What is human growth hormone? This question is a common one in many circles, and the hormone itself, commonly called HGH, is very popular among not only bodybuilders and athletes, but also among celebrities and individuals who want to slow the aging process.
To answer the question “what is human growth hormone?” it is important to take a look at the body’s natural biological processes. HGH is a natural hormone that is produced by the pituitary gland. This and other hormones work together to promote growth in adolescents and children.
What’s more, HGH in children and adults helps to regulate things like body fluid, fat metabolism, bone and muscle growth, and sugar metabolism. Studies even suggest that HGH may play a role in the body’s ability to regulate heart function.
The Synthetic Version
Scientists and pharmaceutical companies developed the first synthetic HGH in 1985, and the United States Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, approved it to treat some very specific conditions in children and adults alike. In children, HGH can be used to treat things such as:
- Prader-Willi syndrome, which is a rare condition that causes poor muscle tone, constant hunger, and low levels of sex hormones like testosterone or estrogen;
- Chronic kidney problems;
- Small size despite gestational age; and
- Turner’s Syndrome, which is another rare genetic disorder that affects female development.
In adults, HGH has proven effective in treating conditions like:
- Short bowel syndrome, which causes the improper absorption of vital nutrients;
- HGH deficiency due to pituitary tumors or the treatments for those tumors; and
- Muscle wasting that is common with diseases such as HIV and AIDS.
Common Uses for HGH
Like other hormones in the human body, the levels of HGH present in adults’ bloodstreams declines with age. As such, many experts and celebrities believe that supplementing with HGH can slow or even reverse the aging process to a degree.
In fact, Sylvester Stallone advocates for the use of HGH, and his physical appearance – even though he will turn 70 this summer – is a huge testament to its power. Athletes and bodybuilders often use HGH as a performance enhancer since it promotes and increases the growth of muscle protein and helps convert body fat into energy sources.
How to Use It
For those interested in using HGH as a performance enhancer, doses will vary based on individual tolerance and incidence of side effects, but usually fall within the 2 to 4 IU per day range.
More importantly, the hormone must be taken for a minimum of 12 weeks (though 16 weeks or longer is recommended) in order to have any sort of therapeutic effect. In fact, six months is the timeframe that most athletes recommend for true anabolic growth.
What are the Effects of Human Growth Hormone?
Like nearly any exogenous hormone, human growth hormone is not without the potential for side effects. Part of answering the question “what does human growth hormone do?” involves examining the potential for negative effects.
HGH can cause increased blood pressure and worsening lipid profiles in the short-term, but long-term use or the use of very high doses can cause cardiac damage. Perhaps the most worrisome of these effects is acromegaly, which is a medical condition marked by abnormal growth of body parts like the hands, feet, and even head. This is quite rare, and you can mitigate it with responsible HGH use.
What Does HGH Do for Muscle Growth?
Though human growth hormone alone will not enable you to achieve a bodybuilder’s physique, it is a phenomenal way to enhance your body’s muscle mass and reduce body fat at the same time. What are human growth hormones?
They are hormones your body needs to grow, and this applies also to muscle tissue. HGH helps in this regard by boosting cellular regeneration rates, and this allows for muscle tissue to heal itself more quickly and efficiently during your recovery.
Simply put, human growth hormone amplifies your efforts in the gym and allows you to realize better results.
What Does Human Growth Hormone Do at Different Doses?
Part of using HGH responsibly involves using the right dose. People use exogenous human growth hormone for a variety of reasons, and doses will vary significantly.
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Recently, physicians discovered that thanks to HGH’s ability to boost cellular regeneration rates, it can be a useful tool in helping patients recover from traumatic injuries and burns. The doses used in these cases are extremely high and should never be attempted unless under the care of a physician.
What Is a Human Growth Hormone Booster?
Because human growth hormone requires a prescription in the United States and many other countries, some companies have designed supplements called HGH boosters that claim to enhance your body’s ability to produce more HGH naturally. Studies have shown that these products typically do not provide any benefit, though anyone who has a human growth hormone deficiency may see some results.
These boosters usually contain amino acids, which are hormone building blocks. Though it would stand to reason that providing your body with more amino acids would improve HGH production, the truth is that your body uses those amino acids for virtually every metabolic process.
This means that the percentage of the amino acids you consume going to the production is not likely to increase at all. Some of the boosters contain herbal supplements that are thought to raise natural HGH levels, but this has not been proven.
What is human growth hormone? It is a naturally produced hormone that can be synthesized in laboratories, and according to a variety of celebrities and athletes, it can accelerate a healthy diet and exercise plan in terms of muscle gain and fat loss. Like any other supplement, though, it is important to use HGH responsibly.