In depth look into Human Growth Hormone
As a person gets older their growth hormone levels begin to decline. As growth hormone has multiple functions in our body, decrease in its levels results in significant detrimental health effects. To understand the effects of Human growth Hormone deficiency, one needs to know the role that HGH plays in human body. This article will break down the roles of HGH, the impact of HGH deficiency and what can be done to overcome the HGH deficiency.
What is Human Growth Hormone (HGH)?
HGH is a peptide hormone that is responsible for cellular reproduction, growth and regeneration. It is an amino acid polypeptide synthesized and secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. It is crucial during growth and development in the early stages of life. Its role is also equally important in adults to maintain muscle mass, weight and vitality. HGH secretion is maximal during childhood and adolescence. Normally adolescents secrete HGH at the rate of approximately 700 μg/day, while adults secrete approximately 400 μg/day of HGH.
What stimulates or inhibits Growth hormone secretion?
Growth Hormone stimulators:
- Growth Hormone Releasing hormone (GNRH) or Somatocrinin secreted by anterior pituitary gland
- Sex hormones: Androgen, estrogen, Testosterone
- Deep sleep: More than 50% of HGH secretion occurs during deep sleep. Sleep deprivation results in diminished HGH secretion, especially in adults.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Exercise such as weight lifting
- Periodic fasting: Transient hypoglycemia stimulates HGH release
- Amino acids such as L arginine
Growth Hormone Inhibitors
- Growth Hormone Inhibiting Hormone (GNIH) or somatostatin secreted by the hypothalamus
- Excess GH circulation in the blood results in activation of the negative feedback mechanism
- Hyperglycemia: Increased blood glucose levels suppresses HGH secretion
- Antipsychotic drugs such phenothaizines
What are the Benefits of HGH?
Growth hormones are multifunctional and each function is anabolic in nature, which means building up in nature. In early stages of life, GH is responsible for increased height. Apart from its effect on height, it has several functions such as:
Increases bone strength:
HGH increases bone mineral density by increasing retention of calcium and phosphorus within the bone.
Increased muscle mass:
HGH is crucial for the regeneration and reproduction of muscle via sarcomere hypertrophy. Additionally, it promotes protein synthesis, which is essential for muscle growth and development.
HGH plays an important role in lipid metabolism; it promotes fat burning into energy.
Other HGH Benefits:
- Stimulates vital organs cellular growth including the brain cells
- Decreases uptake of glucose in the liver and simultaneously promotes glucose breakdown in the liver
- Improves immune system functionality
- Boosts mental and psychological wellbeing
- Enhances cognitive function and improves memory and learning
What happens when HGH is lower or higher than normal?
HGH deficiency is more common at older ages. However, it can also affect children in which case it results in growth failure, short height and suspended sexual maturity.
When HGH declines as a normal part of aging, it results in certain undesirable aging signs such as increased fat deposits, reduced muscle mass, weight gain, poor cognitive function, decreased sex drive, and immune suppression.
HGH excess in children can results in gigantism, which means abnormally tall height. In adults, HGH excess results in acromegaly, which results in undesirable increase in bone thickness of jaw, hands and feet. It can also cause muscle weakness, reduced sex drive, type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.
How can you overcome the deficiency of HGH?
In serious cases of HGH deficiency, HGH can be treated by exogenous HGH injections. However, these can have serious side effects and are recommended only in limited cases.
Luckily, there are other safer ways of overcoming HGH deficiency in older adults seeking safe effective methods to naturally increase HGH levels. Some methods to increase HGH levels are:
Changing your diet
Increased glucose intake via sugary foods results in hyperglycemia. This results in increased insulin release, which inversely reduces growth hormone levels. Cutting down on your sugar intake results in a hypoglycemic state, which decreases insulin release and consequently increases HGH levels.
Decreasing your BMI
A higher BMI means a higher fat percentage, which can interrupt with the normal production of HGH. According to a study, HGH levels increased in obese people who lost a significant amount of weight.
Get Quality sleep
Most of our HGH is produced during deep sleep. Therefore, getting quality sleep in a peaceful environment is crucial to the synthesis and release of HGH.
Heavy weight lifting exercises results in muscle breakdown and stimulates muscle regeneration and strengthening. HGH is required for muscle growth; therefore heavy lifting workouts can enhance HGH synthesis, which in turn enhances muscle growth.
A University of Virginia study discovered that HGH levels rose by more than 2000% from baseline levels after 24 hours of fasting. The underlying physiology for this phenomenon could be the increase in insulin and lipolysis that results in the increased HGH release.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Although the exact mechanism of enhanced HGH synthesis by niacin supplementation has not been well understood, the correlation between niacin intake and increased HGH release has been proved by many study results.
HGH releasers are supplements made with highly selective ingredients that have the capacity to stimulate increased HGH release from the pituitary gland. They contain a mixture of potent ingredients each stimulating HGH release, these include:
- Astragalus Root Extract
- Deer Antler Velvet
- Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)
- Alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine (Alpha-GPC)
- Mucuna Pruriens
- Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium sagittatum)
How do HGH supplements work?
HGH releasers such as Genf20Plus contain a powerful blend of natural ingredients that stimulate the natural production of HGH. It doesn’t contain HGH in itself and therefore causes little to no side effects.
HGH Supplements Benefits
HGH supplements are not for people with diagnosed HGH deficiency such as in children with short stature or dwarfism. It is developed for adults or older individuals who seek to overcome the effects of declining HGH levels. Most people who take HGH supplements desire to achieve the following:
Weight Loss and Fat burn
Study has found HGH levels to be lower than normal in people with high Body Mass Index. HGH is responsible for lipid metabolism, i.e. it results in breakdown of lipids and also play a role in triglyceride hydrolysis. With decrease in HGH levels, the breakdown of lipids slows down and this results in increased fat deposition in the body. According to findings from a study conducted by Palm Springs Life Extension Institute, in participants treated with HGH therapy fat loss increased by almost 72%.
Additionally, HGH aids in the reduction of abdominal fat, which is the most difficult part to burn in body fat. In a nine-month investigation published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, among older men between age 48 and 66, body fat reduction correlated with decrease in blood pressure and increased sensitivity to insulin.
Gaining Muscle mass
HGH’s popularity among bodybuilders is due to its ability to build muscle mass. Studies have reported the benefits of HGH for muscle growth, regeneration and development. A study that reported its findings in the Hormone Research journal compared the difference in lean muscle mass in two groups of people. Both groups were put through a low calorie diet for a period of 12 weeks, one group simultaneously received HGH therapy while the other group was put under a placebo. The HGH therapy group gained lean muscle mass whereas the placebo group lost lean muscle mass.
Bone is composed of organic and inorganic materials. While the organic parts give the bone its tensile strength, the inorganic minerals give the bone its hardness. In older adults with lower HGH levels, the bone density is lower as well due to poor deposition of calcium and phosphorus. This makes the bone brittle and more susceptible to fractures. HGH increases bone mineral density and prevents fractures while also increasing bone rigidity and toughness.
Reversing signs of Aging:
With age, there is a decline in skin collagen and moisture production. This results in saggy skin, wrinkle formation and reduced glow. HGH enhances protein synthesis, which in turn promotes collagen growth thereby improving aging signs. More collagen, gives your skin a plumper and tighter look thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles. In fact HGH is mostly sought after for its anti aging benefits.
Improvement in mood and cognitive function
Older individuals experience poor cognitive and mental functions. Studies report improvement in both memory and learning capacity with HGH therapy in older people. Additionally the studies also reported improved attitude towards life associated with an emotional stability. In a six-month study with HGH therapy, all participants treated with HGH received significant overall improvement in cognitive function.
Improved sleep quality
Sleep and HGH are both complementary to each other, as increased sleep promotes HGH release and increased HGH secretion further improves sleep quality. Studies have found more than 50% HGH is released during deep sleep in a pulsatile manner.
HGH and sexual hormones are correlated to each other. Both regulate the levels of each other by stimulating their release. Lower HGH has been associated with erectile dysfunction in men. A study revealed HGH therapy has an enhancing effect on the human corpus cavernosum smooth muscle, which is essential for penile erection. This suggests HGH therapy could be a potential treatment for impotence.