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The Role of HGH in the body?

Good news, after reading through the boring HGH definitions page this will seem like a thriller. In this article we begin to explore what we know about the effects of HGH on the body...

What role does HGH play in the body?

Human growth hormone and IGF-1 (if you need definitions go to: HGH Definitions page) have been shown to play a significant role in:

  • Conversion of body fat to muscle mass
  • Growth of all tissues
  • Energy level
  • Tissue repair
  • Whole body healing
  • Cell replacement
  • Bone strength
  • Brain function
  • Sexual function
  • Organ health and integrity
  • Enzyme production
  • Integrity of hair, nails, skin and vital organs

Basically, anything that goes on in your body is in some way tied to HGH. This is why HGH is often called the "fountain of youth". Elevated HGH levels are what make you feel young again.

Does your body always produce HGH?

The good news is that your body must always product some minimal level of HGH or you would not be able to function. The bad news is that as you get past about 20 years old, your body produces less and less HGH each year. By age 60 you will probably have lost 75% of the HGH that your body produced.

If you are a numbers person, here are some average HGH secretion levels:

  • At 20 years old we average 500 micrograms/day
  • At 40 years old we average 200 micrograms/day
  • At 80 years old we average 25 micrograms/day
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Why does the body produce less HGH as we get older?

This is the million-dollar question. It really ties into the bigger question - Is aging a preventable disease? For years people have believed that as we get older our body basically wears out. The theory went that all of our organs, tissues, muscles, bones, etc. have a set life span and will get weaker as we age. When someone is 40 and complains that they can't do what they did at 20, we accepted this as the natural process of getting old.

Research into HGH shows that aging may be preventable to a certain extent. Let me clarify that, I am not saying that we will all become immortal (except for Dick Clark - he never seems to age). What I am saying is that research indicates that our body is very capable at the age of 40 to have the same makeup as we did at the age of 20. Okay, I am getting a little carried away - let's get back to HGH...

It was originally believed that the pituitary gland just didn't have the capacity to produce large amounts of HGH as we get older. However, recent studies have shown that aging pituitary glands are capable of producing as much HGH as young pituitary glands, if it is adequately stimulated. This shows that the somatotrophe cell, the cell in the pituitary gland that releases HGH, does not "lose power" as we age.

The questions still remains, if the problem is not with the pituitary gland, then why does HGH decrease as we age? One theory is that the pituitary gland does not "know" it should be producing more HGH. Our body has a feedback loop that says when the IGF-1 levels decrease, produce more HGH. For some unknown reason it is possible that this loop is broken and the pituitary gland has a harder time getting the signal to produce more HGH as we age.

Another theory is that as we get older our Somatostatin levels increase. Somatostatin is a natural inhibitor to growth hormone. So, as we age the somatostatin levels increase and this leads to a decrease in HGH.

As we speak a lot of very smart people are trying to come up with a definitive answer as to why HGH levels decrease with age, but as of now we just have theories.

Is there any way to maintain high HGH levels as we age?

Yes. Back on our growth hormones definitions page we discussed the recombinant GH that is made by Eli Lilly. A doctor can do a daily injection of this GH and it will lead to an overall increase of growth hormone in the body. It is important to understand that recombinant GH is only available by injection. Human growth hormone is a 191 chain amino acid hormone that is too delicate to be made in any oral form (pill, powder, spray, etc).

What effect does this increase in HGH have on the body?

This is where it gets exciting. While numerous studies have been done on the effects of HGH injections, the most ground breaking study was done by Dr. Rudman and published in the New England Journal of Medicine on July 5, 1990. The journal reported that men who had taken HGH injections had shown a 8.8 percent gain in lean body mass with a 14 percent loss in body fat - without any change in diet or activity! It bears repeating that there was no change in diet or exercise - and the subjects who received HGH injections had a 8.8 percent increase in lean body mass.

If you look at all the studies that have been done on HGH injections you get the following list of benefits:

  • 8.8% increase in muscle mass on average after six months, without exercise
  • 14.4% loss of fat on average after six months, without dieting
  • Higher energy levels
  • Enhanced sexual performance
  • Regrowth of heart, liver, spleen, kidneys and other organs that shrink with age
  • Greater cardiac output
  • Superior immune function
  • Increased exercise performance
  • Better kidney function
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Improved cholesterol profile, with higher HDL and lower LDL
  • Stronger bones
  • Faster wound healing
  • Younger, tighter, thicker skin
  • Hair regrowth
  • Wrinkle removal
  • Elimination of cellulite
  • Sharper vision
  • Mood elevation
  • Increased memory retention
  • Improved sleep

(* The above is taken from Grow Young with HGH by Dr. Ronald Klatz)

Are there any negative effects from taking HGH injections?

Yes - but then you knew there had to be a catch, didn't you? There are actually a few problems with HGH injections:

  • Extremely Expensive
    A year's supply of HGH injections can cost $20,000! Insurance will not cover the injections because you are not treating a "classified disease".

  • Available by prescription only
    Recombinant GH is a drug that is available by prescription only. So, even if you had $20,000 a year to spend, you would need to get a prescription.

  • Possible Negative Side Effects
    Anytime you introduce a large amount of a foreign hormone into the body there is the risk of side effects. In Dr. Rudman's study he found that some of the patients suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome and gynecomastia (enlarged breasts). Dr. Rudman believed that with less HGH the side effects would go away, but tragically he died before he could test his theory.

Sounds like having more HGH and IGF-1 is a good thing, but taking injections can be dangerous - is there any other way to elevate HGH levels?

Welcome to the confusing world of HGH supplements! It is clear that elevated HGH levels can have a very positive impact on just about every aspect of your life. With this information in mind, thousands of companies have scrambled to make Dietary Supplements that increase HGH levels.

While there are some great products out there, which we will discuss later, there are also a lot of companies just out to make a quick buck.

In our next article we examine some HGH Supplements...

Lesson 3: HGH Supplements - Facts and Fiction >>>

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Please consult with a health care professional before starting any supplementation program. The information contained on this site is general in nature and Company does not take any responsibility for any errors that may appear. Company has made every attempt to make the information as accurate as possible. However, Company does not warrant its accuracy. Please note that the statements on this web site have not been evaluated by the FDA.