Almost everybody knows about human growth hormone these days. This amazing substance that is secreted naturally by the pituitary gland has been associated to many wonderful benefits in the body. HGH is more popular for its use by bodybuilders and those interested in slowing aging. It offers even more benefits, although caution needs to be exercised when trying to tap into them. In addition to highlighting some of the awesome benefits of growth hormone, we also discuss the risks so you do not get caught unawares and for you to be better prepared to avoid them.
Benefits of human growth hormone
If are not yet a growth hormone enthusiast, you might wonder what’s it with the popularity and the rave. We may be right to say many people are simply very fascinated by the wonders of the substance. Some have described it using phrases such as “Fountain of Youth,” “wonder drug,” and “21st century medicine.” The following are some of the impressive benefits that have been linked to HGH.
One of the serious health risks confronting modern society is obesity. This has become an epidemic of sort in the United States and many other Western countries. The increasingly sedentary lifestyles of people, occasioned by technological advancements, have contributed immensely to this. It has been observed that HGH levels in obese individuals are typically low. The hormone speeds up lipolysis, which is a process by which lipids are broken down in the body. It also assists with hydrolysis of triglycerides into free fatty acids and glycerol. What this means in simple words is that you are at increased risk of having fat buildup in your body when HGH levels are low. In a large study carried out at the Palm Springs Life Extension Institute between 1994 and 1996, a 72 percent improvement in body fat loss was reported after HGH therapy.
Perhaps, the more interesting thing here is that growth hormone is believed to help in fighting abdominal obesity, which is usually very tough to deal with. This much was suggested in a double-blind study that appeared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Reduction in abdominal and visceral adipose tissue was observed in the nine-month investigation, which had men aged between 48 and 66 years as its participants, after treatment with HGH. In addition, diastolic blood pressure decreased with body fat while there was an improvement in insulin sensitivity.
HGH Benefits Muscle mass
Another amazing thing about growth hormone is that it supposedly help to build lean muscle mass. It does this while helping to cut down on body fat at the same time. This is a major reason it is quite popular among bodybuilders. In a 12-week, double-blind randomized study published in Hormone Research, obese participants were placed on a low-calorie diet while being treated with recombinant human growth hormone (rHGH or somatropin). The treatment group experienced improvement in their lean muscle mass, while the placebo group saw a decline in same.
In addition to lean muscle mass building, many bodybuilders and athletes are drawn to growth hormone because of its ability to improve muscle strength. It enhances collagen synthesis in the tendons and skeletal muscles in the body. This boosts muscle strength and exercise performance. The strength enhancement benefit of human growth hormone was observed in one study that appeared in the International Journal of Endocrinology. Fourteen subjects with ages between 50 and 70 years were divided into two equal groups and one was given HGH therapy.
The participants in the study were re-examined six months after growth hormone was first administered. Significantly improved muscle strength in the lower part of the body was observed in those treated with HGH. Long-term administration of the substance to HGH-deficient adult participants led to enhanced exercise capacity and improved body composition and thermoregulation along with normalization of muscle strength.
Growth hormone-deficient individuals are known to have brittle bones. That is just another way of saying maintaining sufficient amount of growth hormone in your body can help you build stronger bones. The substance improves bone mineral density. Bone mass is improved through the improvement that is brought about in the number of bone-forming cells and bone-resorbing cells.
It has also been reported that another HGH benefit is to help improve your energy level. People who are low on growth hormone are typically weak and may become tired after even the slightest of exertion. In the Life Spring Institute investigation completed by Dr. Leon Terry, it was observed that HGH therapy resulted in 84 percent boost in the energy levels of treated participants.
How HGH Benefits Sexual Function
People who are experiencing a slump in their sexual performance may receive a boost by improving the amount of human growth hormone in their body. Older individuals who often suffer from low libido may find that HGH can help them to perform better with their partners. It has been observed that the hormone can be quite beneficial to men suffering from erectile dysfunction. The effect of the substance on human corpus cavernosum smooth muscle was examined in a German study focused on 35 healthy adult men. The findings in the investigation suggested that men battling with impotence might find it beneficial. It promotes reproductive function and sexual desire.
Better cardiac health
Growth hormone is heart-friendly. It protects your cardiovascular system from debilitating effects. The fact that it helps to check the amount of fat in the body means it reduces the risk of you suffering from cardiovascular disease. That condition can be potentially fatal. Research has shown that people who are HGH-deficient are more likely to have higher amounts of triglycerides and greater body mass, predisposing them to cardiovascular disease. Growth hormone improves your cardiac output, enhancing your level of strength and activity as a result.
Another important benefit of HGH is that it can also help promote faster wound, burns and fracture healing. This is another of the reasons why it is desired by professional athletes and sportsmen. It promotes quicker bone healing by stimulating bone regeneration. The healing potential of the substance somehow explains why children and adolescence heal faster than adults since they have higher amounts. A six-month, double-blind study at the Department of Medicine of the University of California revealed that healthy older men given HGH therapy experienced faster wound-healing that peers who did not receive similar treatment. The hormone promoted collagen deposition thereby fast-tracking the healing process.
Does HGH Benefit Cognitive function and mood enhancement?
People, especially older individuals, who are experiencing decline in their cognitive or mental capability may find growth hormone beneficial. Some studies have suggested that much. It is believed to also improve mood and concentration. The Palm Springs study by Dr. Edmund Chein and Dr. Terry reported a 62 percent improvement in memory after treatment with HGH. Emotional stability improved by 67 percent while attitude towards life improved by 78 percent. Significant improvement in cognitive function and mood was also reported in a six-month Lithuanian study after HGH therapy.
Healthier, younger-looking skin and hair
The supposed ability of human growth hormone to make you look younger is a major reason why it has become so popular these days. It is thought capable of tightening the skin thereby eliminating the appearance of wrinkles. It also helps to combat hair loss and promote growth of healthier, thicker hair. Dr. Chein and Dr. Terry reported significant improvement in skin texture, thickness and elasticity in their study. They reported 51 percent improvement on wrinkles and 38 percent improvement in growth of new hair.
Lastly, but not least, growth hormone promotes quality sleep. It you are the type that finds it hard to get restful sleep every night, you might just find raising your HGH level to be very beneficial on this front. Good sleep in itself is very essential for growth hormone production. The polypeptide is secreted in pulsatile fashion when you are in deep sleep. You are likely not to reach that state if you find yourself waking like every 15 or 30 minutes after going to bed. Sleep deprivation can be quite harmful from this perspective.
Understanding HGH Deficiency
There is a problem of growth hormone deficiency when the level of the substance in your body is below the amount considered optimal for good health and wellness. The hypothalamus plays a crucial role in the production of growth hormone in the body. It sends signal to the anterior pituitary gland to ramp up or reduce production of the substance depending on the level in the body. This means you could be at risk of hGH deficiency if your hypothalamus is not functioning as well as it should. But that is just one possible cause of low HGH levels; old age and certain medical conditions could also contribute to the problem.
It is not easy to measure the amount of growth hormone in the body. The level of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is often used to indirectly measure the hormone. Research has shown that a measurement less than 160 ug/ml indicates deficiency, which may give rise to a variety of symptoms depending on the age of the affected person. In children, these could include:
- Shorter stature than peers
- Slow tooth development
- Poor hair growth
- Fat accumulation in the face and around the stomach
- Delayed puberty
- Prominent forehead
In the case of adults, symptoms of HGH deficiency may include:
- Dry or thick skin
- Increased body fat, especially around the waist
- Loss of lean muscle mass
- Male baldness
- Poor memory
- Focus and concentration difficulties
- Low energy levels
- Brittle bones
- Cardiovascular issues
These are only some of the possible symptoms that may be observed when the level of growth hormone is low in the body. It is not necessary for you to notice all these symptoms to suspect issue with HGH levels. Some people may have several of them while others might notice just a couple. A trained medical professional, such as a doctor or endocrinologist, is in a better position to tell if you have a deficiency.
Growth hormone in men and women
People typically experience decline in the level of HGH in their body after puberty, with these eventually leading to signs of aging in subsequent years. The first signs of this drop usually do not become visible until after 30 years – somewhere around the mid-30s. These could include hair loss (more noticeable on the head), weakness, apathy, emotional instability, rapid heartbeat and loss of sexual function. Finding a way to increase HGH levels can help to address these issues.
Women have been observed to produce greater amounts of growth hormone than men, with this linked to their estrogen production. Given females do not usually have ripped muscles from higher levels, it perhaps suggests that they are more likely to feel the effect of declining growth hormone levels, which starts in the early 20s. The substance helps to deal with excess body fat, improve skin elasticity, reduce risk of osteoporosis and enhance sleep quality among others. Symptoms of low HGH levels include appearance of wrinkles, flabby body, loss of attractive curves, thinning of hair and accumulation of fat in the stomach region.
How To Naturally Boost Your HGH Levels
From the foregoing, it is easy to tell that maintaining sufficient amount of growth hormone in your body can work wonder in improving your quality of life. You might be so eager right now to find out what you can do to improve your HGH level. Some people resort to the use of somatropin, or synthetic HGH, which is the perfect replacement for that produced by the pituitary gland. However, there are several issues surrounding its use, including legality, cost and safety.
There are several things you can do to improve your HGH level naturally. These are safer and more pocket-friendly options and, in some cases, do not even cost you a cent. The following are some suggestions you may find beneficial.
Cut down on sugar
Sugar and refined carbs can harm the ability of your body to produce growth hormone. These elevate the level of insulin in the body. You might wonder what that has to do with the amount of growth hormone in the body. An inverse relationship has been observed between insulin and growth hormone levels – one rises, the other falls. Studies have shown that diabetic individuals typically have significantly lower growth hormone amounts than non-diabetics.
There is an obesity epidemic in today’s society and this has contributed to HGH deficiency in some people. High amount of fat in the body, especially in the belly, is believed to interfere with growth hormone production. Research has shown that HGH levels rise in people after losing significant amount of body fat, which is believed to be capable of raising insulin levels.
Avoid eating close to bedtime
You stand better chance of improving your HGH levels naturally if you can avoid eating near the time you usually go to bed. It is advised to avoid food, especially those with high carb or protein content, from about two hours before bedtime. Eating close to bedtime can cause your insulin levels to rise thereby interfering with growth hormone production. This is especially worrisome given the polypeptide is mostly produced when you are in deep sleep.
Engage in high intensity exercise
Exercise has long been known to offer superb benefits to the body. It is able to produce some of these benefits through its influence on growth hormone production. Exercising at high intensity with minimal periods of rest considerably ramps up the level of HGH in your body. This is connected to increase in lactic acid. The most benefits are obtained when this type of exercises is done long-term. HIIT, weight lifting and repeated sprints are some of the workouts that work.
Fasting can do wonders in boosting your growth hormone level. That might sound counterintuitive considering food is necessary for growth. However, there is good research to show that you can actually benefit. It was observed in a University of Virginia study that HGH levels rose a jaw-dropping 2000% from baseline levels after 24 hours of fasting. But the idea of fasting that long might sound scary – you don’t have to do that. You could fast for 16 hours in a day or eat just about 600 calories on each of two preferred days every week. Fasting cause insulin and body fat levels to dip – this is quite beneficial for boosting growth hormone production.
Do a liver detox
One of the things you can do to improve natural production of growth hormone is to detoxify your liver. Why is this important? When hGH is secreted by the pituitary gland in the head, it travels to the liver where it stimulates production of IGF-1, through which the hormone performs a good number of its functions. The liver will not be able to efficiently produce IGF-1, unless it is functioning properly. Detoxification helps to clear out everything that is capable of inhibiting the organ’s functions.
Endeavor to sleep well
With so many things to worry about in modern society, you might find that you do not sleep very well most nights. This can harm HGH production. The most growth hormone is produced when you are in deep sleep. But that may be inhibited if you wake every few minutes after going to bed. You can enhance the quality of your sleep by taking certain steps, such as reading in the evening, avoiding blue light before going to bed, using a melatonin supplement, or sleeping in a dark room.
Use vitamins C and D
Vitamins C and D contribute in one way or the other to boosting HGH levels. Low levels of growth hormone have been observed in individuals with low vitamin C and D levels. This suggests raising the amount in the body may help with HGH production. Italian researchers at the University of Genova found that vitamin D has a hand in several vital processes that can boost HGH levels.
HGH Benefits With natural supplements
There are numerous products out there with natural ingredients that have been shown in numerous studies to help promote production of growth hormone by the pituitary gland. Those ones containing one or several of the following can be hugely beneficial:
- Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)
- Alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine (A-GPC)
- Mucuna pruriens
These natural ingredients and several others have been proven to help and are used in many health products.
Get a good laugh every time you can
Laugh. You never know how much that can help in raising your HGH level. But laughter has been shown to be useful for boosting the amount of growth hormone in the body. It was found in a 1989 study that men experienced a massive 87 percent surge in HGH levels after watching a comedy video for an hour! A 27 percent rise in the amount of endorphins was also observed in the Loma Linda University study.
Important information on HGH use
The temptation may be there to try growth hormone of rDNA origin (somatropin). This is identical to the substance naturally produced in the body, thus raising the likelihood of getting whatever benefits you desire faster. Many professional bodybuilders and celebrities are believed to be using somatropin injections for bodybuilding and fighting aging. In the United States, you stand at risk of fines and possible imprisonment if caught with synthetic growth hormone, unless you have a reliable prescription from a doctor. You must have been medically diagnosed to have low levels to be considered a candidate for these injections. We are not even talking of how exorbitant the costs of these injections are.
The strict regulation of the distribution of synthetic growth hormone means you may have to get your supply from the black market, unless you are diagnosed with serious deficiency that could adversely impact on your health. There is no guarantee on the quality of any product you will be getting in such a situation. The product you buy may have little or no growth hormone. Worse still, it might contain substances that can be harmful to your health.
In addition to the above, somatropin injections can give rise to some unpleasant side effects in some situations, such as when used in excessive amounts. The possible ones include:
- Bloating or water retention
- Increase in blood sugar levels (capable of leading to Type 2 diabetes)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (characterized by “pins and needles” sensation)
- Acromegaly or abnormal growth
- Skin thickening
- Muscle weakness
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
There is also the risk of slashing an artery, if you are a novice when it comes to syringe use. This can cause you to bleed to death if care is not taken. A nerve may be hit when taking HGH injections, raising the risk of permanent paralysis.
Growth hormone offers many great benefits that can improve your look, physical health, mental health and overall quality of life. But synthetic growth hormone is not recommended for tapping into majority of the much-vaunted benefits. Good diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle play crucial role in raising HGH level naturally. They offer great alternatives to somatropin. The use of natural growth hormone supplements can be quite beneficial as well.
Growth Hormone Deficiency Symptoms
Written by Daniel J. Toft MD, PhD www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/growth-disorders/growth-hormone-deficiency-symptoms