Human growth hormone, known as HGH, is naturally produced in the human body by the pituitary gland and is necessary for optimal health during all stages of life. HGH deficiencies can occur in children as well as adults when the pituitary gland is not functioning properly.
What Does HGH Do?
HGH promotes lean muscle growth, bone density, increased energy and endurance, metabolism regulation, skin elasticity, calcium retention, insulin control, sugar level control, and immunity. In children and adolescents, HGH stimulates the rapid growth of bones, cartilage, and muscles. HGH continues to be produced in the pituitary gland of maturing adolescents, but at a decreased level. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states that “daily secretion of HGH increases throughout childhood, peaking during adolescence, and steadily declining thereafter.” Throughout life, adults need a certain amount of HGH in the bloodstream to support the maintenance of organs and tissues.
Synthetic HGH was first approved by the FDA for certain uses in 1985. Licit uses include treatment for Prader-Willi syndromes and chronic renal insufficiency in children, and wasting syndrome in adults. Once synthetic HGH hit the market, however, it was not long before bodybuilders, athletes, and others in search of the fountain of youth obtained prescriptions for HGH and began to use it for off-label purposes. Currently HGH is not controlled under the Controlled Substances Act, although there are criminal felonies associated with its misuse. It is interesting to note that the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Olympic Committee as a performance enhancing drug barring athletes from using it.
While some may be touting the benefits of using synthetic HGH to preserve youth, the Mayo Clinic asserts that “there's little evidence to suggest human growth hormone can help otherwise healthy adults regain youth and vitality.” In fact, using HGH can have negative health consequences. Dr. Linda Petter, chief of the Department of Family Practice at St. Francis Hospital, warns that “reckless use of HGH can result in such risks as developing heart disease and diabetes, enlargement of breasts in men (gynomastia), joint and muscle pain and swelling of the arm and/or legs.”
Measure your growth hormone factor and pituitary function with a home hormone testing kit.
Jennifer Cebulak, Research Editor
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