What Is the Difference Between HCG and HGH?

One of the most common questions we hear is about the difference between HGH vs. HCG, with a follow-up asking which is better for weight loss. The answer is a bit complicated because HGH and HCG are NOT weight loss drugs. 

Does that mean they have no benefits for decreasing body fat?

Not exactly. Both HCG and HGH play roles in metabolism – just in different ways.This review of HCG vs. HGH highlights the differences between these hormones, their purposes, and why they should only be used under doctor supervision.

What Is HGH?

Human growth hormone (HGH) is considered the body’s “master hormone” as it influences numerous essential functions that keep us healthy physically, cognitively, and emotionally. HGH production occurs in the anterior pituitary gland and stimulates growth in children. While adults no longer need HGH to increase height, as that is complete by the time most people enter their twenties, human growth hormone still exerts crucial effects on cellular regeneration and growth.

HGH helps the adult body maintain normal muscular, skeletal, organ, and skin structures. As you age, HGH levels decline. The result can lead to muscle and bone loss, internal organ shrinkage (and decreased functions), and dry, thinning skin. However, those are only a few ways HGH influences the adult body.

HGH plays a vital role in metabolism, maintaining healthy glucose (blood sugar) levels, cognitive functions, sexual performance, fertility, hormone secretion, sleep, energy, mood, heart health, and temperature regulation. 

For this article, we look closely at the role of HGH in metabolism, the process of converting the food you consume into usable energy for your body’s cells. 

The first role of HGH is to tell the liver to secrete insulin growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a hormone that has similar properties to insulin. IGF-1 also mediates many of the functions of HGH in the body, especially with cell regeneration. Another function of IGF-1 is to help lower glucose.

Adults with low HGH levels tend to put on weight, especially belly fat. That is partly due to human growth hormone’s influence on protein, carbohydrate, and fat metabolism. If HGH levels are low, the metabolism cannot properly convert food into energy. Instead, it stores away those calories as unwanted fat. 

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What Is HCG?

Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is one of the primary pregnant hormones, as the placenta produces it during pregnancy. In the early stages of pregnancy, HCG helps maintain the corpus luteum, telling the body to produce more progesterone and estrogen. 

HCG is produced by males and females in small amounts and is vital for fertility in both genders. Supplemental HCG can help improve fertility, especially when used with in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI) in women.

Men with low testosterone levels trying to conceive a child may receive HCG to help boost testosterone production while protecting fertility. Supplemental testosterone bypasses the testes, inhibiting spermatogenesis. HCG acts similarly to luteinizing hormone (LH), stimulating testosterone and sperm production.

HCG is sometimes viewed as a weight loss aid because it can decrease appetite during pregnancy. The increase in leptin and HCG during early pregnancy may impede eating and cause nausea and vomiting. However, numerous studies have shown that people on the HCG Diet lose weight because of decreased caloric intake. There have been no differences between those who take HCG and those who receive a placebo. 

How Does HCG Differ from HGH Injections?

Knowing when your body needs HCG vs. HGH is best left to a hormone specialist. As we have shown, HCG and HGH are two very different hormones. Their functions have nothing to do with one another. 

HGH treats growth hormone deficiency in adults and children.

HCG is primarily used to help with fertility in men and women HGH treats growth hormone deficiency in adults and children

The one similarity between these hormones is their use for growth and development. HCG aids in the growth of the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy. HGH stimulates cellular growth throughout life and has many other metabolic and physiological effects on the body. 

Can HGH Be Used for Weight Loss?

Human growth hormone has numerous effects on metabolism that can benefit weight loss, specifically its lipolytic effect on visceral adipose tissue. The role of HGH can be further explained by examining more closely its influence on protein, carbohydrate, and lipid (fat) metabolism, as shown below:

  • Protein Metabolism: 

HGH stimulates protein synthesis, enhancing protein anabolism throughout the body. Protein synthesis is the process of turning consumed dietary protein into muscle tissue. Growth hormone effects become more pronounced during fasting and stress. Fasting increases HGH levels, with IGF-1 and insulin levels decreasing, causing an increase in protein loss and muscle protein breakdown. That is part of why people who consume very few calories also lose muscle as the body holds on to its fat stores for fear of starvation. HGH stimulates protoplasm formation and increases leucine protein synthesis and leucine oxidation. Weight loss occurs as continued supplemental HGH use promotes protein anabolic effects. 

  • Carbohydrate Metabolism: 

Carbohydrates are macronutrients consisting of sugars, fiber, and starch. The body converts carbohydrates into glucose that circulates in the bloodstream, which the cells pull in for energy. HGH inhibits the peripheral tissue uptake of glucose by suppressing insulin abilities. Growth hormone helps maintain blood sugar levels in a normal range, enhancing liver synthesis of glucose.

  • Lipid Metabolism: 

One of the most profound benefits of HGH is the impact on free fatty acids (FFA). HGH directly increases circulating FFA and ketone levels due to stimulating lipolysis and ketogenesis. Triglycerides break down, adipocyte oxidation improves, and weight loss occurs. Several studies have also shown that HGH suppresses lipoprotein lipase (LPL) active in fat tissue and, via IGF-1, inhibits cortisone conversion to cortisol in abdominal adipose tissue. Elevated cortisol decreases HGH levels, causing an increase in fat retention. Lowering cortisol can help protect against central obesity. 

HGH has numerous benefits for weight loss, from its effects on metabolism to stimulating energy to help increase exercise capacity.

Can You Use HCG With HGH? 

HCG and HGH should never be used together. Their use is medically controlled and requires a prescription from a hormone specialist, fertility expert, or endocrinologist. 

Using HGH and HCG together could result in potentially dangerous drug interactions and side effects. 

If your goal is weight loss, the first thing to do is to have a comprehensive blood panel that measures critical hormone levels. People with low human growth hormone or testosterone levels, especially with elevated estrogen, will find that their bodies hold on to stored fat. Weight loss will be difficult. The appropriate hormone replacement can help the body metabolize and release that stored fat to result in weight loss.


Hormone replacement therapy, especially HGH for those who require it, can help reduce visceral fat while increasing lean mass. HGH improves muscle mass and tone while decreasing stored fat. 

Our hormone specialists offer complimentary telephone consultations and expert guidance to help you choose the best hormone therapy for your body and life. 

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Please get in touch and our expert support team will answer all your questions about HGH therapy.

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Brooklyn, New York 11224

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