Releana is a program that relies on administration of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) coupled with a low-calorie eating plan to produce weight loss. The plan is based on the research of Dr. A.T.W. Simeons, a British physician, who discovered that the hCG hormone promoted weight loss in his patients. Releana used this research to formulate hCG in drop form for people who want to lose weight.
According to the Releana website, hCG works in the human body by breaking down excessive stores of fat in the body while leaving a normal amount. The hormone acts, together with a low-calorie menu, to help participants lose weight more quickly than those who concentrate only on dieting. The Releana weight-loss program is only available by physician prescription. Not all doctors offer Releana to their patients.
Releana drops are administered under the tongue several times a day. Patients using the Releana program must take supplemental potassium to counteract potential side effects of the plan. Releana says you can lose up to a pound a day by taking the hCG drops, carefully following a 500- to 600-calorie-a-day eating plan and engaging in a modest amount of physical exercise. Stick to yoga and brisk walking, as more vigorous exertion leads to increased appetite.
The main benefit of the Releana program is rapid weight loss, though it is debatable as to whether the drops contribute to the loss or if it is simply the low-calorie plan that produces results. The plan also boasts that the product is safer than injected forms of hCG, allows you to drop pounds without losing muscle, and helps you avoid the sagging skin that can result from some quick-loss diets. Releana is available only with a prescription, meaning its followers are supposed to be closely monitored by a physician.
The long-term effects of using Releana drops have not been studied. According to the Diets in Review website, many physicians are leery of the Releana program because of potential side effects. These possible complications include dehydration and fatigue that may be caused by the rapidity of the weight loss. Also, because of the low-calorie diet plan, many program followers may not be getting the variety and amount of food they would in a healthy, balanced diet. Such a restriction of calories over a long time can cause ill effects, including hair loss and reduced functioning of the body’s systems.
The program recommends eating six apples in a single day if you experience a weight-loss plateau. This abundance of fruit is supposed to rev up your metabolism and put you back on the path of dropping pounds quickly.
Whether hCG is effective as a weight-loss aid is disputed. The Releana website contains testimonials from patients who say the hormone helped them drop pounds more quickly than a low-calorie diet would, but scientific studies have not supported these claims. According to researchers G.K. Sabine Lijesen, Iris Theewun, Willem J.J. Assendelft and Gerrit Van Der Wal, who published their findings in the "British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology," there is no scientific evidence that the hormone hCG produces weight loss or fat redistribution. The researchers reported that those in the study who took hCG lost approximately the same amount of weight as those who did not. All participants ate a 500-calorie-a-day diet.
The Releana website claims its product is safe because hCG is produced naturally in the body by pregnant women. Whether their assertion is accurate is unproven. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved the Releana weight-loss program. For the FDA to approve a weight-loss product, there must be an abundance of scientific research confirming its safety and efficacy. Thus, the jury is still out on the Releana plan’s safety.