Human growth hormone (HGH) is often marketed as an anti-aging miracle. Although there is some truth to this claim, taking the synthetic form of HGH is actually not all it was made up to be. Studies show that HGH injections cause more harm than good, and HGH is usually not recommended as an anti-aging strategy. Instead, increasing the levels of HGH naturally could be a safer and more effective way to improve health, wellness, and longevity. But keep in mind that there is only so much you could do to slow down the aging process. If you want to learn more about HGH and its therapeutic application.
What exactly is HGH?
Human growth hormone is a peptide hormone that stimulates cell growth and regeneration and that is important for normal development and organ functioning. It is secreted by the pituitary gland, a pea-sized organ located at the base of the brain. Growth hormone production is controlled by the hypothalamus, the intestinal tract, and the pancreas. HGH production is also highest after a bout of exercise, during sleep, and injury. As far as HGH production during the stages of life is concerned, researchers have noticed that it increases during childhood, reaches a peak during puberty, and slowly declines somewhere around middle age. This decline in middle age is what is believed to be the cause of aging and researchers have looked into the possibility of slowing down the aging process with HGH therapy.
HGH therapy was first used in treating growth-restricted children. The first form of exogenous HGH was isolated from human cadavers. Unfortunately, this proved to be fatal for some people leading to the onset of the incurable Creuzfeldt Jacob Disease (CJD), a neurodegenerative disorder similar to mad cow disease. Luckily, in 1985, the FDA has approved the synthetic form of HGH produced with the helped of the E. coli bacteria and synthetic HGH has been a successful therapy ever since. HGH deficiency in adults was also found to be successful treated with HGH therapy according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. The positive outcomes of HGH therapy in adults are better body composition, decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, increased bone mass, and greater levels of well-being.
HGH as an anti-aging strategy
HGH tends to gradually decline somewhere around middle age which is completely normal. However, companies have exploited this simple fact to market HGH therapy as a way to combat the natural aging process. And although people with a diagnosis of HGH deficiency due to diseases and pituitary tumors benefit greatly from HGH therapy, those with a natural decline in HGH are putting themselves at risk by taking synthetic HGH. Studies show that HGH therapy can lead to cancer. HGH therapy in healthy adults is also known to lead to side effects such as carpal tunnel syndrome, fluid retention, insulin resistance, and breast growth in men (gynecomastia).
The market of HGH therapy
You will come across a wide array of products containing HGH and promising to offer anti-aging benefits. These products may come as pills, powders, and injections, but only injectable HGH is able to provide any benefits and you can get more here. HGH is a long chain amino acid and as such is digested by the intestinal tract when taken orally and is unable to enter the bloodstream. On the other hand, injecting HGH is proven to be successful but there is reason to doubt that illegal sellers of HGH injections are providing the real stuff. The FDA has even published an alert stating that HGH anti-aging enhancements are not approved sources of safe HGH.
Safe ways to increase HGH secretion
The pituitary gland secretes HGH naturally following stimulation from exercising, sleep, and food. This means that there are ways you could boost your natural HGH production. For instance, a study published in the International Journal of Clinical Investigation found that fasting increases HGH secretion and amplifies the rhythms of HGH secretion. Fasting is known to increase longevity and its effect on HGH secretion might be a possible explanation. Another study found that melatonin, the sleep hormone also boosts natural HGH secretion. So, having adequate sleep or taking melatonin supplements can boost HGH production. Exercise also stimulates HGH secretion according to a study published in Sports Medicine.
Healthy adults are very likely to experience a slight decline in HGH production as they age. This decline may be one reason for the onset of the most common symptoms of aging such as decreased muscle mass, body fat gain, cognitive decline, and fatigue. But taking HGH injections is not a proven or safe way to combat aging which you can learn about here. In fact, when healthy adults take HGH for weight loss from illegal sources, they are putting themselves at risk of dangerous diseases. Instead, boosting HGH secretion naturally through lifestyle and diet is a safe and natural way to increase health, well-being, and longevity.