Growth Hormone. Few Anabolic agents have as much of an effect, are shrouded in as much mystery or are the subject of so many falsehoods (Bro-Science) as the one and only HGH. To be sure, HGH probably affects more types of human tissue then any other Hormone. (Endogenous or Exogenous). From a technical perspective, HGH is made in the pituitary Gland, its secretion is controlled by GHRH (growth hormone, releasing hormone, conversely the hormone that is responsible for limiting the secretion of HGH is somatostatin. (Early versions of endogenous supplementation focused on various formulations as secretogogues)
For the Athlete, HGH has been shown to Increase muscle mass and decrease body fat WITHOUT exercise. (8.8 and 14.4 respectively) Thus, one can only wonder as to how much MORE OF the aforementioned effects WOULD BE present, if the supplementation and a concomitant proper training regimen would have been included in the studies.
HGH has been proven to have direct affects on bone, fat, muscle, liver, kidneys, cardiac muscle, pancreas, spleen, and intestines. More particularly it affects said tissues in growth, metabolic changes and especially tissue differentiation. As such endogenous supplementation with HGH has been shown to enhance sexual performance, increase cardiac output, regulate/enhance kidney function, increase HDL, decrease LDL, promote wound healing, regrow hair, improve sleep patterns, enhance the bioavailability and efficacy of other hormones, increase immune system functioning, increase the physiological response to physical stress, decrease blood pressure, increase bone density, increase skin elasticity, improve wrinkles, increase memory retention and assist in minimizing early onset dementia. This veritable cornucopia of benefits along with HGH’s cult like status make it the most sought after anabolic/performance enhancing drug.
HGH’s effects on the human body and it’s mode of action are different from that of anabolic steroids as typical therapeutic doses are not intended for extreme and short lived results. Typical usage is longer term (16 weeks or more) with the anti-aging community advocating its sustained use as a way to stave off the aging process. Typical dosages for male athletes are in the 3-4 IU’s per day range with 1-2 IU’s for females. It should be noted that the human body secretes HGH in small “bursts” and primarily at night during deep sleep. Furthermore, HGH has a very short half-life, thus it would seem that in order to mimic this pattern, one would be better suited utilizing 2 or 3 smaller doses spread throughout the day.
Finally the age old debate as to the best injection site, Traditional schools of thought dictated that HGH should be used subcutaneously while the more modern approach indicated that intramuscularly was just as effective. In a “nod” to both, it should be noted that research has shown that the BIOAVAILABILITY of HGH once introduced endogenously was 75% subcutaneously and 63% intramuscularly. Case closed? Not exactly, as the aforementioned half-life of HGH were 3.8 and 4.9 hours respectively. Thus, using simple mathematical calculations it would seem that the total amount of circulating endogenous HGH would be virtually the same no matter the application mode. It should further be noted that the anabolic effects of endogenous HGH or testosterone by themselves were substantially lesser then when the two were used together. Thus, one should remember that in HRT the sum of the parts can very often be greater than the whole.