Human Growth Hormone
Note: Human Growth Hormone can be purchased by prescription only and should be used carefullly under competent medical supervision. One brand, Genotropin manufactured by Upjohn Pharmacia can be purchased from any drug store at a current cost of approximately US $14.00 per international unit (IU). Some doctors prescribe one IU per day for six days a week bringing the weekly cost to US $84.00. I personally buy Genotropin (an HGH with a preservative that has a shelf life of 21 days after reconstitution) for $210.00 for 15 IU. This amounts to $14.00 per IU. I buy it from my neighborhood pharmacy.
Human growth hormone, secreted by the pituitary gland which is located in the center of the brain, peaks during adolescence when growth is most rapid. It is the primary hormone responsible for maintaining physical and mental health through tissue repair, healing, cell replacement, bone strength, brain function, enzyme production, integrity of the hair, nails and skin. By the age of 60 it is not uncommon to see declines in the order of 75% from more youthful levels.
Modern biotechnology has given us the ability to totally synthesize this remarkable hormone. The technique of production varies slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer. It is a complex protein molecule of 190 amino acids in length. Because of its size, complexity and stereoscopic configuration it cannot be taken orally, it must be injected under the skin with an insulin syringe. Forty years ago GH, from cadavers, was being used to stimulate growth in youngsters who's growth was stunted.
Today's sources are pharmaceutically pure and completely safe. And, the doses used today are very small .
In order to understand the rationale of human growth hormone replacement-vs-Secretagogue augmentation, refer to figure 1 below:
The hypothalamus is the primitive site of the brain that sends either stimulating or inhibiting hormones to the pituitary. Growth hormone stimulating hormone (GHRH) tells the pituitary gland to secrete more growth hormone (GH). On the other side, Growth Hormone Inhibiting Hormone (GHIH = Somatostatin) tells the pituitary gland to stop producing more GH.
Once the pituitary receives the positive stimulating signal it then secretes GH which in turn stimulates the liver to produce IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor 1) . This is the substance that is most commonly measured as a surrogate marker for GH output. Low IGF-1 = low GH. Somatomedin-C is just another name for IGF-1. When requesting a lab test for IGF-1, be sure to ask for a Somatomedin-C test and be sure to remind the person taking the blood sample to freeze it immediately. If not frozen you will receive worthless results. If using a saliva test kit just follow directions.
IGF-1 is also a more stable compound unlike true GH which is produced in spurts throughout the day - the largest being just before sleep. If we were to measure GH directly it might show as too low or too high just because of the timing. Measuring IGF-1 circumvents this problem because of its more constant blood levels. Interestingly, both have distinct biochemical properties.
Once the IGF-1 levels are high enough, a feedback message is sent back to the pituitary and the hypothalamus to modulate further GH secretion. This is accomplished by secreting more Somatostatin which then slows down GH production.
You can see the intricate play between GHRH and Somatostatin as a "servo" mechanism in the brain to regulate just the right amount of GH release. This is the model for virtually all brain mediated hormonal control - the thyroid, adrenals, ovaries and testes.
Critical concept: As we age, GH output begins to fall off, whether by sluggishness of pituitary secretion or because of true GH decline. The outcome is the same: declining levels of GH which gives rise to a multitude of symptoms which we know know are the telltale signs of aging:
It all started with the seminal Rudman Study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM; 323:1-6 1990). This pilot study divided 21 men 61-81 years old with plasma IGF-1 levels less than 350 iu per liter into two groups: 12 test subjects and 9 controls subjects. A six month base period period of data collection preceded the six month test (GH injection) period.
The study showed an increase in lean muscle mass, a decrease in adipose fat tissue, and an increase in vertebral bone height. All test subjects had measurable increases in their IGF-1 blood values. The control group showed none of the above benefits.
To quote: "The effects of six months of human growth hormone on body mass and adipose-tissue mass were equivalent in magnitude to the changes incurred during the 10 to 20 years of aging." In other words, regression of aging by 10-20 years.
Later Chien and Terry's large group of over 1000 clinically treated individuals showed that lower dose, higher frequency administration (twice daily) is associated with virtually no side effects and substantial benefits:
These results were part of a total hormonal replacement program and grading was based on each individuals own subjective response and evaluation. Uniformly, the responses showed improved scores in all categories based on the 212 participants' own ratings.
Other studies since then have shown additional benefits:
Human growth hormone is available from the following companies:
Growth Hormone Stimulators
Although recombinant hGH is the gold standard because it is controllable, powerful and able to confer the greatest rewards, it is, on the other hand, not for everyone.
It is injectable and, therefore, cumbersome for some.
It is expensive and, therefore, limited to those can afford to pay. It is generally not reimbursable on insurance plans except in rare circumstances..
It is not recommended for travel across international borders because of refrigeration problems and because of increased scrutiny you will face from border agents, although with a prescription there will be less problems.
There is an alternative or, in some cases, an adjunct: Secretagogues...
These simulate the GHRH hormone as seen in figure 1 above. They are now available and more affordable.
Human growth hormone is the most powerful anti-aging tool we now have at our command. It makes possible, the ability to regress human aging. It is truly a rejuvenating agent, especially when combined with a full program of natural hormonal replacement and augmentation, proper nutrition, adequate supplementation and exercise. It should only be prescribed and controlled by a qualified health care provider.
It is truly the SUPER HORMONE!
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