Human Growth Hormone (HGH) Anti-Aging Supplement

Growth hormone (GH) is the main hormone responsible for growth in all mammals (including humans) and is associated with the regulation of such metabolic processes as anabolism and lipolysis. Human growth hormone, commonly called HGH, is a polypetide mixture that is secreted by the anterior pituitary gland in the human body. The main form of HGH can be produced synthetically using a process called recombinant DNA technology. This synthetically produced HGH is used primarily in connection with children and adolescents with short stature caused by growth hormone (GH)-deficiency. Recombinant HGH (a.k.a Somatropin - a prescription drug) is also used in connection with growth hormone deficiency in adults, short stature in association with renal insufficiency, AIDS-related wasting, and short stature associated with Turner's Syndrome.

HGH Levels Decrease with Age

It is also known that growth hormone levels decrease as we grow older. In fact, growth hormone levels in individuals 60 or older are only about half of that in young adults. It is still not clear what role HGH plays in the body or what effect it may have on the body once full growth has been attained but it is believed reduced levels of growth hormone associated with aging contribute to age-related decreases in muscle mass, strength, and lipolysis.

Human

Suggested Benefits of HGH

The following are just a few of the effects associated with HGH decline.*
  • In those who have no pituitary function [responsible for HGH production], there is a shift in body composition whereby body fat increases by 7-25 while lean body mass decreases similarly. Muscle strength and muscle mass are noticeably reduced. Bone density studies indicate long bone density and spinal bone density decrease as significantly as if the individual had aged 15 years.
  • When HGH levels wane pronounced weight gain of 30-50 pounds can occur. Furthermore, there are negative effects on cholesterol; triglyceride levels increase while high density cholesterol (HDL), 'good cholesterol', decreases.
  • Lower than normal levels of HGH may contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated vascular wall thickening and changes associated with decreased cardiac output.
  • Insufficiencies in HGH levels may contribute to people who have reported a rapid decline in exercise capacity and impaired sense of well-being and symptoms of fatigue, social isolation, depression, and a lack of the ability to concentrate.
The following are just a few of the suggested benefits associated with an increase in HGH levels.*
  • Muscle mass can increase, making you stronger.
  • Body fat will be distributed differently, making you appear leaner. It has been suggested you can even see a reduction of 14 in weight and body fat over your first six months using HGH without changing your diet.
  • Some HGH users report their immune system to be enhanced and their stress level to have dropped.
  • Some HGH users have reported improved vision as well as cognitive function and memory retention.
  • Reports have indicated increase in lean muscle as high as 9 during their first six months of HGH therapy.
  • Other individuals using HGH have reported that their injuries heal faster.
  • HGH users have reported feeling energetic and invigorated.
Among its other suggested benefits the belief that supplementing with HGH can retard signs of aging was spawned by a 1990 trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine.1 This six month study of 12 men found that use of HGH injections (at a dose of about 2 milligrams three times a week) increased muscle mass, decrease fat mass, and thickened bone.

Subsequent research has shown that growth hormone injections did infact improve muscle to fat ratio in older people. However, studies did not indicate that HGH treatment would increase strength or improve function.2 In addition, in some individuals growth hormone injections may cause problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome (wrist and hand pain caused by swelling around the median nerve), enlargement of bones, coarsening of facial features, joint pain and leg swelling.

As previously indicated, we believe that the benefits and effects of HGH therapy still are not fully understood. And it is still to soon to tell with any certainty if there are any long-term side effects of prolonged intravenous HGH supplementation.

The Truth About HGH Therapies. Can They Help You?

HGH therapy may be able to help you, although to date there is no sound scientific evidence to conclusively substantiate many of the claims made about HGH treatments, especially those made about over-the-counter, non-prescription HGH supplements.

Pure HGH should be taken by injection, because it is a very large molecule that cannot be absorbed intact (whether taken orally, allowed to dissolve under the tongue, or sprayed into the nose or throat). Unfortunately, HGH injections can be very expensive, costing on the upwards of a thousand dollars or more per month.

Because most people cannot afford authenitic HGH therapy, a host of products have become available on the market that claim to raise HGH levels. These types of HGH supplements fall into four main categories:
  • HGH Releasing Agents
    HGH Releasing Agents (also called HGH enhancers or HGH stimulators) are compounds which primarily include the amino acids arginine, glutamine, histidine, methionine, phenylalanine, ornithine and lysine. HGH Releasing Agents do indeed appear to produce a temporary rise in growth hormone.3 For more detailed information on HGH Releasing Agents please see the section titled HGH Releasers and Secretagogues below.

  • Homeopathic HGH
    Homeopathic HGH therapy is an entirely different approach to HGH therapy that involves the use of a homeopathic dilution of real human growth hormone. According to homeopathic theory, a very extreme dilution of a substance given to a healthy person will produce the same effect as the original substance. Thus, a highly diluted dose of HGH should produce the same effects as normal doses. However, most Homeopathic HGH products are so highly diluted that many experts believe it would be almost impossible to absorb enough to produced the desired effect (if any effect at all).

    As it happens, even a homeopathic remedy diluted only by a factor of 1030 (a 30X, or 15C remedy) is not realistically going to contain even a single molecule of HGH. Notwithstanding, many homeopathic practitioners believe that some sort of energy or imprint remains, even if no physical substance does. In fact, some have claimed that the higher the dilution, the stronger the effect, and call highly dilute homeopathic preparations high potency remedies. From the perspective of modern science, this doesn't make much sense, and the overwhelming majority of scientists believe that homeopathy (at least at dilutions above 106 or so), will not provide any effect whatsoever.

    In general, the better the quality of the study performed on the effects of Homeopathic HGH, the less the effects that were seen.4,5,6,7

  • Nanogram Strength HGH
    There is a category of HGH supplements that claim to contain a dose of HGH measured in nanograms, such as 4000 nanograms per dose. If you don't know what a nanogram is this may sound like a lot of HGH per dose. A nanogram is only one-millionth of a milligram. To put this in perspective if you to were take HGH via injection you would likely be receiving approximately 2 milligrams which is equivalent to 2,000,000 nanograms. Additionally, most scientific evidence indicates that because HGH is a large molecule it cannot be absorbed by the body when taken orally, as a nasal spray or under the tongue. Nanogram HGH supplements are almost always administered orally, sublingually (under the tongue) or as a nasal spray.

  • IGF-1 Enhancers
    IGFs (insulin-like growth factors) are polypeptides (crucial blood protein) produced in the liver in response to stimulation by growth hormone. IGFs are very similar in structure to insulin.

    Quite often as the level of growth hormone in the body rises levels of IGF-1 also increase. IGF-1 is believed to produce some of the same, though not all, of the effects of HGH. However, even less is knows about the possible benefits and risks involved in increasing the levels of IGF-1 in the human body than is know about HGH. Simply put, if scientific community knows little about HGH, they know even less about IGF-1.

    In order to enhance their effect, many HGH products (including HGH Releasing Agents) contain colostrum, which contains IGF-1. Colostrum is the substance produced in the breast milk of nursing mothers for the first few days after birth.

Aside from intravenous HGH, of the four main types of HGH products on the market today we believe HGH Releasing Agents merit the most attention. Based on available research HGH Releasing Agents appear to have the ability, as limited as it may be, to actually increase HGH levels in the body. As compelling as the arguments to the contrary may appear, in our opinion, and again based on the evidence, Homeopathic HGH, Nanogram Strength HGH and IGF-1 Enhancers whether administered orally, via nasal spray, or sublingually, provide no observable benefit.

HGH Releasers and Secretagogues

The release of GH from the anterior pituitary gland is a complex process involving multiple regulators. Hypothalamic peptide GHRH (growth hormone-releasing hormone) acts on the cells (somatotroph cells) of the anterior pituitary to release GH. Additionally, GH release appears to be influenced by another, separate mechanism, a growth hormone secretagogue pathway. GH secretagogues, abbreviated GHSs, include small peptides and nonpetides such as L-arginine and many other amino acids.

Again, the best evidence supporting the benefit of HGH supplementation is in reference to intravenous administration. Notwithstanding, oral ingestion of HGH Releasers (GHSs) can have a similar, though less intense, effect. In one study of young adults, administration of 1.5 grams of arginine and 1.5 grams of lysine (both common ingredients in most HGH Releasing Agents) increased growth hormone (GH) levels by a multiple of 2.7.8 In a similar study, two grams of glutamine (another HGH Releasing Agent) were administered daily to study participants ranging in age from 32 to 64. Results of the study showed that HGH concentrations for study participants increased by a factor of nearly 4 and half.9

Supporting Literature

1. Rudman D, Feller AG, Nagraj HS, et al. Effects of human growth hormone in men over 60 years old. N Engl J Med. 1990;323:1-6.
2. Vance ML. Can growth hormone prevent aging? N Engl J Med. 2003;348:779-80.
3. Chromiak JA, Antonio J. Use of amino acids as growth hormone-releasing agents by athletes. Nutrition. 2002;18:657-61.
4.Grabia S, Ernst E. Homeopathic aggravations: a systematic review of randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Homeopathy. 2003;92:92 98.
5.Homeopathy: A Critical Appraisal. London: Butterworth Heinemann;1998:69-97.
6.Dantas F, Fisher P. A systematic review of homeopathic pathogenetic trials (provings) published in the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1995. In: Ernst E, ed.
7.Linde K, Scholz M, Ramirez G, et al. Impact of study quality on outcome in placebo-controlled trials of homeopathy. J Clin Epidemiol. 1999;52:631-636.
8. Suminski RR, Robertson RJ, Goss FL, et al. Acute effect of amino acid ingestion and resistance exercise on plasma growth hormone concentration in young men. Int J Sport Nutr. 1997;7:48-60.
9. Welbourne TC. Increased plasma bicarbonate and growth hormone after an oral glutamine load. Am J Clin Nutr. 1995;61:1058-61.

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