The human growth hormone (HGH) is an essential hormone produced in our pituitary gland. Many experts from medical and scientific community claim that it has myriad of anti-aging properties. For adults, nowadays, it is also marketed as an anti-aging hormone because it helps in regulating and maintaining tissues and organs. In children and adolescents, HGH is important as it spurs growth. Children may sometimes be prescribed HGH injections to stimulate their growth rate, if they have low levels of HGH naturally.
Like several other hormones, HGH levels also decrease as we age. This is nothing but a normal part of aging. HGH is lately emerging as an effective anti-aging supplement. However, the hormone can only be injected as all the other forms are almost ineffective. It needs to be administered by a doctor. One-year worth of HGH injections can cost more than $15,000. Unfortunately, there has been very little research on this hormone and its effect on aging. One study reveals that naturally reduced HGH levels are associated with increased longevity when compared to people who have high levels of HGH.
Costs and Benefits of Human Growth Hormone
While human growth hormone is not elixir of youth, there are certain benefits of HGH supplementation. Anyone whose body is unable to produce adequate amount of HGH would be benefited from this medical treatment. HGH also improves muscle mass but not their strength. Many people feel more energetic when they are on HGH supplementation, but no such study is conducted to prove the same.
For adults, who have HGH deficiency, its treatment:
- Increases exercise capacity
- Increases muscle mass
- Increases bone density
- Decreases body fat
Human growth hormone (HGH) is also approved to treat people who have AIDS or HIV related muscle wasting.
Side Effects of Human Growth Hormone
There are plethora of serious side effects of HGH. These include swelling, diabetes, high blood pressure and in worst cases; heart failure. Inflammation might also cause joint pain, muscle pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. There is possibly increased risk of cancer in both children and adults using HGH supplementation. Additionally, it may also cause increased insulin resistance and enlargement of breast tissue (gynecomastia) in men.
Fasting intermittently can also help in naturally increasing the human growth hormone secretion. This occurs due to the insulin control and can increase human growth hormone production by almost 300%. Intermittent fasting generally involves eating during an 8 hour window and fasting for 16 hours. This helps in controlling weight and improving insulin sensitivity. The increase in HGH secretion during fasting helps in preserving muscle tissue and glycogen stores, while simultaneously using fat stores for energy. According to Madelon Buijs who is a researcher at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, levels of Human Growth Hormone rise rapidly within 13 hours of fasting.
What is The Bottom Line ?
Currently, there are not enough evidences to recommend Human Growth Hormone for anti-aging benefits.
If you have certain concerns about aging, you should ask your doctor about various other proven ways to reap anti-aging benefits. Remember, an active and healthy lifestyle, eating healthy diet and working out can help you feel great about yourself as you age.
This risks, side-effects, possible complications and costs are much beyond than the purported benefits of Human Growth Hormone. If your doctor recommends you HGH for anti-aging, it is definitely time to find another doctor.