HGH Growth Hormone. Miracle pill or just hype?

HGH Human Growth Hormones are chemical messengers that travels throughout the body coordinating complex processes like growth, metabolism, and fertility. They can influence the function of the immune system, and even alter behavior.

Hormones are the reason why you changed from head to toe at puberty. It is thanks to these chemicals that distant parts of the body communicate with one another during elaborate, and important, events.

In response to a signal from the brain, hormones are secreted directly into the blood by the glands that produce and store them. These glands make up what is known as the endocrine system (endocrine means "secreting internally").

What is Human Growth Hormone?

Human growth hormone (hGH) is a long chain amino acid molecule produced by the anterior pituitary gland, located at the base the brain. While Human Growth Hormone (HGH) has an extraordinary range of age-reversing effects seen with no other substance, replacing hormones that decline with age is not new. The oldest continuing anti-aging experiment is hormone replacement therapy with estrogen or a combination estrogen and progesterone in post menopausal women.

HGH acts on many different tissues to promote healthy metabolism. The bulk of the effect accomplished by hGH is performed by a related hormone called Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), which is released predominantly by the liver and, to some extent, by other tissues in response to the presence of hGH. It is one of the primary hormones of importance for maintaining optimal cellular performance.

The Decline in Growth Hormone

HGH, the medical term is somatotropin, is the most abundant hormone secreted by the pituitary gland, a process which peaks during adolescence. Gradually this hormone secretion diminishes with age. By the time you reach the age of 60, you may only secrete 25% as much as the average 20 year old. This greatly contributes to the acceleration of the aging process.

What is Recombinant Growth Hormone?

Recombinant Growth Hormone is the technical term for a synthetic growth hormone that is manufactured in the laboratory. Creating an exact replicate was not an easy task as human growth hormone is composed of 191 amino acids.

While Genentech first claimed victory in 1985, it was a short lived success. The recombinant hGH they made was a 190 amino acid match which was one short of their goal. This left the door open for Eli Lilly, who in 1986 created a 191 amino acid hormone that was an identical match to the HGH produced by the pituitary gland. The drug is called Humatrope and is the most widely used recombinant growth hormone today. It requires a prescription and is administered by injection at a cost of several thousand dollars per year.

What are the potential benefits of raising Growth Hormone levels?

Natural levels of hGH and IGF-1 decline progressively after young adulthood, leading to many of the bodily changes associated with aging. Raising hGH and IGF-1 levels to those associated with younger physiology slows down or delays the age related decline frequently seen in many organs.

A number of studies reliably demonstrate that the following are among the many beneficial effects of modulating hGH/IGF-1:

  • Enhanced skin thickness and elasticity
  • Improved healing time and reduced infection rates after trauma or surgery
  • Diminished sun damage-type wrinkling
  • Decreased total body fat
  • Increased lean muscle mass
  • Increased bone mineral density
  • Improved cholesterol profile
  • Decreased LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • Increased HDL (good) cholesterol
  • Improved exercise capacity
  • Decreased recovery time between workouts
  • Improved blood flow to the kidney
  • Improved mood, coping skills, and over-all well-being
  • Improved general energy levels
These effects do not occur over night, the first change that is typically noted is a feeling of enhanced well-being, with most of the compositional changes, such as fat loss or muscle or bone gain taking effect later.

The Different Approaches to Increasing hGH

As mentioned above, HGH may only be administered via injection by prescription under the supervision of a licensed physician through a licensed clinic or pharmacy.

There are many companies that promote various pills, elixirs, sprays, or creams that are claimed to contain useful amounts of hGH; they claim that these products are actually taken up by the body through topical, oral, sublingual or nasal administration. One should be skeptical of such claims, as none of the published benefits of injected hGH have been objectively measured with oral tablets, capsules, or sprays.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licenses and oversees companies that manufacture hGH. They must register and verify their methods and product regarding uniformity of quality, bioavailability, safety, and demonstrated effectiveness. This large protein molecule is unable to penetrate intact membranes to any significant degree, making any spray or oral use of hGH almost completely a waste.

Given the above requirements, there are several concerns that arise regarding the claims made by non-FDA approved companies that offer hGH products in oral or spray forms. This leads to another approach for increasing HGH...secretagogues, also known as growth hormone releasers.

What About hGH Growth Hormone Releasers? 

In the realm of body hormones in general, there are two ways to attempt to augment the amount of a hormone in circulation. The first, as already mentioned, is to give it directly, through injection which is very expensive.

The second method is to stimulate the body in such a way as to increase the amount of hormone that is produced.

A secretagogue (se-krėt“ah-gog), in laymen's terms a growth hormone releaser, is a substance that stimulates the pituitary gland to produce hGH. This has been an intriguing avenue of research. Over the last twenty years, several short-chain, orally absorbable compounds have been investigated. Some compounds (commonly six to eight amino acid molecules) have been shown to stimulate the production of significant amounts of hGH.

There are several growth hormone releasers available in the over-the-counter market; these products are generally safe, but vary in their effectiveness to demonstrate a certain hGH response in every individual. Click here for Product Review and Recommendations