What is HGH? Every animal that grows has growth hormone (GH). Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is simply the hormone in its human form. HGH is a peptide hormone, meaning that it is made of two or more linked amino acids. HGH has 191 amino acids, and is a single-chain polypeptide. It occurs naturally in the body. It is also synthesized in the laboratory. In its synthetic form it is known as somatotropin.
Conditions in adults treated by HGH include:
- The muscle-wasting disease that accompanies HIV/AIDS.
- Short Bowel Syndrome, a side-effect of either intestinal disease or the surgical excision of a part of the small intestine, in either case leading to the improper absorption of nutrients.
- HGH deficiency resulting from either pituitary tumors or the treatment of such tumors.
Synthetic HGH has gained a reputation over the past couple of decades as a hormone that can extend the vigor of youth well into middle age. This is because the pituitary gland secretes less HGH each year after the age of 30. By middle age, the result of this accumulated, steady decrease can be seen in reduced muscle mass, thinning hair, poor fat metabolism, and more. The notion that HGH can replace or complement anabolic steroids as a muscle-growth supplement for bodybuilders is widespread, but unconfirmed.
Where Does HGH Come From?
The human body’s “laboratory” for making HGH is the pituitary gland, which is the size of a pea and sits immediately beneath the hypothalamus. Known as the “master gland,” the pituitary gland controls not just the production of HGH, but the hormones that control the testes, ovaries, thyroid, and adrenals. Hormones, themselves, are chemicals whose role is to communicate between cells.
With such a central role in hormone function, the hypothalamu s plays a crucial role not just in growth, but in sleep and wakefulness, memory, temperature regulation, food and water intake, and emotional behavior. Still more specifically, the part of the pituitary gland responsible for manufacturing, storing, and secreting HGH is the cluster of somatotropic cells in the lateral wings of the glands anterior.
What Does HGH Do?
How does HGH work? HGH functions in the human body to signal its growth and maturation to adulthood. It stimulates human cell reproduction and regeneration. Accordingly, the hormone regulates the growth of bone and muscle, the metabolism of fat and sugar, the body’s fluids, and overall body composition. HGH raises the concentration of free fatty acids and glucose. It is also thought to influence heart function.
How Much HGH Is Healthy At A Given Age?
Healthy HGH levels by age are:
- less than 5 ng/mL or less than 226 pmol/L in men
- less than 10 ng/mL or less than 452 pmol/L in women
How to test HGH levels? Through a simple growth hormone (GH) test, which will measure the concentration of HGH in the blood. Such a test for growth hormone is commonly done to determine whether a patient has acromegaly, a condition caused by a tumor or adenoma) in the pituitary gland.
From the patient’s perspective, the HGH test is indistinct from any other blood test, including a syringe, a rubber hose tied around the arm above the site, a cotton ball dipped in alcohol, and a band-aid.
How To Avoid Decline In HGH
As discussed earlier, the body’s normal HGH level declines each year after the age of 30, corresponding to less HGH produced in the body. To avoid or defer the symptoms of this decline, men and women have two options: HGH therapy and Sermorelin therapy.
Sermorelin is a bio-engineered compound meant to incite the hypothalumus to produce more HGH, thereby restoring HGH functions. It requires a daily, self-administered regimen of injections with a small needle, resembling the regimen used by diabetics. Sermorelin therapy restores normal HGH levels gradually, with the injection regimen lasting up to three months. Advocates of this therapy often cite its “naturalness,” though what would truly be “natural” would be a passive acceptance of the body’s naturally declining HGH levels by age.
By contrast, professionally administered HGH therapy is a direct injection of pure HGH into the patient’s bloodstream, restoring normal HGH levels quickly. Patients also benefit from professional oversight of the quality of the hormone, as well as monitoring of any possible side-effects from the therapy. Many also prefer to avoid introducing any bio-engineered substance into their bodies.
Patients can expect:
- Better immune system function, leading to fewer illnesses and quicker recovery times when they do occur
- Boost in libido, leadng to enhanced sexual function
- Improvement in cardiac performance and capacity
- Sharper mental capacity, including focus, memory, and learning
- Improved weight loss
- Stronger bones, including faster healng of fractures and reduction in joint pains and stiffness
- Deeper, more restful sleep
- Stronger muscles, increased lean muscle mass, and better athletic performance
- Lowered cholesterol
- More positive mood and emotional reactions; less anxiety and depression
- Better metabolism
- Healthier internal organs
Men and women interested in exploring the benefits of restoring their HGH levels should consult a local clinic for professional advice that will address their individual needs.