The truth about HGH and muscle growth!The correct use of HGH for bodybuilding is a highly relevant topic, so I kuscle address these issues in this article. Despite the fact that HGH creators initially synthesized it legal high laws australia hgh muscle GH-deficient children, it is highly popular in sports, especially in bodybuilding, for the following reasons:. This substance is responsible for muscle growth, which is the main effect of Msucle for bodybuilding. IGF-1 binds to its receptors in skeletal muscle tissue, thus accelerating protein synthesis. The hormone binds to hgh muscle receptors, which leads to elevation of hgh muscle level of free fatty acids FFA.
Do You Know The Truth about HGH and Muscle Growth?
Earlier this year, Major League Baseball started talks with its union to investigate adopting a new test for human growth hormone. The issue of hGH testing has picked up considerable steam in the wake of what can best be described as a "perfect storm" of media events: The highly anticipated admission by former St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire that he used both anabolic steroids and hGH throughout his career, including the historic season when he broke Roger Maris' long-standing single season home run record; and the United Kingdom Anti-Doping authority announcing a two-year ban for rugby player Terry Newton for testing positive for hGH.
The commissioner remains committed to the position that we must act aggressively to deal with the issue of hGH. It's a fair assumption that MLB has been anxiously awaiting a reliable test for hGH so it can finally begin rebuilding its once-proud image as America's game, an image that has been tarnished by a seemingly endless series of doping scandals. Who could forget former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Jason Grimsley, caught by authorities accepting a shipment of hGH in , who would go on to finger fellow player David Segui as another hGH user?
Given the media maelstrom, it wasn't surprising that former US Senator George Mitchell's month investigation into the use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone in Major League Baseball concluded that hGH is the new "drug of choice. Yet the question many in the know are asking is: Before we discuss the possible benefits of growth hormone for athletes, let's first take a look at what it is.
Human Growth Hormone hGH is produced and secreted in the brain by the pituitary gland. Once released, it stimulates the liver to make insulin-like growth factor 1 IGF-1 , and this hormone then triggers the growth and repair of bones and body tissues including muscle, skin, organs, and more. The body's natural growth hormone production is controlled by the neurohormone Gonadotropin-releasing hormone GHRH , Growth hormone-releasing peptide GHRP , and somatostatin, and is normally released in pulses or bursts throughout the day.
There are often as many as 20 daily surges, with the largest release occurring shortly after you fall asleep. HGH is especially important for normal growth in children, and hGH levels rise sharply throughout puberty, peak at about age 20, and then slowly decrease throughout adulthood; although a healthy pituitary never totally ceases hGH production.
The historical roots of human growth hormone therapy are like something lifted from the pages of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Growth hormone was originally developed in the s to treat dwarfism in children, and the first preparations were extracts of the raw hormone from the pituitary of cadavers.
This early form of growth hormone was known as cadaver-GH. CJD is a fatal degenerative brain disorder in which healthy brain tissue deteriorates into an abnormal protein that the body can't break down. Patients suffering from CJD experience rapidly declining neurological function resulting in dementia, paralysis, slurred speech, incontinence, blindness, coma, and eventually death. Following the discovery of the similar GH treatments that each CJD-diagnosed individual had received in their youth, the use of cadaver-GH to treat dwarfism quickly ceased.
However, in American pharmaceutical company Genentech pioneered the first use of recombinant human growth hormone for human therapy and by , biosynthetic human growth hormone replaced cadaver-GH for therapeutic use. Since then, hGH therapy has expanded to treating adults determined to have an hGH deficiency, and it was this expansion of treatment applications that helped plant what would become the hGH money tree.
With the development of a safe alternative to cadaver-GH, scientists began to expand the scope of treatment beyond dwarfism to include other forms of GH deficiency.
In adults, true medical deficiency of growth hormone may result from disease, tumors, radiation, or any trauma that damages critical areas of the pituitary. This can lead to some significant health challenges like weight gain, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol abnormalities, fatigue, decreased immune response, arthritis, increased insulin resistance, adult onset diabetes, hair loss, sarcopenia loss of muscle , and osteoporosis.
Not surprisingly, hGH therapy has proven to be very helpful for these GH-deficient individuals. Of interest, baseball player Segui reportedly had a legitimate prescription for hGH to treat GH deficiency; a diagnosis that drew criticism from authorities who questioned how a professional athlete of normal height and weight could possibly be GH deficient.
But over the last decade, an increasing number of physicians have started to legally administer hGH to treat the most widespread medical "problem" of all: As stated, endogenous growth hormone levels slowly decline as part of the natural aging process, and slowing or stopping this decline has numerous anti-aging benefits. Increased energy, improved sexual performance, reduced bodyfat, increased muscle mass, thickening of the skin, improved sleep, enhanced bone strength, improved cognitive performance, and increased lifespan are just some of the benefits being shopped to aging men looking to add years to their life and life to their years.
However, baby boomers take note: Experts and researchers alike agree that a decline in hGH is not the cause of aging, and maintaining youthful levels of hGH will not make you the next Dick Clark.
Even if hGH levels remained at the level of a 25 year-old, you would continue to experience the effects of aging, although to a reduced degree. But not at a reduced price. The main attraction to hGH for athletes apart from until recently, the lack of a reliable test is its ability to aid in the recovery of injuries.
HGH stimulates collagen synthesis, which is necessary for strengthening cartilage, bones, tendons, and ligaments. Combining hGH with anabolic steroids amplifies its regenerative effects. Jason Grimsley reportedly stacked hGH with the joint-friendly anabolic steroid Deca-Durabolin to recover from ligament replacement surgery and was back on the field in only nine months, slashing his estimated recovery time in half.
Lopez specializes in athletic performance and consults with numerous professional athletes, and isn't surprised that athletes are looking at taking hGH and anabolic steroids as a way to extend their playing careers.
But these are professional athletes, making six or seven figures to perform at their absolute best. Surely this hasn't trickled down into the amateur ranks? Strength coach Christian Thibaudeau trains many amateur athletes from a variety of sports. He's seen the interest rise in hGH even in recreational athletes, and he's not surprised Major League Baseball is taking hGH use as seriously as it is.
The fact that it helps with recuperation makes it even more attractive," says Thibaudeau. They hear whispers that other guys are using it and they think, 'Maybe I should too. Detectable or not, in baseball it's cheating. But in bodybuilding it's kind of open season. He started weight training to be a powerlifter, but decided to give competitive bodybuilding a try when fellow lifters recognized his Herculean physique and subtle lines could make big waves on the bodybuilding stage.
Five years and several first place finishes later; Jared has a legitimate shot at turning pro by Suffice it to say, hGH has played a part in his success. Jared takes hGH year round, cycling the dosage and frequency depending on his goals and his budget. But it's a great dieting tool — you get leaner, stay fuller," he says. Although medically approved dosages of hGH are under 2 IUs a day, Jared insists his dosages are nowhere near excessive.
So, 15 IUs, three times a week for mass versus IUs daily for fat loss. IGF-1 release is tricky business however, and very much dose dependent. The intermittent high dose is preferred over the daily high dose to mitigate both costs and negative side effects, which Thibaudeau says are very real. At medically approved dosages, the side effects of hGH are considered relatively mild, including bloating, carpal tunnel syndrome, gynecomastia, increase in blood pressure, swelling of the optic nerve, and a decrease in thyroid hormone production.
Even long term, reasonable usage seems to be relatively safe. A two-year, large group study posted in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology found that patients treated with hGH experienced beneficial effects on body composition, metabolic parameters, and general well-being, with only adverse side effects being fluid-related.
Another ten-year study of hGH treatment published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism was equally glowing. The test subjects experienced significant increased lean body mass and decreased fat mass, a less atherogenic lipid profile, reduced carotid intima media thickness an indication of plaque in the carotid , and improved psychological well-being.
Still, these were low doses to correct sub-clinical hGH concentrations, not supra-physiological doses commonly used in bodybuilding applications; an important designation. Inflated levels of hGH in adults can cause acromegaly, a disease characterized by excessive growth of the head, feet, and hands. The nose, jaw, and forehead increase in size and the fingers and toes grow. The organs and digestive system may also increase in size, resulting in the distended abdomens seen on some bodybuilders.
I've got some carpal tunnel symptoms now, nothing major," he says. If you keep dosages reasonable, sides should be minimal. There's also a concern about the possibility of an increased cancer risk with long-term hGH treatment. Insulin-like growth factor-1 promotes the growth of cells and prevents them from dying, which is what cancer cells do — they grow out of control and don't die. Several studies have shown that women with high levels of hGH are more likely to get breast cancer, and men with high levels of hGH are more likely to develop prostate cancer.
But proponents of hGH counter that while correlations have been found between IGF-1 levels and certain types of cancer, correlation is not the same as causation. Further, recent evidence suggests hGH's beneficial impact on the immune system could in theory help reduce the risk of cancer. Despite these findings, Lopez is not prepared to dismiss any link between hGH and cancer, and continues to screen for cancer before embarking on hGH therapy.
It seems clear that for the average lifter, hGH's ability to build muscle is definitely not worth the exorbitant price, at least if true US pharmaceutical sources are used. It should also be noted that hGH's ability to grow "lean body mass" at high dosages includes everything that is not fat or water, namely the organs and viscera; certainly not what the typical physique-minded athlete has in mind. Granted, this condition is now considered reversible, but bodybuilders should still consider these unwanted effects.
The usefulness of hGH as a fat burning tool, especially when combined with Testosterone, is undeniable. Even at relatively modest dosages, dramatic reductions in bodyfat and improved retention of lean body mass seem to be achievable, and much more when combined with anabolic steroids and fat burners. The recuperative properties of hGH appear to be second to none. For professional athletes earning six or seven figures, a few thousand dollars a month is a pittance, and even athletes earning much less might consider judicious use of hGH as a way to help extend their training careers.
Bodybuilder Jared also swears by hGH's regenerative properties. My physiotherapist wanted to use me as a poster boy for his clinic. While hGH's safety record is acceptable, it bears repeating that the longitudinal studies performed used hGH in isolation and at dosages far below what an athlete or bodybuilder would likely consider efficacious.
The evidence is clear that increasing the dosage decreases the safety. Another factor that significantly lowers hGH's safety profile is stacking hGH with anabolic steroids, a practice required to get the impressive effects that many hGH users swear by. Aside from hGH's ability to facilitate healing and return an athlete to the field, it has little apparent ability to improve athletic performance. Any potential strength gains to an athlete with normal GH levels is minimal, at best.
Secretagogues are substances that cause another substance to be secreted. There are several hGH secretagogues under study right now, and recent restrictions placed by regulatory bodies on physicians writing prescriptions for hGH have sparked renewed interest in them. One such substance is Sermorelin Acetate, an analog to natural growth hormone that stimulates the pituitary to step up endogenous production.
Many physicians prefer modalities that restore natural hormone levels rather than replace them, and on paper, Sermorelin is very promising. It's been around for years, has a well-established safety record, and unlike hGH therapy, Sermorelin poses no long-term risk to pituitary gland function, nor is there any risk of overdose. There are downsides of course. Sermorelin is expensive, and at effective dosages can approach that of hGH therapy.
It also has an extremely short half-life, thereby limiting its ability to maintain elevated serum levels of growth hormone. These factors alone were enough for some physicians to shift their attention squarely on growth hormone replacement, not restoration.
However, the development of a new, long-acting growth hormone releasing factor has rekindled interest in growth hormone restoration. Is hGH therapy soon to be a thing of the past?