The Human Growth Hormone is an incredibly complex hormone. Even with many years of clinical study and analysis much of its functionality in the body is still not fully understood.
We know where it comes from, we know its isoform comprises of 191 amino acids. We also know some of its benefits. Because we do not know enough about HGH any debate about it provokes strong opinions and lots of questions.
Traditionally HGH is prescribed by Doctors for children who are not growing. Contrary to popular belief this is a synthetic HGH created through molecular cloning. The treatment starts working quickly with increased body mass. Additional effects are weight loss and of course general growth.
Human growth hormone is a natural substance. As most people know, it is secreted from the Pituitary gland. The growth hormone triggers cell growth and cell regeneration. In some people there is a deficiency of growth hormone and so without treatment they remain small.
There are a number of acronyms used in descriptions they are usually HGH, hGH and GH. As GH facilitates cell growth it is natural for that to be in all areas. This means muscle tissue, bone mass and even your vital organs.
The cycle of GH is complex however it is the reaction of the liver that gets the bodybuilding world interested. The liver cells are induced to secrete Somatomedins (polypeptide molecules) and this is where it gets interesting.
The liver is the body’s main producer of IGF-1 (called insulin like growth factor) and it is IGF-1 that stimulates growth in tissue, bones and organs. It is the effect on bone growth that makes GF the ideal treatment for children who are growing slowly.
The purpose of HGH in the body was first recognized in the 1920’s where it was derived from humans and tested on animals. This process was grim as it was provided by Cadavers’ – dead people. Early tests showed big rats actually huge rats as a result of GH treatment.
The use of cadavers continued until contaminated GH hit the scene. The seemingly obvious problem of using human cells and finding that they can transmit disease was overlooked for many years. That ended in 1985 after it was discovered that contaminated GH was responsible for passing on CJD.
Incredibly it took much longer for scientists and biologists to realize feeding humans food from animals contaminated with CJD did the same thing.
From 1985 onwards human sourced GH was banned. Such is the seemingly good timing of drug companies this was not the end of GH. Two huge pharma companies were on the cusp of releasing synthetic GH. Talk about fortunate timing!
This then developed into the GH that is today used to treat growth deficiency in children.
The Pituitary Gland Works Hard – But Only For A While
Yes sadly it is true and pretty ironic really. In a world where the quest is on for eternal life we have an organ responsible for cell regeneration. Unfortunately thepituitary gland is the size of a pea and from your early 20’s it kind of gets lazier.
This is a real holy grail of an organ because GH stimulates many positive things including sex hormones and Androgens. Androgens were the original Anabolic Steroids. The release of GH is regulated by the Hypothalamus and both organs are located by the brain.
What many people will not know is that GH production is at its highest during sleep but particularly in the deep stage of sleep. So logically if you do not sleep properly it affects many aspects including your sex life.
In peak production the volume of GH has been measured at plasma levels of 13 to 72 ng/mL. For those who want to know what that represents – ng/mL is what’s known as a nanogram milliliter. Clearly that is rather a tiny amount. In adolescents the average daily production is 700 of these a day.
Makes you wonder how such a small amount has the capacity to dwindle!
Well if you are an adult the chances are you will be fully grown so deficiency will be related to a post adolescent period. This will be because the GH secretion has slowed. A simple GH blood test will identify if this is an issue. It is quite difficult to get GH treatment from your doctor and stringent tests are done before any treatment can be prescribed.
See your physician if you are concerned.
Symptoms of GH deficiency include tiredness, weight gain around the waist, insulin resistance and many other symptoms (full list further down).
When health innovations find a mainstream market there is always media attention. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it is bad. With replacement HGH therapy it is celebrities that have broadcast their support.
Lots of media attention has hit the headlines and as far back as 2012 people like Sylvester Stallone and Nick Nolte praised treatments. People are quoted as being energized, having a feeling of well-being, improved sleep patterns and one woman called it sex in a bottle.
In California this type of treatment is legal through specialized clinics but costs thousands of dollars. At one such clinic in Los Angeles an expert called Andre Berger MD says the process is perfectly safe. They have a raft of Hollywood celebs on their books.
Berger says that the therapy is for deficiency disease. The injections are part of an anti-aging process, to make people functional, vibrant and energized.
Other medical professionals say that serious side effects are rare. They have not seen cases of engorged liver or bloated organs unless somebody has had a huge dose of GH. The only way to have a huge dose is on the black market. There are however some instances related to blood sugar increases and fluid retention. These cases are very rare.
Yes of course you cannot stop the aging process, well not yet anyway. But this is not just about physical appearance. A feeling of wellness is one of the most used terms to describe the after effects of replacement GH treatment. There are also degenerative illnesses where cells mutate and cells die quicker than can be maintained.
It is claimed that GH therapy can slow the degeneration down and make it less progressive. One of the Achilles heels of middle aged and onwards men is a decreased sex drive. The uplifting and enhancement through natural means rather than chemical is very appealing to this sector of society.
By definition the GH deficient person will suffer faster natural degeneration of their body. Fat gain, lower energy levels and vitality plus tiredness and low sex drive are all associated with low GH levels.
Unfortunately it is not easy to get GH even from a doctor. What’s more not all doctors can prescribe treatment. In the US you must have a prescription from a doctor who is qualified for GH diagnosis.
In California though are specialists that are trained and experienced in GH deficiency. They are qualified and able to prescribe treatment processes. These clinics specialize in anti-aging treatments. You can also be prescribed IGF-1 by your MD.
Of course the black market can also be a route to get bottled GH, This is a very dangerous route though. Unregulated and with no scrutiny you have no idea what is in the bottle. Also the cost is a premium. A lack of advice and training will mean people overdose too. There are some nasty side effects from a huge dose.
Analyze the GH industry with a closer look at the Growth Hormone itself. Then think about the data and you should draw some conclusions that will help higher GH levels.
Firstly what are the factors that decrease production of GH?
· You have age, not much you can do about that.
· You have sleep – remember it is the deep sleep that the highest level of GH is produced.
· HGH is a protein with a complex blend of amino acids– Amino acids are present in a range of protein based supplements.
· Exercise is important and triggers higher levels of HGH but it is higher with trained people rather than untrained people who exercise infrequently.
· Diet is important and you need a balanced diet to make a difference.
A combination of all these factors can make a difference to GH levels naturally and with little or no expense. Additional health benefits are a general improved fitness and a healthier lifestyle.
There are a wide range of supplements on the market and some of these can assist in the spiking of GH levels. Some products are specifically aimed to do this. If you are informed about supplements then you can DIY it too.
· Whey protein – there is a blend of amino acids in whey protein
· Beef protein – good for lactose intolerant with a great amino profile
· Individual amino acids such as Glutamine and Arginine can drive spikes
· Other amino acids –Leucine, BCAA, Carnitine, HMB but you need to know what and how to consume these. All are present in pure whey protein products especially whey protein isolate.
· There are also some whey protein products that are boosted with amino profiles with some even named such as USN’s GF-1
· Some supplements are blended to target GH spikes such as Growth Factor – 9. GF-9 has a blend of amino acids including Arginine, Lysine HCL and Glutamine
· Vitamins, herbs and natural root products are also on the list.
The world of alternative healing has produced a really great set of natural plant products that have an effect on general wellness and wellbeing. The largest group of these herbs and plants come under the heading Adaptogenic.
Well known plants such as Aloe Vera and Licorice root have been around for a long time. With GH there are some specific varieties that work with the body to aid wellness. These herbs such as Asian Ginseng, RhodiolaRosea, Holy Basil, Bacopa, Schisandra and the very popular Moringa varieties.
All are classed as Adaptogens, one of the most serious conditions that life delivers to erode general wellbeing is stress. It is known that stress also impacts on GH production and effects sleep patterns. Sleep interrupted by stress is a significant reducer of GH production. Again this is because the deep sleep is the highest production period for GH.
Adaptogens work hard to negate the effects of stress. They work by helping to regulate the adrenal system and helping to bring it back into balance.Plants such as RhodiolaRosea, Bacopa and Schisandra mitigate the effects of prolonged stress in the body. Remembering that stress from exercise is good and stress from mental pressure is bad.
It is well documented that chronic stress is a killer in its own right.
· HGH is produced near the brain by the pituitary gland
· Levels are controlled by the Hypothalamus
· It is a Protein comprising of 191 amino acids
· Modern GH is synthetically produced with a process involving bacteria
· Production wanes as you get older
· Lack of sex drive
· Weight gain around the midriff
· Insulin resistance
· Elevated Triglyceride levels
· Dry thinning skin
· Poor concentration
· In the US you can only get authorized GH through a doctor or specialized clinic
· California has state licensed clinics
· It’s a therapy of choice for middle aged celebs and Hollywood giants
· It is very expensive
· Black market GH is also expensive
· Black market GH is dangerous due to lack of source control – It could be from dead cows!
· Seemingly very few in taking regulated doses
· Enlarged organs associated with overdose or third grade black market products
· Some blood sugar issue and fluid retention
· Sense of wellbeing
· Better sleep patterns
· Improved sex drive
· Weight loss
· Highest natural production is in the hours of deep sleep
· Exercise will make a difference
· A good diet is important
· Loose body fat
· Intermittent fasting especially before bed
· Reduce sugar intake
· Amino acid supplementation through Arginine, L Lysine, Glutamine, Taurine
· Some whey proteins
· Specialized products such as GF-9
· Vitamins A, B5, B12, Folic Acid
· Minerals – Magnesium, Iodine, Zinc and Chromium
· Milk Thistle Supplement
· TribulusTerestris supplement7