For the tech-savvy generation upgrading their hi-fi devices every 2-3 months has turned into an obsession. But does this obsession to their physical appearance as well? The answer is yes – the generation also desires to constantly upgrade themselves to look ever-green and young. The demand has led to the development of many artificial ways that claim to defy ageing. The advent of human growth hormone (HGH) is a part of a gambit by a group of scientists who believe that they can cater to this demand for ‘eternal beauty’. But the desire to defy and deny the effects of aging has led them to try some very expensive and cutting-edge measures. Over the past decade, a growing number of people around the world have used human growth hormone. But can these shots preserve you from ageing?

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What is human growth hormone (HGH)?

Growth hormone (GH) is a protein-based peptide hormone. Also known as human growth Hormone (HGH), it is produced in the pituitary gland of the brain.  Once released, it induces the liver to produce insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and this hormone then triggers the growth of bones and body tissues. It stimulates growth, cell reproduction and regeneration in humans and other animals. A number of factors are known to affect HGH secretion, such as age, gender, diet, exercise, stress, and other hormones. HGH is still considered a very complex hormone, and many of its functions are still unknown.

Growth hormone and IGF-1 levels peak during puberty, then gradually decline after the age of thirty.  But even though levels decrease, the normal pituitary never completely stops its production of HGH. And so the question is, would the replacement of these hormones keep us in better shape and health?

What have the various studies got to prove? 

Well, the types of studies we should be using to resolve this question are few and have rarely included women. Here are some of the more notable ones:

  • In 1990, a research report was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and became the holy grail for future anti-aging medication. The study included only twenty-one healthy men, ages sixty-one to eighty-one.  Twelve received injections of HGH for just six months, while nine served as controls. The results of this tiny study were proclaimed by many of the anti-aging clinics, web sites and dubious, quickly formed companies that sell products claiming to increase growth hormone as the legitimization of HGH therapy for all the woes of aging!
  • In 2001, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism published a six-month double-blind, placebo controlled trial of HGH. At last, this included forty-six healthy women, some taking hormone replacement therapy, as well as sixty-four men. The average age was 72. It was found that neither growth hormones nor hormone replacement therapy, nor both together, reduced abdominal fat in women, whereas HGH with or without testosterone did reduce abdominal fat by 7 to 16 percent in men.

Overall, it would appear that men have a greater response to HGH than women, and do achieve marginal improvements in muscle mass, strength and endurance. However, these studies show that this is probably no more than what they would have achieved by exercising three times per week for six months.

However, until more scientific information is accumulated on this account, usage of HGH by people who are healthy, but just getting older/heavier is perhaps not recommended. Not only is this expensive but also come with significant side-effects.  If you want to spend that kind of money it’s advisable to invest in better researched paths to improved looks and longevity. Most important, regular exercise with proper diet with regular health check-up would be more beneficial and risk-free.

Note:

Growth hormone (GH) has been used in medicine to treat children’s growth disorders and adult growth hormone deficiency. In recent years, growth hormone replacement therapies have become popular in the battle against ageing and obesity.

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