Human Growth Hormone Therapy

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In 1990, Dr. Rudman studied growth hormone in men over 60 years of age and found amazing positive effects and no negative effects. Many studies since that time have shown that replacement of the low levels of growth hormone can partially reverse the aging process and return patients back to a more vigorous state of health. Until recently, the supply of growth hormone was scarce because it had to be obtained from the pituitary gland of cadavers. This hormone is now available in adequate supply due to genetic engineering techniques that have been developed through recombinant DNA technology. Therefore, his hormone is no longer obtained from humans but is obtained from bacteria that have been genetically engineered to produce growth hormone.

Signs of growth hormone deficiency are equivalent to those signs of aging. Body composition shifts to increase fat with a corresponding decrease in muscle mass and decreased capacity. There is demineralization of bone. Listed below are some of the more common changes:

  • Increased cardiovascular mortality.
  • Abnormal body fat.
  • Abnormal bone density.
  • Impaired physical performance, muscle tone and strength.
  • Psychosocial deficits.
  • Poor sleep quality.
  • Thinning of hair, skin and muscle

Human growth hormone, which is secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain, is also responsible for growth and healing, decreased body fat and cholesterol, higher energy level and enhanced sexual performance. It is responsible for regrowth of vital organs and for restoration of a youthful immune system. It increases strength of bones by increasing the function of osteoblasts. It results in faster healing of wounds and also has shown tremendous improvement in postoperative healing by stimulation of cellular repair and protein synthesis. Replenishment results in increased energy levels, elevated mood, and increased physical and psychological well-being.

Deficiency of human growth hormone has also been associated with fatigue, poor muscle development, lack of drive and initiative, decreased endurance and strength, sagging muscle, increased wrinkles, sagging skin, sagging breasts, sagging abdomen, and poor self-esteem. Without a doubt, growth hormone therapy can counter these adverse effects. All major studies have documented these improvements in body composition and function.

Improved Muscle/Fat Ratio

There is consistent improvement in his parameter with a usual 10% increase in lean body mass and a 5 to 10% decrease in body fat. Fat loss was greatest in the abdominal region. The alterations in body composition are reserved. The lean body mass increases as the adipose tissue decreases. This accounts for the fact that there may not always be an overall weight loss because of the increased muscle mass. In addition, human growth hormone affects the liver, kidneys, spleen, skin and bone, and is protective against atrophy by causing re-growth of tissue.

Improved Lipolysis (Fat Breakdown)

Growth hormone induces decomposition of adipose tissue. The adipose cell volume will decrease significantly. Metabolism is increased which results in the degradation of fat. In addition, cholesterol is lowered.

Improved fluid balance

Growth hormone restores abnormal low levels of extracellular fluid. This cellular dehydration is implicated in many of the signs of aging. By replenishing this extracellular water, skin becomes thicker and wrinkles become less noticeable. Also, there is normalization of kidney function, and improvement in perspiration capacity.

Bone Density Changes

During growth hormone therapy, there is a definite improvement in bone density. One study showed an increase in bone mass of over 2% per year.

Improved Exercise Capacity

There is an increase in muscle mass which accounts for the improved ability to exercise with a concomitant increase in strength. There is also an increase in cardiac output. There is an increase in maximum oxygen uptake with a concomitant improvement in cardiac function.

Human growth hormone has been shown in some studies to have to have slight side effects which were carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, and edema. This was experienced only when very high doses were given. Numerous studies have shown that side effects can be completely avoided by slow initial administration, proper monitoring of levels and administration on a daily basis in what is called a low-dose, high-frequency method. Some researchers have used growth hormone injections twice daily. Recent research has shown that the majority of naturally produced HGH is pulsed from the pituitary gland at night. This has led to studies showing that a once a day injection at night seems to have the most beneficial effects, as evidence by raising the somatomedin-C levels of protein produced by the liver. Human growth hormone cannot be measured directly unless extremely sensitive tests are used. Therefore, the somatomedin-C (or insulin growth factor 1, IGF-1) is most commonly used as an indirect measurement of growth hormone. However, this method is, at times, widely insensitive due to the natural daily fluctuation in hormone level. Although somatomedin-C is frequently used to monitor HGH, it is still not an exact measurement. However, more importantly, the somatomedin-C level is used to make sure that the amount of growth hormone administration is not in excess, which in turn will prevent any of the minor side effects. IN summary, when the correct method of administration is employed and the levels monitored correctly, there will be no side effects.

Over the Years, there have been many supplements that have been tried to release growth hormone release. These include amino acids, vitamins, exercise, and other hormones. All have been shown to show a very slight increase pule of HGH release. However, in my experience in monitoring several hundred patients who have tried these various supplements, it has not resulted in any improvement in the somatomedin-C or IGF-1 levels. Pharmaceutical companies are now studying growth hormone releasing factors that may cause more of a sustained release of growth hormone that the present secretagogues. Unfortunately, none of these secretagogues are available to the public at this time. There are also attempts to use oral growth hormone releasing agents, yet these have not been shown to be successful and are not generally available. It also remains to be seen whether these secretagogues will cause an increase in HGH release. This would be successful only if the pituitary is able to produce enough human growth hormone in the first place. If the pituitary is not able to produce enough growth hormone, then the secretagogues will have no beneficial effect. A recent human growth hormone secretagogue study showed that the secretagogues were effective only in young, healthy pituitary. The older the pituitary, the less effective is the secretagogue. In other words, it does not make any difference what secretagogue that we use because our pituitaries are unable to produce any more growth hormone. The only effective method of increasing the growth hormone in the body is through daily HGH injections.