There’s enough confusion about growth hormone to warrant an encyclopedia to define what it is and what it does. Steroids, anti-aging and growth treatment are among the many topics that frequently pop up with this subject.
Of course, it doesn’t help that there’s a variety of interchangeable terms and descriptions to growth hormone. Growth hormone has many names, and they seem to take a life of their own.
What is Human Growth Hormone?
For the record, growth hormone is a protein-based peptide hormone that stimulates cell growth, production and regeneration, in humans and animals. Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland, and can accurately be called somatotropin.
Conversely, somatropin is synthetic growth hormone. You can also call it human growth hormone (HGH) or recombinant growth hormone, as it’s made with DNA recombinant technology. This article uses human growth hormone, HGH and somatropin as interchangeable terms.
Don’t confuse somatropin with an HGH releaser, like GenF20 Plus. The former is a synthetic technology taken as an injection. The latter is a dietary supplement, of herbals, amino acids and nutrients that stimulate the pituitary gland to produce growth hormone. HGH releasers do not contain human growth hormone; they simply encourage the body to make growth hormone on its own.
Why Do People Take Human Growth Hormone?
By definition, human growth hormone triggers growth, within the body, of bones, muscles, hair, skin, finger nails, and among other things, boosts metabolism. It’s growth hormone that determines how tall we’ll be, our ability to put on muscle, shed fat and look healthy.
Our production of growth hormone wanes as we get older, which partly explains why we get wrinkles, lose our original hair color and store those extra pounds we’d prefer to shed.
Researchers have used HGH to treat growth hormone deficiency for decades. But it’s only recently that it’s garnered attention for its ability to increase height in children and various ailments in adults.
Human growth hormone can treat:
- growth failure, in children and adults
- growth hormone deficiency
- HIV-related weight loss
In addition, human growth hormone can treat several conditions known to stunt growth in children, including Turner syndrome, chronic renal failure and Prader-Willi syndrome. Research continues into human growth hormone and how it might treat other conditions.
What Are the Risks Involved with HGH?
There are some. Growth hormone is complex, with most research occurring in the past 50 years. While its short-term effects are pronounced, much remains unknown about growth hormone and the long-term effects of a synthetic derivative.
Common side effects of human growth hormone include:
- muscle pain or weakness
Occasionally these side effects persist, in combination with unusual weight gain and development of a limp.
On rare occasions, HGH can trigger breathing or lung problems that have, in some cases, caused death. Males, overweight children and those with breathing problems are at higher risk for more serious side effects from HGH.
Should I Take Somatropin?
There’s no one answer to this. Human growth hormone remains a potent, yet enigmatic solution to address growth hormone deficiency. Treatments can easily cost $30,000 per year. They’re rarely covered by insurance, and must often be taken daily for life.
HGH releasers don’t contain somatropin, but produce similar benefits as synthetic injections in adults. Users of HGH releasers report more lean muscle mass, less fat and boosted sex drive, without the expense and inconvenience of HGH treatment.
That’s not to say that HGH isn’t effective. But it does mean that little is known, even now, about growth hormone and how to alter DNA to grow the body at will. HGH releasers might not be as effective, but they appear to be safer, and fill an increasing demand in the anti-aging industry.