Wednesday, July 23, 2008

HGH - The Truth Behind the Hype

The human growth hormone, or HGH, has become big business ever since people discovered how to mass produce it and market it. The first synthesis of this hormone was performed back in 1981 and it became a marketing phenom in the 90's. Human growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland and the base body level is highest in childhood yet its greatest action is seen when it kicks into overdrive during the teen -.age years. The hormone begins to diminish as we age. This hormone is responsible for our height, muscle and bone mass and it even drives the internal organs by stimulating their growth response. The only internal organ that it can not stimulate to grow is the brain.

There are indeed a number of body functions that the human growth hormone acts on, including the liver, pancreas and immune systems. It was documented in studies that with the addition of HGH, scientists saw changes in bone density and muscle mass and what they were seeing was the subjects' bodies seemed to be doing much better than their counterparts. There was less bone loss in older subjects who were taking this hormone and the same subjects were also developing more lean muscle mass, an astonishing feat. Lean muscle mass is lost from the body at an annual rate of roughly 1% every year after 19. Exercise and weight training can help increase lean muscle mass but this is a longer process than what was being shown in the studies.

Of course, it did not take long for the marketers and the people that depend on strength and bulk, such as professional sports people to jump right into the fray. HGH was being hyped as the cure-all for everything and anything. It was said to be the fountain of youth, the end to aging, the muscles building powerhouse. In fact so many claims were being made that they were hard to keep track of. At one point it was available to people only with prescriptions but that simply led to a black-market of the drug. Then when it was synthetically made and distributed it was available to anyone who could pay for it.

HGH can do some amazing things for the human body and when the normal body levels are low it is a very good course of treatment. However, the body can not just be given something as complex as a hormone because it is low and expect it to act as if it everything is back to normal. As we age our entire body ages and all of our systems and hormones change. To readjust one level or one part may indeed stress out other parts that we are not yet aware of. In other words there is no fountain of youth to be found in this hormone. HGH is not going to change a 60 year old man into a boy of 21, so look beyond the hype for the truth about HGH.


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