A while back, I wrote about the so-called hCG 'diet' drops: homeopathic drops that might just possibly (depending on dilution) contain a molecule of human chorionic gonadotropin (or maybe not), and which supposedly help one to lose weight.
Ooops, nearly forgot to mention that you need to accompany your daily dose of magic water with the greatly reduced food intake that is all you get on a 500 calories/day diet...
My attention was originally drawn to this... um... creative bit of marketing by spam emails, but these days you can buy the drops in New Zealand, as noted in the NZ Herald:
Government agencies are assessing the legality of a diet that promises people they will lose up to half a kilogram a day by using a homeopathic fertility hormone banned in the United States.
The diet, which is gaining popularity in New Zealand, involves taking a substance known as hCG and restricting food to 500 calories a day for up to 40 days.
The Herald article is reasonably sceptical - apart from the comment about taking "a substance known as hCG": if this is truly a homeopathic preparation then all the purchaser is swallowing is water**. They would not be taking biologically-active quantities of the actual hormone (which is licensed in the US only as an injectable prescription drug).
And that amazing weight loss is pretty much what you'd expect on a diet that provides well below the calorie intake recommended for the average person.
** and remarkably expensive water, at that. According to the Herald, the NZ purveyor
sells a 23-day suppoly of hCG - human chorionic gonadotropin - for $135 and a 40-day supply for $180. Her cheapest option is an eight- to 10-day supply for $55.
You get 60ml for that $180...