Human growth hormone (HGH for short) can turn back the internal clock of your body, slash fat, build muscle rapidly and increase your libido, while providing you with a substantial boost in energy levels. At least that is what the claims are.
However, it is often hard to know what is true and what is fiction when it comes to HGH. That is why we have compiled the following 12 surprising (and not so surprising) things you should know about HGH before deciding to take it.
1. What Is Human Growth Hormone Exactly?
Human growth hormone is naturally produced by the human body inside the pituitary gland. It is responsible for cell regeneration and growth.
Without HGH, increasing bone density and muscle mass is impossible. It also plays a significant role in maintaining all human tissue health, including that of the vital organs such as the brain.
When HGH is secreted, it only remains active in your blood stream for a couple of minutes. However, that is sufficient time for it to be converted by the liver into growth factor, with growth factor 1 (IGF-1) being the most critical, and serves to host numerous anabolic properties.
2. HGH Was Originally Harvested For Use From Cadavers
During the 1950s, scientists first started to harvest HGH from cadavers for human use. However, the first HGH in labs wasn’t synthesized until 1981. Shortly after that, it became popular as a performance-enhancing drug.
3. How Much HGH Is Naturally Produced?
Typically, adult men have less than 5 nano-grams per milliliter that circulates inside the blood.
For child-bearing purposes, healthy females are able to produce about double that amount. HGH levels for both men and women peak during the puberty years, and sharply drop beginning in their early twenties.
4. How Can I Find Out If I Have An HGH Deficiency Or Not?
You can consult with your doctor and request that an HGH test be performed. You will need to fast first before having this simple blood test performed. This is a different test than the that that gets administered during your yearly physical exam.
5. Is HGH Dangerous?
HGH is one of the world’s most heavily researched supplements. Studies indicate that it is one of the most effective and safest supplements that can be taken.
Some medical professionals also believe that the so-called dangers that surround HGH have been over exaggerated and that there are minimal complications associated with it, including a rise in blood sugar and fluid retention.
6. What Are The Side Effects Caused By HGH?
As previously mentioned, when used as a prescription drug, HGH is relatively safe. However, taking an off prescription or illegal source of HGH can be very dangerous (see point 7 below). There are certain side effects that have been reported with taking HGH, including:
- Breast enlargement (gynaecomastia) in men.
- Tingling sensation in the skin
- Formation and growth of tumors
- Higher risk for diabetes
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Pain in the nerves, muscles and joints
- Elevated cholesterol levels
- Accumulation of fluid inside the body tissues
7. Where You Obtain HGH Is Critical
In the United States, you can only obtain HGH through a doctor’s prescription. There are anti-aging clinics that specialize in making diagnoses and identifying HGH deficiencies. For individuals lacking HGH sensitivity, pure IGF-1 may be prescribed by a doctor.
Obtaining HGH illegally can be quite dangerous, since you can’t be sure of what you really are getting. There are many websites selling so-called HGH products over the Internet.
Most of them are based abroad and are unregulated. Tests have been done on confiscated pharmaceuticals and have shown high levels of contamination and counterfeit ingredients. This suggests, among other things, that equipment was not cleaned in between in manufacturing runs.
The dosage could also be too low or too high, not contain the proper ingredients or contain different ingredients than described. Illegal suppliers do not have to abide by any quality control standards.
8. In What Forms Are HGH Available?
HGH is available in pill form, although some consider it to be a tablet that facilitates HGH being released. This kind of pill is referred to as an HGH releaser.
HGH as a prescription is provided in injectable form. It is injected into tissue such as muscle that is right underneath the skin. The person giving the injection needs to be careful to not inject the HGH inside a blood vessel.
Three different kinds of HGH injections are currently available:
Serostim– this specific prescription drug is frequently provided to patients who have underlying AIDS and also have suffered severe loss of muscle mass.
Jintropin– a prescription of this type of HGH is frequently prescribed by physicians to assist children whose growth is being inhibited by an underlying condition.
Humatrope– a recombinant form of HGH that is similar to the type that the body produces naturally.
The side effects that can be experienced with HGH injections are very similar to the ones described above. Among the most common of the side effects is water retention (odema). Other potential side effects include carpal tunnel syndrome and diabetes.
Another thing that is important to remember about HGH injection is how much they cost. Depending on the reason why the drug is being prescribed or why it is being taken for an off label reason, the costs can vary tremendously up into the several thousands of dollars per year range. Therefore, it very important to consider and monitor your costs when it comes to taking HGH.
9. Decline in growth is a natural part of the aging process. Why would I need to take HGH if I am not growing any longer?
First of all, HGH plays a critical role in building muscle.
It has also been shown to slow down degenerative diseases that are age-related in addition to helping to maintain mental acuity, increase sex drive and provide an overall improved sense of well-being.
On the other hand, having low HGH level can produce the opposite effects: muscle loss, gain in fat, low energy levels and sex drive, and a poor overall sense of well-being.
10. Is There Anything I Can Do To Boost My HGH Level Without Getting An HGH Prescription?
There are two major factors contributing to increased HG levels that you are able to control without having to take drugs: getting the proper amount of sleep and weight training. The more exercise you do, the more HGH you will release naturally.
While you sleep, HGH is secreted as well. There have been studies that show there is a spike in HGH levels when you first go into deep sleep. That is why it is essential to get the seven to nine hours of recommended sleep each night in order to maintain your HGH levels.
The third main factor in keeping your HGH levels high is diet. It is very important to eat a balanced and healthy diet. It is also key that you eat to stay lean. Gaining fat will result in low HGH levels.
11. Are There Any Supplements That I Can Take In Order To Boost My HGH Levels?
Taking a multivitamin might provide you with some of the necessary nutrients for providing you with a small boost in HGH levels. However, results from a recent study indicate that HGH levels can be raised dramatically by taking glutamine and arginine.
However, you must take them in the correction ratios. The best way to achieve this is by taking a specialty supplement that has been specifically designed for this purpose.
12. What Are Some Of The Major Concerns That Have Been Raised About HGH?
Although numerous studies have shown that HGH is quite safe to take, there have been several concerns raised in recent years concerning using HG supplementation. The following are some of the major issues that some people have been concerned with.
Mad Cow Disease and HGH
The Lancet Journal reported in 2002 that mad cow disease had developed in people who had been taking HGH supplements. However, this was due to the fact that the product was taken from cadaver pituitary glands without having done sufficient tests. This same effect is not produced by synthetic HGH and doesn’t appear to be a major concern currently as long as the drug is purchased through a proper channel.
Cancer and HGH
Another major concern that has recently been raised is the question of whether cancer develops after using HGH.
Whether or not a link as clearly been established with some of the older HGH forms, it is worthwhile noting that cancers like Hodgkin’s disease and colon cancer have been reported.
There have only been a few reports, however, which makes it hard to draw any solid conclusions. The rise in colon cancer incidence is thought to relate to increased insulin secretion in IGF-I (growth factor- 1).
Weight Loss And HGH
There ave also been some concerns raised in terms of weight loss with patients using HGH. The weight loss is frequently related to muscle mass loss. However, at times this can be compensated through the body accumulating fluid.
Losing muscle mass may be detrimental to patients since it may reduce a person’s overall energy and strength levels. It is very important to closely monitor this, since an intervention may be needed.
Although there have been reports of the above as side effects, a number of reports have also been made that show that using HGH has resulted in body composition that is enhanced, including reduced body fat and increased muscle mass.
The reduce body fat effect does tend to be fairly small. This effect is obviously one that obese patients are very interested in. However, the results haven’t been too promising so far, which implies that HGH doesn’t necessarily induce significant weight loss for obese people.
Height And HGH
Some people take HGH in an attempt to increase their height overall. Although these effects might be visible and useful in children, for adults that might not necessarily be true.
Human growth hormone has become a very popular supplement in today’s marketplace. However, it is important to keep in mind that it should only be used according to a prescription given by a doctor.
Its use should also be monitored closely. Although it does produce numerous beneficial effects, there are also various concerns and side effects that need to be considered. When attempting to buy the product or having it in one’s possession, legal considerations also need to be kept in mind as well as one’s personal safety.