Human Growth Hormone, (HGH) is reportedly being used by a significant number of healthy Americans as an anti-aging remedy and also as a weight loss therapy at an individual cost of $10,000 -$25,000 yearly. HGH is a protein hormone containing approximately 190 amino acids. It is produced by a pea sized gland located at the base of the brain called the pituitary gland. Its natural function is to fuel cell growth and regulate metabolism.
Technically explained the direct effect of HGH is finding cell receptors and steering them to designated performances. One such performance of HGH is locating fat cells and directing them to break down triglycerides and avoid lipid collection. This knowledge has led to the belief that administering high doses of HGH could cause weight loss.
The indirect effect of HGH is the secretion of IGF-1 (insulin like growth factors) by the liver and other tissues. These secretions promote the growth of cartilage cells, which in turn increases bone growth and muscle mass. Proper production of HGH in the human body regulates growth from childhood to adulthood. As the body ages HGH levels drop and bone and muscle growth decreases. Many believe that introducing high doses of HGH should stimulate bone and muscle growth reversing the aging process and when given to athletes should enhance their performance. Another theory offers the use of HGH in HIV-AIDs patients to hamper muscle loss and wasting.
Excessive production of HGH causes serious disorders. In childhood it has caused giantism. In adulthood it has produced tumors, usually benign, caused enlarged extremities, abnormal jaw structure and cardiac disease. Excessive deficiencies in childhood can result in dwarfism. One epidemiological survey showed both people and animals with high HGH levels died at a younger than average age.
HGH has been medically approved for usage in dairy cows to enhance milk production. It is also lawfully used by pork producers in an attempt to increase the production of muscle over fat. Poultry farms have used HGH for years to dramatically decrease the time necessary to raise chickens from hatchlings to market size.
The use of HGH as a treatment for anti-aging in the U S is illegal and has been punished with prison sentences of up to 5 years and fines up to $250,000. The use of HGH by medical practitioners is closely regulated and must be substantiated by test results showing irregular balances when compared to national scales.
The known side effects of HGH injections include: muscle and joint pain, swelling, pooling of fluid in the skin and other tissues, the onset and worsening of type II diabetes, carpal tunnel syndrome, gynecomastia (the enlargement of male breasts), high blood pressure and heart disease.
In a test done on mice with cancer, injections of HGH increased the cancer growth. The theory here points to HGH stimulating cell growth. Cancer in a nutshell being the irregular and abnormal growth of cells, HGH found the cancer cell receptors and steered them to a higher performance.
As of this date it is believed that for HGH to perform it must be either produced within the body or administered by injections. Claims that pills and creams containing what is called growth hormone releasers are effective are simply unsubstantiated claims.
It is the consumer’s responsibility to become informed. Is HGH an effective, safe treatment for anti-aging? It is illegal. Is it an effective, safe treatment for weight loss? The odds are against it.