
Hear what Dr. Oz think about the so-called "Dr. Oz Effect." Watch now!
Finally, check out this sneak peek of Dr. Oz's Wednesday, February 6th show with another great prop to illustrate fat:
Be sure to come back for more from Dr. Oz this week on iVillage as he gives us his tips and tricks for revving up our weight loss and our metabolism and reveals the secret to his thriving 28-year marriage with his wife, Lisa.