Human Growth Hormone (hGH)
Growth Hormone or human growth hormone, also known as hGH or somatotropin, is secreted by the pituitary gland into your blood stream where it stays for only a short time before it is metabolized by the liver into somatomedin-C (insulin like growth factor, IGF-1), which stays in the blood a lot longer and is actually the driving force behind all the remarkable properties of hGH. The highest levels are found in the blood during the first 3 to 4 hours hours of sleep at night.
The production of hGH peaks during adolescence, reaching around 1.5mg/day, and then gradually drops off after the age of 20 to 25 where it averages around 0.35mg/day and continues to decline by approximately 14% each decade for the rest of your life. By the time you are 60 to 70 years of age you only produce about 15% of the amount produced at your peak. The decline in hGH with age is directly associated with many symptoms of aging including wrinkles, grey hair, hair loss, decreased energy, decreased sexual function, loss of muscle mass, increase in body fat, depression, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and overall lower life expectancy.
Low hGH has also been related to elevated cholesterol, elevated apolipoprotein, thin skin, lack of collagen, decreased nail and hair growth, poor thermo-regulation, dehydration, emotional instability, poor memory, reduced energy, hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, abnormal metabolic rates, to name a few. Low levels of hGH cause aging because it is responsible for growth and regeneration of every cell in our bodies.
There is now ample evidence which demonstrates that by replacing hGH levels we can dramatically reverse all of these symptoms. The more closely the scientific evidence is examined the clearer it becomes that everything we associate with aging may be due in part to the decline of hGH in our bodies.
Many of the beneficial effects of supplementing hGH are listed below:
- Improves lean muscle/body fat ratio – this not only improves strength and vitality in aging people but also for those with muscle wasting disorders such as stroke and recuperation from surgery or long hospitalization.
- Positive effects on the heart – it improves cardiac impairment, blood pressure and HDL levels while reducing cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides.
- Osteoporosis – it reverses osteoporosis with a 30 to 40% increase in bone formation in only 12 weeks. It also stimulates cartilage formation which may play a roll in degenerative arthritis.
- Improved Wellbeing – Most patients report across the board that they suffer less aches and pains, increased strength, better energy levels, hair growth, reduction in wrinkles, increased sexual function, and a general sense of wellbeing.
- Brain Function – it improves memory, alertness, motivation, and very importantly it restores slow wave sleep paterns.
- Improves Immune Function – it restores thymus gland function, stimulates the production of antibodies, T and B macrophages, natural killer cells and reduces the risk of certain cancers.
hGH is considered a very safe hormone to administer when it is administered in regular physiological doses which mimic the bodies own natural secretions and should only be used in cases where current levels are shown to be deficient or suboptimal. Therefore it is only used for growth hormone deficiency syndrome and should be monitored by an experienced physician. Deficiencies start to occur when levels IGF-1 levels fall below 33nmol/L in men and 24nmol/L in women. The aim of therapy is to supply the shortfall and bring the level back into the optimal physiological range which is 39 to 46nmol/L in men and 29 to 40nmol/L in women.
Many traditional medical doctors with no experience in hGH supplementation consider hGH therapy unorthodox and usually criticize the idea out of fear of the unknown, however those in the know are well aware of its benefits and restorative properties and its relative safety when used correctly.
Some side effects have been reported, usually when taking larger pharmacological doses. These include water retention in hands and feet, carpet tunnel syndrome, tingling in fingers and nose, hormone imbalances and enlargement of the hands and feet. These side effects are reversible when doses are reduced.
It is important to monitor your hGH levels to ensure the dose you are taking provides you with a normal physiological level There are several ways to determine hGH levels however most have many drawbacks. A common way is to measure IGF-1 in serum however this is considered unreliable in thyroid disorders, poorly controlled diabetes, liver disease and malnutrition. Research also indicates about 25% of patients on hGH actually experience a decline in IGF-1 levels. Therefore one of the best ways to determine growth hormone levels is a 24hour urine analysis. By closely monitoring your levels you can ensure your dose is appropriate thus maximizing its benefits while minimizing any potential side effects of potentially escalating levels.
Growth Hormone replacement has its drawbacks as it has to be administered as a daily subcutaneous injection. This is the only way hGH will work as nasal sprays, tablets and creams often advertised on the internet are not bioavailable therefore do not absorb and thus are ineffective. We have a needle-free injector available for those whom are needle phobic. Currently compounded hGH costs about $300/month based on a 1 unit/day dose through our lab compared to $600/month for commercially available hGH.
There are many natural products, proteins, amino acids, herbs, etc on the market reported to increase the bodies own production of growth hormone. We have had experience with many of them and found them to produce only slight increases in hGH levels which were not significant enough for any therapeutic effects. None of these products have proven to come even close in comparison to taking the real authentic hormone itself.
Recently peptides such as GHRP-6 have been shown to improve hGH levels and is available on prescription. Contact us for details.