- What is Human Growth Hormone (HGH)?
- How Long Does It Take to See HGH Results?
- A Brief history of HGH
- HGH for Children with Stunted Growth
- HGH for HIV
- HGH for Women
- HGH for Anti-Aging
- Solutions for HGH Therapy
- How do I take HGH?
- List of Possible Side Effects
- HGH and Cancer
- Who should avoid HGH Therapy?
- 8.8% increase in muscle mass on average after 6 months without exercise
- 14.4% loss of fat on average after 6 months without dieting
- Higher energy level
- Enhanced sexual performance
- Regrowth of heart, liver, spleen, kidneys, and other organs that shrink with age
- Great cardiac output
- Superior immune function
- Increased exercise performance
- Lowered blood pressure
- Improved cholesterol profile, with higher HDL and lower LDL
- Stronger bones
- Faster wound healing
- Younger, tighter, thicker skin
- Hair growth
- Wrinkle removal
- Elimination of cellulite
- Sharper vision
- Mood elevation
- Increased memory retention
- Improved sleep
What is Human Growth Hormone?
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a complex, protein-based peptide hormone, also referred to as Somatotropin. This hormone stimulates growth, cell reproduction, and regeneration in our bodies. The HGH isoform is a protein of 191 amino acids and a molecular weight of 22,124 Daltons.
This important hormone is produced in the Pituitary Gland, sometimes referred to as the ‘Master Gland’, which is an extension of the brain, located on its lower side and lying directly just behind the nose. The pituitary gland naturally secretes the hormone, but production gradually decreases as we age.
In 1979, Human growth hormone was cloned by Genentech scientists.
In 1985, Genentech received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its first product, Protropin® (somatrem for injection) growth hormone for children with growth hormone deficiency — the first recombinant pharmaceutical product to be manufactured and marketed by a biotechnology company.
A Brief History of HGH
Although the hormone was discovered in the 1920’s, it was not until 1958 that a pioneering endocrinologist at the New England Medical Center in Boston, Maurice Raben, first injected it into a growth-stunted child whose body produced none of the hormone. It worked. The child began to grow. Other doctors soon followed suit, and the treatment of growth hormone-deficient youngsters became a reality.
The source of the human growth hormone was the only one available – the brains of cadavers. The Hormone was extracted from the pituitary gland. It took thousands of dead brains to obtain the few tiny drops of the hormone that could be injected into the children’s tissue. Most of the cadaver brains came from Africa and were shipped to the factories of commercial drug manufacturers, who would extract the hormone from the pituitary gland.
By 1985, the cadaver-GH treatment was in use for almost 30 years in North America. However, it was during that year a serious discovery was observed with using growth hormones from cadavers. When three children who were taking the growth hormone extracts developed Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), which generally affects about one person in a million, the conclusion was unmistakable. The deadly virus had hitchhiked onto some of the cadavers.
CJD is a horrendous disease, characterized by progressive dementia and loss of muscle control, usually killing its victim within five years after the onset of symptoms. (It is also called mad cow disease in England, where it has been linked to eating beef from infected cattle.)
By 1991 seven children in a group of 5000 hormone recipients that had been studied had developed CJD in the United States, with fifty cases worldwide linked to injections of the pituitary-growth hormone. The FDA ordered the distribution of the drug stopped.
Meanwhile, in 1990, Dr. Daniel Rudman, Professor and Associate Chief of Staff for Geriatrics and Extended Care at the Medical College of Wisconsin, submitted findings for his study, “Effect of Human Growth Hormone in Men Over 60 Years Old” in The New England Journal of Medicine.
The clinical trials were carried out at the Medical College of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Rudman used synthetically produced HGH to replicate the natural production of growth hormone in the pituitary gland.
The study was based on a clinical trial of 21 healthy men aged 61 to 81. It found that after six months of injections of a genetically engineered version of the natural human growth hormone, the men emerged with bodies that by many measures were almost 20 years younger than the ones they started with. During the time of treatment, there were a total of 12 men in Group 1 who each received approx. 0.03 mg of biosynthetic HGH per kilogram of body weight subcutaneously 3 times a week. In Group 2 there were 9 men who did not receive any treatment, just a placebo. Each month the plasma IGF-1 levels were measured, and Dr. Rudman’s team also measured lean body mass, skin thickness, and the mass of adipose tissue. Bone density was also measured at 9 skeletal sites.
In the group that was treated for 6 months, Dr. Rudman observed that there was an 8.8% increase in lean body mass, a 1.6% increase in lumbar vertebral bone density, a 1% increase in skin thickness, and a 14.4% decrease in adipose tissue mass. The second group saw no significant changes in any of the above criteria.
In 1996, the FDA approved growth hormone as a replacement therapy for:
- Adults whose HGH secretions had fallen below normal levels;
- Hormonal deficiency that causes short stature in children;
- Long-term treatment of growth failure due to lack of exogenous GH secretion;
- Long-term treatment of short stature associated with Turner syndrome;
- Adult short bowel syndrome;
- Adult deficiency due to rare pituitary tumors or their treatment
HGH for Children with Stunted Growth
When we make a very low intensity X-ray of our children’s wrists and ankles to observe the ‘growth plates’ where new bone is being laid down daily, we can see if they still can grow taller. On those X-rays, we can see lines representing especially active tissue growth where new bone is being laid down rapidly and in very large amounts over a growing season.
These growth plates look like dark, porous-appearing bands and it is here that HGH acts on the layers of stem-cells in the plates to put down layers of calcium in the newly forming bone as well as layers of strong elastic connective tissue, called the matrix. Here the hormone stimulates not only bone formation but also the building of nerves and blood vessels throughout the immature bone. It is the completion of all this activity at the growth plates that make us taller and stronger before age 20.
As soon as the growth plates close at about age 18, the effects of HGH muscle and soft tissue, however, continues. Children maintained on hormone therapy after growth plates closed continue to develop very strong and muscular physiques in addition to the improved height.
HGH for HIV
The US Government began to fund the use of HGH in the treatment of the lipodystrophy that HIV patients suffer from taking their main antiviral medications called Protease inhibitors.
For these patients, HGH and fat loss became synonymous. HGH attacks the midriff fat stores and redistributes the fat to other parts of the body. Hence, the previously obese HIV patients, who had suffered the side effects of their Protease inhibitors, could now return to a normal body shape by adding HGH to their regimen of therapy.
HGH for Women
Can women take Human Growth Hormone? Yes, they certainly can.
It is important to distinguish Anabolic Steroids from the Human Growth Hormone.
Anabolic Steroids, known as Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids (AAS), are drugs that are derived from, and imitate, the actions and effects of the male hormones Testosterone and Dihydrotestosterone. They enhance protein synthesis in the body, augment lean muscle mass, improve stamina and strength, boost physical endurance, and promote bone growth. When used in extreme and disproportionate doses, Anabolic Steroids are known to cause many side effects, including elevated blood pressure levels, increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and hepatotoxicity.
In females, the side effects of Anabolic Steroids are: deepening of voice, growth of facial hair, reduction in the size of breasts, and menstrual cycle changes, acne, quick weight gain, clotting disorders, nausea and vomiting, liver damage, raised cholesterol levels, premature heart attacks, premature hair loss, and sleep disorders.
The Human Growth Hormone (HGH), on the other hand, is a protein-based hormone, secreted by the anterior portion of the Pituitary Gland (Adenohypophysis), and is naturally synthesized and released by the Somatotrophs (cells located in the anterior lobe of the Pituitary Gland).
The Human Growth Hormone controls a host of important functions and metabolic processes in the body, and hence, is called the ‘key hormone’. It stimulates cell reproduction and tissue repair, governs the replacement of the cells, directs the working of various enzymes and hormones, and controls brain functions.
Women who use HGH should notice the following changes:
- 8.8% increase in muscle mass on average after 6 months without exercise;
- 14.4% loss of fat on average after 6 months without dieting;
- A decrease in muscle pain and joint pain brought on by the process of aging;
- Increase in sex drive, as well as an increase in terms of sexual performance;
- Improvements related to the cardiovascular and pulmonary system;
- Increase in the level of energy and fewer instances of lethargy and fatigue;
- Quicker recovery after exercising;
- Memory, vision, and hearing improvements;
- Both better muscle mass and muscle tone;
- Improvement in skin, hair, and nail quality
- Improved sleeping patterns leading to a more restorative sleep
HGH for Anti-Aging
When we measure the muscle-to-fat ratio by electronic means in individuals over 60, we discover that the seniors taking HGH therapy have 30 percent more muscle after only 12 weeks of HGH therapy than persons of the same age who exercise regularly but without the help of hormone replacement therapy. We are learning now that individuals who exercise regularly and who maintain a healthy diet with HGH replacement therapy are starting to live far longer and more independently by more than 10 years than their counterparts who do not exercise regularly and maintain a healthy lifestyle of a diet with fewer fats and simple carbohydrates. Gerontologists are predicting life expectancies of 120-150 years for the generations retiring over the next 2 decades. Logic suggests that, if we are to live 30 to 40 percent longer, we need to think about the quality of life during the many additional years added to our life spans.
Solutions for HGH Therapy
Norditropin- ® (somatropin [rDNA origin]: Norditropin® is a prescription medicine that contains human growth hormone and is used to treat:
- Children who are not growing because of low or no growth hormone.
- Children who are short (in stature) and who have Noonan syndrome or Turner syndrome.
- Children who are short (in stature) because they were born small (small for gestational age-SGA) and have not caught-up in growth by age 2 to 4 years.
- Adults who did not make enough growth hormone when they were children or when they became adults.
- Growth failure in children and adults who lack natural growth hormone
- Chronic kidney failure,
- Noonan syndrome and Turner syndrome,
- Short stature at birth with no catch-up growth, and other causes.
- Omnitrope is also used to prevent severe weight loss in people with AIDS, or to treat short bowel syndrome.
Sermorelin – Sermorelin Acetate, also known as GRF 1-29, is a Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (GHRH) produced by the brain that stimulates the production and release of Growth Hormone (GH). Sermorelin Acetate was first developed in the 70s, which is thought to be the shortest fully functional fragment of GHRH and has been used as a test for Growth Hormone secretion.
How Do I Take HGH?
HGH injections are typically painless and given with a very small insulin needle into the fat lying just below the surface of the skin known as the subcutaneous region. Advanced delivery systems that resemble a common fountain pen offer better portability and convenience.
Synthesized HGH must be stored and transported in a refrigerated environment and is available either as a vial of powder that is reconstituted with bacteriostatic water, or premixed in measured, disposable cartridges.
List of Possible Side Effects
The most common side effects of Norditropin® include:
- Muscle pain
- Joint stiffness
- High blood sugar (called hyperglycemia)
- Sugar in the urine (called glucosuria)
HGH and Cancer
A major study on the effects of growth hormone was done by Dr. Edmund Chein, director of the Palm Springs Life Extension, and his associate Dr. L. Cass Terry, of the Medical College of Wisconsin. From 1994 – 1996 they treated over 800 patients with HGH injections. Their test subjects were treated with synthetic HGH injection therapy. Amazingly, there have not been any reports of cancer from any of the patients. As Dr. Terry stated in “Grow Young with HGH”, by Dr. Ronald Klatz, “With 800 people over the age of about 40, you would think that given normal incidence rate of cancer, some of these people would get cancer. It could be that there is some sort of protective effect from growth hormone replacement.”
Also, the levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a marker of prostate problems including cancer, did not increase among any of Dr. Terry and Dr. Chein’s male patients. In one case study, it appeared that HGH injection therapy actually reversed the previously diagnosed prostate cancer in one patient. Additionally, the pharmaceutical company Pharmacia UpJohn has stated that in the culture tests they have done there has not been any evidence of cancer cell mutation, which is the first step in cancer development.
You should avoid HGH therapy if:
- You have a critical illness caused by certain types of heart or stomach surgery, trauma or breathing (respiratory) problems
- You are a child with Prader-Willis syndrome who is severely obese or has breathing problems including sleep apnea
- You have cancer or other tumors
- Your healthcare provider tells you that you have certain types of eye problems caused by diabetes
- You are a child with closed bone growth plates (epiphyses)
- You are allergic to Norditropin® or any of the ingredients in Norditropin® (see the Prescribing Information for a complete list of ingredients in Norditropin®)
How Long Will It Take to See HGH Results?
HGH Result Timeline
While the timeline in which you can expect to see certain benefits will vary from person to person, there is a general HGH timeline that can help you better understand the progression of treatment.
1 month of HGH Treatment
- Feelings of anxiety are reduced
- Improved energy and stamina
- Better overall mood and temperament
- More productive, restful sleep
2 months of HGH Treatment
- Further improvement seen in HGH results from the first month
- Some people may notice improvements in impaired night vision by the end of month two
- Metabolism functions begin to improve, resulting in increased fat burning, as well as improved muscle tone
- Noticeable increase in libido
- Internal cellular regeneration begins
- Hair and nails strengthen
- Collagen levels rise, resulting in restored skin elasticity and a decrease in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
3 months of HGH Treatment
After three months of treatment, many patients can expect to be at the height of their treatment. Patients will still see an increase in the previous month’s benefits and will continue throughout this month.
- Immune system improvements will help to resist colds and germs
- Improved cognitive functions such as memory and overall sharpness
- Libido and sexual performance will see positive changes overall
- Symptoms of PMS and menopause will lessen
- Hair regrowth in thinning areas
- Greater range of motion, flexibility and muscle mass
- Bones are beginning to strengthen
- The ability to recover faster from wounds and illnesses is evident
4 months of HGH Treatment
While the third month of treatment is noted to be the most drastic, the fourth month of treatment also sees some notable transformations.
- Increased mental clarity
- Joint pain is almost completely gone
- Cardiac endurance for exercise is at a higher capacity
- All of the previous benefits will continue to progress
5 months of HGH Treatment
- Substantial improvements in skin quality
- Noticeable weight loss, especially belly fat
- Continued progress in all previous benefits
6 months of HGH Treatment
After six months of treatment, patients are able to compare before and after pictures and see a considerable amount of physical changes.
- The body takes on a more youthful and contoured appearance, including improved muscle mass and a slimmer waist
- Hair will begin to regain its original color and gray hairs will become more infrequent
- Dramatically improved eyesight at night
- Lowered LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- A higher level of cardiovascular health
This timeline is a generalization of what many people can expect from HGH treatment on a month to month basis. Individual results will vary, based on how your own body reacts to the human growth hormone injections. If you find that your treatment has begun to plateau, having a discussion with your practitioner is recommended to make sure that your treatments are on track. A change in dosage may be necessary for continuing your treatment.