Human growth hormone, or HGH, has made headlines in recent years for a variety of reasons. Often, the use of HGH is associated with bodybuilders and elite athletes such as baseball and tennis players. Many such athletes are alleged to have received injections of human growth hormone in contravention of their sport's anti-doping rules. Often, these sports stars risk millions of dollars and the future of their careers to use substances such as HGH. What advantages of human growth hormone could be so great as to make these athletes take such risks? The answers lie in the chemistry of HGH and the possible benefits to physical performance.
Human growth hormone is a natural substance, though biosynthetic drugs have been modeled on HGH. The hormone itself is secreted by the human pituitary gland and is responsible for the rapid growth that occurs in adolescence. However, as we age and gain fatty tissue, levels of HGH drop. In the 1980s and '90s, researchers began to release studies that indicated a vast array of benefits from human growth hormone injections such as fat burning, increased muscle building, and slowed aging. Since then, experts in gerontology and sports medicine have continued to study the effects of HGH. However, there are benefits of the human growth hormone for such real-world applications as bodybuilding, improved sleep, weight loss, clarity of vision, anti-aging, a better sex life, strengthened immunity and general vitality.
The use of HGH which appeals to almost everyone is anti-aging. The study that first publicized this benefit of human growth hormone took place in 1990 and was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Injections of HGH were given to twelve men between 61 and 81 years of age for six months. The results were striking. The study participants improved in a variety of ways associated with youth: increased lean muscle mass lowered blood pressure, increased skin elasticity, improved blood sugar, less body fat and increased spinal density. It was this study that began the world's interest in human growth hormone's anti-aging properties, and today, HGH is a multi-million dollar industry.
Of course, a hormone which increases lean muscle mass and helps to burn fatty tissue will also be invaluable for weight loss. Experts agree that the goal of must be to gain muscle while losing fat, and studies of the human growth hormone indicate that it can help the body do both, not just in adolescence, but throughout life. A randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism tested HGH on 59 clinically obese men and women. Participants were given daily injections of either human growth hormone or a placebo, and the results were remarkable.
Not only did the HGH recipients lose weight, but testing demonstrated that the weight loss consisted almost entirely of body fat, not muscle. Furthermore, the subjects kept the weight off for up to nine months after the study, despite receiving no further injections.
It makes intuitive sense that the hormone that makes us grow and flourish in youth would benefit us in adulthood as well. Studies show that human growth hormone injections can indeed provide impressive results.