Human Growth Hormone: Myths and Facts

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In U.S.A. They have been using it for decades as Hormone Replacement Therapy, since its low plasma levels are associated with higher morbidity and mortality.

Although Human Growth Hormone has a frivolous connotation due to its association with Hollywood celebrities , the truth is that it has numerous beneficial health effects: reduction of body fat, improvement of biomarkers of cardiovascular risk and hydrocarbon metabolism, improvement of muscle strength, prevents sarcopenia or loss of muscle mass, improves sleep quality and quality of life.


The Growth Hormone (HGH, Human Growth Hormone ) is currently fashionable among celebrities in Hollywood and among US wealthy people Below, we answer some of the most common questions about hormone therapy with HGH .

growth hormone

According to a Vanity Fair article HGH makes you feel ten years younger, more energetic, charismatic, and happy, with less gray hair and better skin. It is true?

The Vanity Fair article , like most general press articles dealing with this topic, gives it the frivolous connotation of Hollywood actors, of the exclusive, of the forbidden … but a person does not feel 10 years younger, or It is more charismatic, nor does it stop having gray hair for its simple use.

It is true that some of the symptoms mentioned above are related to growth hormone , since improvements in the well – being and quality of life questionnaires have been described in the scientific literature. But it is important to refer to the positive effects described in this scientific literature and not to the personal experience of some actors.

So if it’s not an elixir to rejuvenate what is the use of growth hormone?

In U.S.A. There are already many people who use growth hormone, but not to rejuvenate, but to maintain physiological functions linked to this hormone that disappear with its fall throughout life.

Keep in mind that HGH falls sharply in the 1920s and thereafter at a slower rate of 2% annually. Which means that between 30 and 50 years it may have fallen by around 40%.

How can you know if you are deficient in this hormone?

By means of a stimulation test of its secretion. An insufficient response may suggest, along with a certain symptomatology (tiredness, weight gain, sleep disturbance, inability to exercise …), an adult growth hormone deficiency .

On the other hand, the plasma indicator of the average levels of growth hormone is IGF-1 . These reach their highest values ​​in puberty and adolescence and decline sharply in the 20s. From the point of view of Age Management Medicine, the objective is to have this biomarker above 200 ng / mL at any age.

What are the consequences of taking HGH?

The consequences of its use, if correctly prescribed, are positive.

A prospective study of its use for 10 years and published in the J Clin Endocrinol Metab in 2007, listed the following effects: reduction of body fat , improvement of biomarkers of cardiovascular risk and hydrocarbon metabolism , improvement of muscle strength , avoids sarcopenia (or loss of muscle mass ), improves the quality of sleep and improves the quality of life. There are many other studies that link low levels of this hormone with higher morbidity and mortality.

On the contrary, as with any other medical treatment, if it is not correctly prescribed it can have adverse effects. Its replacement must be adjusted and controlled in each patient in low doses of between 0.2 and 0.6 mg / day to avoid the most frequent side effects such as edema, arthralgias, myalgias or hyperisulinism. As for cancer, growth hormone is not carcinogenic . Vence’s article published in the 1999 New England Journal of Medicine on HGH treatment in children and adults documented that their cancer incidence was lower than that of subjects not treated with HGH.

One of the benefits of HGH is that it loses weight. What is the reason?

Growth hormone stimulates carbohydrate metabolism and improves the sensitivity of insulin receptors, it also increases lean mass and therefore increases basal metabolism . All this decreases the fat mass.

Those who defend its consumption argue that if it is not harmful in children, it will not be harmful in adults …

It is an argument that is not without its physiological logic. If children with short stature are treated for years to increase their final size by a couple of centimeters, assuming a very high cost and so that it supposedly does not affect their psychology, why not treat an adult who presents less 50% of the levels you had in your youth? The answer could be because in the adult it has side effects that in the child there are not. But this is not true. It is rather a matter of administrative authorization: can you imagine that everyone asked for their daily dose of growth hormone from the age of 50?

The reason it is not prescribed is because getting old is not the same as not growing, but is not getting old a disease?

So is. The debate on whether aging is a disease or notIt is alive and more and more as the molecular causes of it are known. The advances in science are ahead of the human being’s ability to “digest” them and incorporate them into their lives. There have always been voices against the great discoveries: penicillin, blood transfusions, oral contraceptives, organ transplants … Now we are at the stage where advances in the prevention of diseases related to aging is a reality. Until now they were cured when they appeared, in the near future they can be prevented well in advance. This does not mean that they will not appear, but it does much later. For example, it is known that cancer will increase due to the aging of the population, but more and more of them will be cured.

As Dr. María Blasco (director of the CNIO) says, treating aging is treating all diseases related to it at once.

HGH treatment is very expensive (around $ 15,000 per year), which is why it is associated with wealthy people. What is the reason?

Its high price is due to the fact that it is manufactured by genetic engineering and requires a large investment in research to produce it. In addition, it is also due to its limited use by approved therapeutic indications, which causes little competition, about 4 or 5 pharmaceutical companies in total.

Its high price has been used by opportunists for the appearance on the internet of creams or pills that supposedly potentiated its natural production.

Yes, but there is no scientific relevance to them. What is possible in a natural way is to modulate this hormone with exercise and diet.

Can this type of hormonal therapy be performed in Spain?

In Spain, it is not yet possible to acquire growth hormone, except in cases approved by the Ministry of Health, which are only short in children and severe deficit in adults.

Does this ban make you buy illegally?

News of their clandestine traffic appears frequently, but rather related to its use in gyms and in the doping of competitive sports. Nothing to do with the use of HGH as Hormone Replacement Therapy for the maintenance of physiological functions.

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