The team at Advanced Hormone Replacement constantly scours medical journals for important studies on the subject of Human Growth Hormone (HGH).
One study we are paying particular close attention to is from the University of Michigan in which researchers, funded by the Mark Cuban Foundation, are conducting a study on the benefits of administering HGH (Somatropin) to ACL injuries ‘preoperative to postoperative injury recovery.’
The Study is titled “Evaluation of Recombinant Growth Hormone Therapy to Prevent Muscle Atrophy in Patients With Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears”. This trial has been reviewed and approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and is registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02420353).
The study will be a two-year, double-blind study in which males 18-35 will be administered HGH 1 week prior to ACL surgery to 26 weeks following surgery.
Doctors are essentially seeking to verify if HGH prevents the degradation of muscle and helps protect tendons and ligaments, as has been successfully identified in other studies.
“We’re using this as a pilot study to give us some fundamental information about HGH,” says Asheesh Bedi (M.D. 2002, Residency 2007), the Harold and Helen W. Gehring Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and chief of Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery and the MedSport Program.
The researchers at the University of Michigan became interested in HGH as a supplement in ACL surgeries in response to a study from the University of Copenhagen. In this study, subjects in their 20s were fitted with a hip-to-ankle cast for two weeks to induce muscle atrophy. Half of the males were given HGH while the other half a placebo. Immediately following the cast removal, the group that self-administered HGH had lost less muscle than the placebo group, and after six weeks of exercise the group that took HGH was able to regain full leg strength, while the placebo group did not.
“Immediately after surgery, when the ACL graft is very fragile, knee movement has to be limited so the graft can heal, and muscle strength goes down during that time,” Mendias says. “There seems to be a threshold where if you lose a little bit of muscle mass, you can get most of that back, but if you’re out for a while and you lose a lot of muscle tissue, it’s very, very hard to get that back.”
Mark Cuban has discussed the possibility of HGH being used to treat athletic injuries in the past, and has stated that the issue should be studied to determine whether HGH should stay on the NBA’s banned-substance list, or be allowed for use by players to recover from injuries.
The possible benefits of HGH regarding sports injuries have been largely ignored in the past by sports leagues that ban HGH, possibly because they may not want to deal with the question of how to regulate the hormone. Cuban believes that there may be a legitimate use for HGH that is currently unknown.
Because of Mark Cuban’s outspoken advocacy for studying the potential benefits of HGH, the researchers at University of Michigan sought him out for funding of the study.
“Working together could lead us from the path of demonizing HGH and even testosterone towards a complete understanding,” Cuban told USA Today Sports. “It could allow us to make a data based decision rather than the emotional decision we are currently making.”
ACL tears occur nearly 250,000 per year and are especially problematic among professional athletes. Nearly a third of NFL players and a quarter of NBA players who suffer an ACL tear do not return to play professional sports. Players who have ‘successful’ recoveries typically miss over 75% of the regular season and require over 12 months of recovery time.
For more information about the trial: clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02420353
For more information about the U-M MedSport Sports Medicine Program: