Does human growth hormone (HGH) slow the aging process? Does it improve athletic performance? Is it an effective weight loss aid?
According to certain medical studies, natural growth hormone can do all of these things. HGH injections can do them to a degree. HGH alternatives may or may not work, depending on their ingredients and dosages.
Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland located beneath the brain. The pituitary gland is a small structure that is not much larger than a pea. Science considers it the most important gland in the endocrine system because it promotes growth and development.
Growth hormone is responsible for the growth of bones, muscles and other body tissues. When children are deficient in this hormone, they experience a growth failure. HGH deficiency in adults may result in fat, muscle and bone maintenance problems. It is also associated with emotional well-being.
Synthetic Growth Hormone for Medical Treatment
Synthetic growth hormone was developed in the 1980s. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its use for certain medical treatments. Only true growth hormone deficiency can be treated with HGH injections, which are the only way to receive synthetic growth hormone. Off-label uses are not FDA-approved.
For adults who are truly deficient in HGH, injections can increase bone density, muscle mass and exercise capacity. They can also decrease body fat. Growth hormone is also used to treat tumors on the pituitary gland as well as muscle-wasting related to HIV/AIDS.
Popular Off-Label Uses for HGH
Today, most HGH injections are used for off-label purposes. Some bodybuilders and other athletes turn to human growth hormone to lose fat, build muscle and improve their sports performance. HGH is often used in conjunction with anabolic steroids. Both steroids and HGH are banned in professional sports and in amateur competitions like some Olympic sports.
Many middle-aged women and men obtain HGH injections from doctors who practice in anti-aging clinics. Some online pharmacies and websites sell injectable HGH along with other age-defying products. None of these uses have been approved by the FDA.
Alternative HGH Treatments
Some HGH alternatives are safer and more natural than growth hormone injections. Supplement sprays and pills like HGH Energizer, HGH Pro, Sytropin and GenF20 contain ingredients that support growth hormone production by the pituitary gland. Some products are more effective than others, and the better one claim results equal to those of HGH injections.
HGH sprays are generally more effective than other forms. Since they are sprayed into the mouth, usually under the tongue, they are quickly absorbed through the lining of the mouth. HGH pills are less effective unless they are specially coated, since they lose their potency during digestion.
All supplements may interact with prescription HGH and other medications. In fact, the combination of supplements and prescription HGH injections may actually hinder the body’s production of growth hormone. It is wise to talk to a doctor before using any kind of HGH product.