In 1990, Dr. Daniel Rudman conducted a study using human growth hormone (HGH) in twelve older men. The study results showed an improvement in muscle mass and muscle tone for the twelve men, and these study participants reported having increased energy after the HGH injections. Since the publication of Dr. Rudman’s study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the use of HGH as an anti-aging supplement has steadily increased.
Human growth hormone is produced naturally in humans by the pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain. In humans, this hormone stimulates growth and helps to maintain the body’s tissues and organs. It has been prescribed for children with abnormal growth patterns since the 1950’s. Adult prescriptions for human growth hormone are restricted to cases where the adult’s HGH production level is below normal or for adults with no pituitary gland.
HGH advocates claim that the hormone produces a noticeable difference in muscle mass and muscle tone when given to men. There is no improvement in muscle strength, however. Men who have received HGH treatment report that they have an improved sense of well being and increased energy. Many men look to HGH injections as an easy way to turn back the aging clock and restore their youth.
As expected, advertising campaigns for imitation HGH supplements started shortly after Dr. Rudman’s article publication. Human growth hormone sprays and creams were introduced to the public, promising to be the “fountain of youth” everyone searches for. HGH is only effective as an injection, and these advertising claims were quickly classified as worthless.
Human growth hormone supplements appear to be the answer to increased muscle mass, decreased fat, and more vitality and energy. These reported benefits of HGH are offset by the risks associated with the hormone. Besides the high price of HGH injections, which can reach $15,000 or more every year, there are health risks that must be considered.
Human growth hormone production decreases as a normal process of aging. There has not been enough research done to prove if increasing an older man’s HGH level has a detrimental effect on his health. Some medical professionals claim that lower HGH levels, which come naturally with aging, have a positive effect on a man’s longevity. Increasing HGH levels may actually shorten a man’s life expectancy.
Other possible risks from HGH injections are diabetes and high blood pressure. Fluids begin to pool in the skin and tissues, which can lead to heart failure in some cases. Inflammation of joints, including carpal tunnel syndrome, is another common complaint.
Children that take HGH supplements have a substantial risk of developing cancer in later years. Long term studies involving adults that take these supplements have not been conducted, but it is safe to assume that these adults may be exposing themselves to a higher risk of cancer. HGH studies with mice have resulted in the mice developing cancer. However, the amount of HGH compared to the mice’s body weight was significantly higher than the ratio for humans.
Carefully weigh your expected results from HGH injections against the possible risks before making a final decision to take this supplement.
Comment by Ed: This is a subject I have always been interested in. I have a good friend who really swore by HGH. He has since been diagnosed with a serious illness, not at all related to HGH. But because of the disease, he had to stop getting his regular injections. It’s hard to tell if the decline in his health is due to the disease, which it shouldn’t be, or from the lack of HGH. It’s clear to me that it’s because the pharmaceutical fountain of youth ended.
It should be said that this is a man in his 60’s, who appeared to often have the energy of a guy 20 years younger. This proves to me that there are significant benefits to HGH. The benefits are also clear looking at Sylvester Stallone. It’s hard to not see that most guys in their 60’s do not look like that.
Stallone came out in strong defense of HGH, which I admire him for. He didn’t lie about taking it like most people. While Stallone plays down the idea that HGH plays a big role in his unusually defined physique (especially for a man in his 60’s), he does tout the anti-aging benefits. “The most important thing about HGH – and I think more people should be aware of this – is it really takes off the wear and tear that your body takes. The power to recuperate is very, very limited. So all it does is expedite.” Stallone says.
The public reaction to HGH is a little disturbing. We automaticly associate this with steriod use, which in itself I think has a pretty bad stigma. When most think of steroid users, they think of unreal looking monsters of men, with short tempers, and even short penises. But I can’t help but wonder about the benefits, and teh work that could be done to help curb some of the risks or side effects. HGH is not steroids, and people who use it should not be treated like they are crminal drug users, especially older users who just want to live their life to the fullest.
I would love to see the government and public not villainize HGH, but rather invest into research to make it safer for the older generation. Let’s spend some tax money on helping our older citizens experience a few more years of health instead of trying to throw HGH users in prison.