The first step in our education is to become familiar with some of the terms and definitions used while discussing Human Growth Hormone. Ready? Let's jump right in...
Hormones are tiny chemical messengers that help our body do different tasks. Hormones are made up of amino acids. Hormones are produced by the endocrine glands and then sent all over the body to stimulate certain activities. For example, Insulin is a well known hormone that helps our body digest food. Our growth, digestion, reproduction and sexual functions are all triggered by hormones.
Human Growth Hormone (HGH or hGH) is the most abundant hormone produced by the pituitary gland (pituitary is one of the endocrine glands). The pituitary gland is located in the center of the brain. HGH is also a very complex hormone. It is made up of 191 amino acids - making it fairly large for a hormone. In fact, it is the largest protein created by the Pituitary gland.
HGH secretion reaches its peak in the body during adolescence. This makes sense because HGH helps stimulate our body to grow. But, HGH secretion does not stop after adolescence. Our body continue to produce HGH usually in short bursts during deep sleep.
Growth Hormone is known to be critical for tissue repair, muscle growth, healing, brain function, physical and mental health, bone strength, energy and metabolism. In short, it is very important to just about every aspect of our life!
Recombinant Growth Hormone is GH that is synthesized in the lab. It is a biosynthetic hormone that is identical to human growth hormone, but it is synthesized in the lab. Creating an exact replicate of HGH was not an easy task.
First scientist needed to isolate HGH. Once they achieved this step they could study the DNA make-up of the protein. Scientist quickly realized making recombinant GH would be no easy task since they had to accurately reproduce a 191 amino acid hormone.
I wish I could say it was the quest to help mankind that lead to the invention of recombinant GH, but really it was money! Pharmaceutical companies knew that there was big money to be made if they could create HGH in a test tube. Scientist from the major drug companies raced to produce the 191 amino acid hormone in a test tube. While Genentech first claimed victory in 1985, it was a short lived success. The recombinant GH they made was a 190 amino acid match - they were one amino acid off from HGH. This left the door open for Eli Lilly, who in 1986 created a 191 amino acid hormone that was an identical match to the HGH produced by the pituitary gland. The drug is called Humatrope and is the most widely used recombinant growth hormone today.
IGF-1 stands for Insulin-like Growth Factor 1. IGF-1 is also known as Somatomedin-C. As important as HGH is, it does not last long in our bloodstream. In just a few short minutes our liver absorbs HGH and converts it into growth factors. IGF-1 is the most important growth factor that is produced. So, IGF-1 is a hormone just like HGH, but it is easier to measure in the body because it stays in our bloodstream longer than HGH. You can think of HGH as the hormone that gets the ball rolling, but IGF-1 does most of the work.
A secretagogue (se-krët´ah-gog) is an agent that stimulates secretion. For now that is all you need to know about these agents with a funny name, but as we move on the functions of secretagogues and HGH enhancement will become important.
Homeopathy is an art of healing that is based on the principle of similars. The philosophy behind this alternative medicine is the idea that "like cures like." "Traditional medicine" often incorporates this same belief. For example, a flu shot is used to prevent the flu. The shot contains small amounts of the flu virus. The idea being that likes cure likes.
It is important to note that Homeopathic remedies often use very small amounts of drugs and supplements. You are not trying to cure the problem with the active ingredients in the homeopathic remedy, you are just trying to stimulate the body to cure itself. Sytropin is one product that uses homeopathy as part of its effectiveness.
Okay, we are done with the boring definitions - everybody can wake up now! Seriously, we know that these definitions can put you to sleep, but they are important to know as we discuss the possibilities of HGH supplements.
Everybody take a shot of caffeine and let's move onto something more interesting - the effect of HGH on the body...
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