Growth Hormone: a magical key to your new bodyRead full story
Growth hormone is like its name says hormone that largely affects the growth and repair of cells. The actual name of this peptide hormone is somatotropine and it can be found in all animals, but in our case we mean on Human Growth hormone so the most common abbreviation is HGH.
HGH is responsible for human development, (according to some researches also for survival of the species), so this hormone is prescribed for people found that has growth hormone deficiency in order to stimulate development.
It is protein hormone produced by pituitary gland. It is naturally found in human body, but in the 1982 the use of it for an athletic performance enhancement came to attention.
Since it is found in our body, our body knows how to use it, so naturally if body uses it on its own, and it does so in order to increase grow, development, and repair the damage, then if body had it more, we can grow more, right?
That is logical consequence of thought, but every manipulation of hormones may not follow the- more-the-merrier rule of a thumb. Especially if we know there are different artificial sources of it, some stimulate natural production while other provide it in extracted form.
Human Growth Hormone has more than one form in human body but the major, and for the purpose of use the most important part consist always of 191 amino-acids, which allows for it to be artificially produced.
Before artificial production the only way to get HGH was to harvest it from cadavers; not that it stopped people from using it, but the difficulty of getting it and the risk of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease made cadavers as a source of HGH obsolete.
Like said above, the first intention of use was to supplement the patients diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency, but it was reported that very soon it went on to be used as performance enhancement supplement, and the word supplement here is used in the broadest meaning possible.
The experiments in vitro and in vivo showed that growth hormone has anabolic, and lipolitic function, so it heavily impacts body composition, and yes, those are some of the basic goals in sport and fitness training, especially in fitness and of course bodybuilding as an extreme example of muscle growth and low body fat.
One way of affecting the production and circulating levels of growth hormone in blood is the exercising. According to the research, the prolonged exercise of moderate level of intensity can increase the level of HGH ten times. At the same time one research suggest strong correlation between the peaks of exercise intensity more than the overall volume.
The data of several researches also refers to think the most important of all growth hormone’s function is the effect on protein metabolism. But since the effect of HGH on protein metabolism in basal state is not found to be consistent throughout various researches it points out that the main stage for a growth hormone is stress, or to be more precise catabolic state.
Catabolism is by definition destructive metabolism. Now this doesn’t mean that our body is holding a grudge against us and wants to destroy us. Catabolism is a part of every day’s metabolism. It is the breakdown of larger and more complex molecules in order to create smaller ones needed for other purpose in our body, and at the same time the process that releases energy that we also need.
The bad thing is when catabolism prevails over the anabolism, the process of building larger and more complex molecules from simpler ones.
By many researches this when growth hormone’s effects are the largest.
Catabolism is much pronounced during the stress periods, and the stress comes in many forms, but lets us keep on two sources.
One stress source that is very common, and self-induced is exercising, while other may and may not be self-induced (in western, well-developed society usually is) and that is fasting.
In the states of human body that correlate with stress, exercise, and fasting the secretion of human growth hormone is amplified.
The only anabolic hormone that actually rises during fasting is HGH, while others like insulin and IGF-1 (Insulin Growth-like Factor – 1) drops. However the levels of catabolic hormones, cortisol being one of them, also rises. One sign of level of catabolism is the urea-nitrogen excretion. Monitoring urea-nitrogen excretion while supplying subjects with HGH or suppressing it showed us what role plays the HGH in protection of body.
On the other hand, it was detected that obese persons, has lower levels of HGH circulating in blood, than normal-weight person. Supplying the obese subjects with HGH during restrictive low calorie diet prevented the breakdown and loss of protein. Moreover the HGH has stimulating effect on lipolysis, so when this effect is combined with preservation of protein, we can see how important HGH is to preservation of Lean Body Mass during well designed weight loss.
So to sum up, the main reasons for use the supplementation of growth hormone is due to its abilities to protect muscle protein, and stimulate use of fat as a fuel.
What about the supplementing?
The supplementing with growth hormone boosters works by the mechanism of stimulating body to produce more growth hormone than it would actually do.
Having the pure hormone induced is not possible, unless in specific medical uses. In the USA the prohibition of use pure growth hormone comes from DEA as a part of 1990 Anabolic Steroids Control Act.
As we mentioned, to some extent growth hormone levels can be elevated by exercising, but can we exploit the possibility of its natural abilities if adding supraphysiological dosages?
The growth hormone supplements, or the growth hormone boosters are mostly taken orally. Possession and distribution of pure hormone if not for the purpose of treating the disease is illegal.
The number of brands are numerous and if you would look into the reviews users mostly claim to feel better pump or to rest faster.
The growth hormone affect the motion of the fluids in the body, so the retaining of fluids in muscle can explain the pump, while as explained before growth hormone does have the ability to reduce protein breakdown and improve tissue regeneration which if we know how stressful for muscles weight training can be is highly desirable.
But for a use as an athletic abilities enhancement supplement we have to consider 2 things. The mechanism of human growth hormone and IGF-1 was observed with injections and doses of actual hormones. Many studies have been performed on subject that are being considered not-healthy (such as people with growth hormone deficiency syndrome, or obese, HIV patients, etc.), those studies have found the positive effects of growth hormone supplementation on lean body mass preservation, lipolysis activation, protein breakdown decrease, positive nitrogen balance, among the others.
The other thing is what the “ability” is that we want enhanced. The healthy adult athletes swimmers, cyclists, baseball players, football and basketball players, etc…should they use the supplement which effects on muscles’ strength, power, and endurance is highly debatable, and risk failing the anti-doping test?
One example is that it is the fact that growth hormone affects lipolysis, and that is putting more Free Fatty Acids at disposal of muscles. But it is also found that actual use of those FFA as u fuel depends on type of physical activity. The type of training.
The results in testing the athletes are inconclusive, because in very high percentage the placebo groups had the same results as the HGH receiving group.
But even if some athlete is able to find the M.D. that will prescribe the HGH for off-label use, and is willing to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for it, it is also the fact that since the Olympics in Athens 2004 WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) is looking for signs of growth hormone use in athletes.
The use of growth hormone boosters is not illegal. There are many brands out there, and if you would look carefully you will notice that the content is rarely one active substance. Along with the boosting agents come the caffeine, amino-acids, fat burners…but most of them has one in common…they say “this product does not contain HGH”. It means it is safe to use.
The actual benefits of growth hormone boosters…well like with many other popular supplements the results are highly individual. Some are placebo, some are real, and some are due to the other components of supplements. The most popular use is in fitness and body building. Mostly for lean body mass preservation, muscle growth, and fat loss.
Again the reliable results are difficult to find. The athletes or fitness enthusiast rarely use just growth hormone boosters. They usually use at least protein, gainer, creatine, or amino-acids supplements as well, so one can’t say for sure it was the sole responsibility of HGH booster for one’s success or failure in reaching the goal.
If on prowl for use of HGH booster be smart. Take a look what brands have to offer. Price can be the measure of quality, but not necessarily. Take a look on content, and ask around. If after trying it you feel good, and you see positive results then great. But don’t put all hopes in one product whatever it is. Supplements are supplements…Smart training, proper nutrition, and good rest are the most important.
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