Many users are familiar with hCG—human chorionic gonadotropin—in relation to weight loss. The hCG diet protocol, which involves a specific low calorie diet with hCG injections, has been around since the 1950s, made popular by its founder, British endocrinologist Dr. A.T. W. Simeons whose 40 years of obesity research resulted in a breakthrough for generations of adherents. Today the protocol remains a go-to diet for individuals seeking fast results, or who’ve not been unsuccessful on more conventional diets. But what about the additional benefits of hCG for men?
Benefits of hCG for Men: Treating Low Testosterone
Sometimes prescribed for symptoms of low testosterone, or low T, hCG is used to stimulate the testes to produce more sperm cells. The result is a high blood level of testosterone during treatment and sometimes following treatment as well. Unlike traditional testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), which shuts down the body’s own testosterone producing system, hCG encourages the body’s own biochemical stimulating mechanisms back toward normal function to produce androgens.
In instances of testicular shrinkage, or atrophy, which can result from steroid abuse or the effects of testosterone replacement therapy for low T, benefits of hCG for men include successfully reversing the condition. Where side effects of TRT may also include gynecomastia or breast enlargement, infertility (reduced sperm production), lowered HDL (or good cholesterol), higher red blood cell concentration leading to clots, enlarged prostate, prostate cancer and heart attack, however, hCG is not known to reverse them. That said, hCG is employed by fertility specialists to raise viable sperm levels, where all too often TRT lowers them.
In order to determine if one is a candidate for hCG, a blood test must first be given to gauge levels of LH (luteinizing hormone, which plays a role in fertility) and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone, which measures spermatogenesis in males). Hypogonadism—or the body’s inability to produce enough testosterone—is then established.
Secondary hypogonadism, which is low testosterone levels resulting from pituitary or hypothalamus dysfunction, can often be corrected with hCG. In short if hCG can effectively stimulate testosterone production, the conclusion is that the gonads are still functional. Men with primary hypogonadism, however, which is dysfunction of the Leydig cells in the testes, will not benefit from hCG. HCG is effective in combating pituitary or hypothalamus issues, not intrinsic cellular abnormalities.
Benefits of hCG for Men: How Does it Work?
Even if low T or infertility are not conditions, due to its effect on testosterone hCG can provide a moderate spike in natural testosterone production, expediting the increase in muscle mass weightlifters covet. So how does it work?
By nature, hCG resembles LH, or leutinizing hormone. HCG’s “superpowers” come from the fact that the body acts on it as though it is LH, which comes from the pituitary gland and signals the testes to make testosterone. As testosterone is the hormone that provides for bulking up, increasing it through hCG injections may give men a boost in growing muscle. The process is deemed to be safer than controversial steroid use, which can lead to steroid overuse and abuse.